Books Read in 2012

Here is a list of books I read in 2012, in chronological order. As usual, lots of history. There were several books I stopped reading partway through. The only novel I completed this year was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, a highly entertaining read for 1980s geeks. I started another novel but I gave up halfway through.

I always enjoy looking over my annual list of books read — it reminds me where my mind was at any particular time in the past year. In the spring, I looked forward to the newest installment of Robert Caro’s LBJ bio; in June, I got interested in the Beatles and read Jonathan Gould’s terrific history of them; in the fall, I read a book about Paris before we went to Paris. And so on.

Here’s the list:

  • A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War, Amanda Foreman
  • What It Takes: The Way to the White House, Richard Ben Cramer (first 1/3)
  • Eisenhower: The White House Years, Jim Newton
  • Eisenhower in War and Peace, Jean Edward Smith
  • Watergate: A Novel, Thomas Mallon
  • The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power, Robert Caro
  • Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
  • The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, Robert Caro
  • Can’t Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America, Jonathan Gould
  • Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley, Peter Guralnick
  • How the Beatles Destroyed Rock n Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music, Elijah Wald (didn’t finish)
  • The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, Stephen L. Carter (read first half)
  • Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story, Jim Holt
  • Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party, Geoffrey Kabaservice
  • The Arabs: A History, Eugene Rogan (half)
  • Seven Ages of Paris, Alistair Horne (most)
  • From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage, Michael J. Klarman (first few chapters)
  • The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944, Rick Atkinson (first 200 pages)
  • Election Night: A Television History 1948-2012, Stephen Battaglio
  • The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court, Jeffrey Toobin
  • Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Susan Jeffers (re-read)
  • Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship, Stan Tatkin (currently reading)
  • The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, David Nasaw (currently reading)