Christ, it's already time for a new list! That last year went fast. So, here we go: below will be a list of all the books I've read (and finished) this year. Incompletes don't make the cut, nor do literary journals unless I've read them cover to cover, and I'm not going to include academic textbooks, because that would be dull as all hell, right? As usual, an asterix means it's a re-read and an (e) means it's an ebook. I thought about some sort of 'I read it for my PhD' code, but screw it, it's complex enough without that. What else? This year I want to get into graphic novels, so I've asked a couple of friends to recommend me some and now I've got a massive list of titles to get through, which is rather exciting. I don't really make New Year's resolutions, but I do have a sort of plan for my 2013 reading: each month I want to read at least one graphic novel, at least three books from the enormous and ageing TBR pile, and at least two PhD-relevant books - and, if I have a large to-be-reviewed stack, at least one review book a fortnight. I'd like to do more reviewing, but it's getting hard to keep the pace up. The PhD book quota ought to way exceed my two book minimum, but that's why it's a minimum. Finally, it's been a year since I got the Kindle, and if you check my 2012 list, you'll see I really didn't use it much. It's a fantastic tool for reading Word docs and PDFs, but so far it's very much a second class citizen as regards fiction. I intend to read some weighty 18th/19th century tomes on it this year, though, since last year's Middlemarch adventure wasn't half bad, in the end. So!
41. Granta 123: Best of Young British Novelists 4. Mixed bag.
40. Ghosts and Lightning, Trevor Byrne. Squalor on a Clondalkin estate. Beautifully evocative.
39. Binocular Vision, Edith Pearlman. One of the best collections I've read.
38. The Parts, Keith Ridgway. Amis-esque sort-of-crime novel set in Dublin. Not convinced by it but I do like Ridgway's writing a lot.
37. Well Done God!, BS Johnson. Prose anthology. Interesting, if repetitive.
36. The Complete Maus, Art Spiegelman. My April graphic novel. Stunning.
35. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien. Interlinked Vietnam stories. Excellent. I love Tim O'Brien.
34. Ayiti, Roxane Gay. Short stories by one of the USA's up-and-comers.
33. Spellbound, Joel Willans. I've been dipping in and out of this for weeks. Ace collection by my writing colleague, Joel.
32. Go Down, Moses, William Faulkner. Complex, but very good.
31. Albert Angelo, BS Johnson. Amazing. One of the most inventive, fascinating novels going.
30. *Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry, BS Johnson. Reread. As funny as last time.
29. House Mother Normal, BS Johnson. Totally NSFW. Great stuff. Structurally fascinating.
28. Trawl, BS Johnson. Solipsistic rambling on a trawlership. Excellent.
27. The Stinging Fly, Issue 24, Spring 2013. Literary journal.
26. The Stinging Fly, Issue 23, Winter 2012. Literary journal.
25. Where You Find It, Janice Galloway. Great story collection.
24. Black Hole, Charles Burns. Pretty gory graphic novel set in 1970s Seattle.
23. Tenth of December, George Saunders. Stories. As good as ever.
22. Imperial Bedrooms, Brett Easton Ellis. Sequel to below. Felt tired: more of the usual.
*21. Less Than Zero, Brett Easton Ellis. Reread. Depressing.
20. The Hundred Brothers, Donald Antrim. Equally insane. Incredibly weird.
19. Elect Mr Robinson For A Better World, Donald Antrim. Mad, brilliant, horrible.
18. The Imperfectionists, Tom Rachman. Linked stories. More blunt in form than I'd hoped.
17. Building Stories, Chris Ware. Amazing and beautiful. My Feb graphic novel (running late already).
16. Wise Men, Stuart Nadler. Dull and too long.
15. The Pastures of Heaven, John Steinbeck. Great read, as always.
14. Benediction, Kent Haruf. Lovely sequel to Plainsong and Eventide.
13. The Land of Decoration, Grace McCleen. Great début novel.
12. The Round House, Louise Erdrich. Her new one. Not as convinced by this one, despite the US fuss.
11. Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich. Fantastic short story cycle. Stunning prose and characters.
10. The Garden of Evening Mists, Tan Twan Eng. Me. Interesting, if not very exciting.
9. Alice, Judith Hermann. Linked short stories by a German author. Thoughtful and delicate.
8. Breath, Eyes, Memory, Edwidge Danticat. Shame it's taken me so long to finally read Danticat. Excellent.
7. Absalom, Absalom!, William Faulkner. Difficult, not very likeable, but technically fascinating novel.
6. The Giant, O'Brien, Hilary Mantel. Interesting, but more as a curiosity piece; not my favourite of hers.
5. Lost In The Funhouse, John Barth. Depressingly, brilliantly clever, and very funny.
4. The Friday Gospels, Jenn Ashworth. Now, Jenn might be a friend of mine, but this really is excellent. A clever, clever plot, really nuanced treatment of a tricky subject, and wonderful characterisations. Read it.
3. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. My first graphic novel of the year. Ace!
2. Period, Dennis Cooper. As horrific as all Cooper's stuff. And dead confusing. But good!
1. Snake Ropes, Jess Richards. Compelling new voice in literary fantasy - reminded me of Patrick Ness crossed with Angela Carter.