Welp, I've done it. Despite having effectively given up any hope of completing it 6 months ago, yesterday I finished the #52Books challenge.
According to Goodreads (which, for various reasons, doesn't count a few of them) that's a total of nearly 14 000 pages. There was admittedly a little filler in there - I have put off longer books at times, and while it was a conscious decision to read more art books this year, there's not exactly a ton of text in them. Still - it's managed to fix several bad habits and knock a sizeable chunk off my TBR pile, so overall I'm pretty happy!
A few thoughts on my favourites. I read a lot of non-fiction as research this year, several of which were really great for me but wouldn't be so great for anyone else. Still, Mastery by Robert Greene, and Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman are books I think everyone should read at some point - they are both very new and very, very important. I also loved Eureka by Peter FitzSimons, which is a much easier (if similarly long) read, and is especially cool for people who live in/around Ballarat.
As for fiction, I cannot stress enough how much I loved Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes, or Animal Farm by George Orwell. Both absolutely brilliant, though since I read it much more recently Flowers For Algernon is more prominent in my mind. Seriously, just perfect in every way. To round out the Fiction Top 3 I would probably have to say 1984, although I didn't like it quite as much as I did Animal Farm and I'm honestly tempted to just say Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, which I read last December and which is almost as awesome as the other two.
In any case, if you want to check out my Goodreads profile you can see more ratings and reviews and stuff. Or, y'know, ask me.
So, as for next year? I won't be doing it again. It's rectified a few bad habits but it's also introduced some new ones, so I'm going to try to have my cake and eat it too. It should still be a productive year, and hopefully it will allow me to get rid of the remainder of my TBR pile, including all the longer ones...and hopefully a little more modern fiction this year.
Below is the full and final list, with as many links to reviews and so on I could be bothered digging up. Enjoy!
1. Richard Dawkins - The Selfish Gene
2. George Orwell - Animal Farm
3. Noam Chomsky - What Uncle Sam Really Wants
4. Noam Chomsky - The Prosperous Few
5. Noam Chomsky - Secrets, Lies and Democracy
6. Noam Chomsky - The Common Good
7. Peter Singer - Practical Ethics
8. Tucker Max - Sloppy Seconds
9. Robert Cialdini - Influence
10. Virginia Woolf - A Room Of One’s Own
11. Chuck Palahniuk - Survivor
12. Bill Bryson - Mother Tongue
13. Robert Greene - The Art of Seduction
14. Sam Harris - Free Will
15. Alain de Botton - Religion For Atheists (what I say about the talk applies to the book)
16. Lawrence Krauss - A Universe From Nothing
17. Kings Way
18. Everfresh: Blackbook
19. Akmal Saleh - The Life of Akmal
20. Albert Camus - The Plague
21. Madeleine Connellan - Resilience Among Adults
22. Philip Zimbardo - The Lucifer Effect
23. George Orwell - 1984
24. Benjamin Franklin - The Autobiography
25. Jean-Jacques Rousseau - The Social Contract
26. Jordan Belfort - Catching the Wolf of Wall St
27. Peter Singer - The Life You Can Save
28. Thomas Paine - The Rights of Man
29. F Scott Fitzgerald - Tender is the Night
30. Noam Chomsky - Occupy
31. Ryan Holiday - Trust Me, I'm Lying
32. VS Ramachandran - The Tell-Tale Brain
33. Matt Taibbi - Griftopia
34. Christopher Hitchens - The Missionary Position
35. Marcus Aurelius - Meditations
36. JK Rowling - The Casual Vacancy
37. Julian Jaynes - The Origin of Consciousness
38. Epictetus - Enchiridion
39. John Kennedy Toole - A Confederacy of Dunces
40. Sophocles - The Theban Plays
41. Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray
42. Gilovich, Griffin & Kahneman - Heuristics and Biases
43. Peter FitzSimons - Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution
44. Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451
45. Noam Chomsky - Manufacturing Consent
46. Robert Greene - Mastery
47. Daniel Keyes - Flowers For Algernon
48. ADGD 2012
49. DQ McInerny - Being Logical
51. Oliver Sacks - The Mind's Eye
52. Daniel Kahneman - Thinking, Fast and Slow