Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Books I’m looking forward to reading in 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish.

In no particular order, here are my “Top Ten books that I’m currently looking forward to reading” in 2012:

1. Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy
I’ve read a lot of Thomas Hardy over the years, but not this, his first novel. I late 2010, I added Two on a Tower to my Hardy list. I hope his other “lesser known” works are as good as that one was…

2. Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker
This is the story of the much-hyped appearance of the supercomputer, “Watson,” on Jeopardy in 2011. I have long been a trivia addict, and in July of 2011 auditioned for the show and made it into the contestant pool (the pool is likely ten times the number of people they need for the show, however, so I’m not holding my breath) for the second time. If I ever DO get the call, I will certainly let everyone here know. This should be a fascinating read for a (high-functioning) nerd like me…

3. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
I think I first heard of this one via Alex at The Sleepless Reader (one of my most reliable sources for reading recommendations). It sounds just introspective enough to be a perfect fit for me…

4. The Brontes – Wild Genius on the Moors: The Story of Three Sisters by Juliet Barker
My main personal project of 2012 is to read twelve biographies of famous authors (Maybe this one should count as three? Can I get a ruling!?) I’ve read and enjoyed many of their novels over the years. The time is right for learning more about THEM.

5. The Leftovers by Tom Perotta
A guilty pleasure read, recommended by Stephen King. Kind of a post-rapture setting, as I understand.

6. O Aleph by Paulo Coehlo
Coehlo was one of my favorite new-to-me authors in 2011. This is his latest book.

7. Dickens by Peter Ackroyd
Another literary biography, and a quite famous one at that. February 2012 is the 200th anniversary of Dickens’s birth, and I must mark that event somehow…

8. The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham
Been trying to get to this one for the longest time. One of my reading co-workers read it in 2011. I have to catch up with her. 🙂

9. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
I’ve heard great things about this book from many quarters. Hopefully I will like it more that my somewhat disappointing 2011 “castle book” (I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith)

10. McTeague by Frank Norris
I was reminded of this book last year via another blogger. There is a personal connection for me as – way back in the day – my college fraternity was e same one that Norris belonged to, and we even had an annual Norris Pig Dinner in his honor.

Well that’s a few from my TBR list. What books are you most looking forward to reading in 2012? do we have any in common?



  1. Debnance said,

    January 3, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Just my two cents but I say yes to Hedgehog and no to Perrota. Thanks for the info about Final Jeopardy. As a person who lives to think (and refuses to call herself that wimpy name of geek) it looks like a book I’d love.

    Here’s my Top Ten list.


    • January 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      Hahaha- I’d say the opposite. I just didn’t love Hedgehog! I have the Perrota book but haven’t read it yet. I really like him for “easy” reading, since his books are generally quick reads, but well written and interesting.


      • Jay said,

        January 4, 2012 at 8:46 am

        I’m pretty much a reading omnivore,so I’ll probably like both. Hedgehog had been well described by several fellow bloggers and sounds like it’d be right up my alley.


    • Jay said,

      January 4, 2012 at 8:45 am

      Ken Jennings wrote a book about trivia shortly after his record setting run on Jeopardy several years ago. If you haven’t already read it you may enjoy that too. Coincidentally, I was also in the contestant pool for the show during his run as champion. I so wanted to take my shot at him but they never called…


  2. trish said,

    January 3, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Great list. I’m especially interested in Maugham – I read Of Human Bondage a few years ago and liked it enough to try more. I’ve got Razor’s Edge on my TBR shelf and plan on getting to that one sometime this year.


    • Jay said,

      January 4, 2012 at 8:40 am

      Hi Trish,
      Thanks for the visit. I was introduced to Maugham via a random purchase in a used book store of an obscure title by him, “The Magician.” I’ve read some short stories of his and have a biography of him lying around somewhere too.

      I’ve always wanted to read The Razor’s Edge and was very taken with the film version (the original one, not the Bill Murray (really!) one)



  3. Jillian ♣ said,

    January 3, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Oooh, I’m curious about the Brontes book and the Dickens book! (The Bronte book only counts as three bios if it’s over 1,000 pages. ha!)

    I need to try Maugham. I have The Human Bondage…


    • Jay said,

      January 4, 2012 at 8:42 am

      Thanks for the “ruling” on the Brontes book. I’ll just have to see if it feels like one or three… Maybe I’ll compromise and call it two. 🙂


  4. Jillian ♣ said,

    January 3, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Oh, I see I misnamed my Maugham book! (The comment above was entered right before I posted mine.) Well, anyhow, I need to read it. 😆


  5. Falaise said,

    January 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

    The Dickens bio is on my TBR list for this year too.


  6. January 3, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I also want to read We have always lived in the Castle. Enjoy


    • Jay said,

      January 4, 2012 at 8:48 am

      Thanks for the visit, Marce!

      Yes, We Have Always Lived in the Castle sounds deliciously creepy, doesn’t it?



  7. Alex said,

    January 4, 2012 at 5:46 am

    *blushes* 🙂


  8. commonreader said,

    January 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery is great. I love that book. I was also slightly disappointed by ‘I Capture the Castle’ when I read it. I heard it was amazing and I really enjoyed it, but it doesn’t top the charts in the best books I’ve ever read. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson sounds awesome! I just downloaded it, so thanks for that! 🙂


    • Jay said,

      January 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks for the comment!

      Glad you’ll be reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle also. Let me know what you think of it. If I recall correctly, it’s not too long and supposedly an easy read.

      All I know of Shirley Jackson is her short story, The Lottery, which I was reminded of when reading the opening pages of Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games.



  9. Megan said,

    January 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    It’s interesting to me that people are recommending the Elegance of the Hedgehog. I read that for a book club a couple of years ago and couldn’t have hated it more, mostly because I felt that pretty much every character was reprehensible, and I couldn’t muster any sympathy for them. I would have stopped reading it if it hadn’t been for a book club. But I know that it stirred very positive feelings in other members of the group. I’ll be very interested to see your thoughts on it.


    • Jay said,

      January 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Megan,

      Wow, all the differing opinions on this one make me want to bump it up in the batting order to read sooner rather than later & see what all the fuss – or lack of fuss – is about.

      Thanks for your comment!



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