Category Archives: Year End

BEST and WORST of My Year In Reading, 2013


Happy 2014, everyone! 2013 was a big year of positive growth and change for me, and I’m super excited to put my new found optimism and drive to use in 2014. Not to mention that, let’s be honest, 2014 is a much more aesthetically pleasing number than 2013. Can’t go wrong judging things by how they look, right? “Always judge a book by its cover,” that’s what I always say.*

In terms of reading, 2013 brought me a year of books that made me think and respond and feel passionately, if not always in a positive way, at least in a thoroughly-engaged sort-of-way. The books I read in 2013 inspired (rough estimate) 10,000,000 texts of outrage/joy to my most patient-beyond-words, willing-to-engage-with-me-about-books-she’d-never-read friend (endless thanks, Theresa) and hours of ranting to my partner (thanks, dear).

For this post, I combed through my far too detailed excel sheet where I keep track of all my reading stats to present the best and worst of my most memorable reads of 2013.

Here’s to a new year of books and blogging!

2013 by the numbers

  • Total books read: 147
  • Pages read: 16,644 / Hours listened: 985 or ~41 consecutive days
  • Fiction: 57% / Non-Fiction: 43%
  • Print: 43% / E-books: 7% / Audio: 50%
  • LGBTQ books: 54
  • Books borrowed from the library: 111
  • Month highest number of books read: April, 20
  • Month lowest number of books read: February, 3

BEST novel, published 2013: The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud–The discussion of the likability of female characters and sexism in publishing  that this novel inspired was interesting, but I think it’s rather unfortunate that it served as a distraction from the fact that The Woman Upstairs is brilliant and complicated and an important work of modern literary fiction. 

WORST novel, published 2013: The Return by Michael Gruber–I read this in October and all I remember about it is that I gave it a C-…and I only remember that because I wrote it down. I should really stop being such a sucker for blurbs from Stephen King.

BEST YA novel, published 2013: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan–Let’s put it this way: I had all the feels, all the tears, and all the love for the LGBTQ community. Beautiful.

BEST queer novel, published 2013: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

BEST queer novel, back-list: After Delores by Sarah Schulman—I picked up a copy of After Delores at my local gay bookstore ** after reading Schulman’s amazing memoir, The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination. It’s so relevant and filled with three-dimensional lesbian characters that you’d never guess it was originally published in 1988.

WORST book featuring a president: I was ever-so disappointed with Just Plain Dick: Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech and the “Rocking, Socking” Election of 1952 by Kevin Mattson. I’m usually a sucker for all things Checkers, but I draw the line at the invention of the Nixon’s thoughts, as Mattson does here.

BEST fictional representation of a president: (I had to get a little more specific with this category since it wasn’t very fair, since I read the second installment of Robert A. Caro’s LBJ biography series, Means of Ascentand Caro is simply the best.) Taft and Wilson, The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates–Woodrow Wilson Brings On the Devil would have been too limiting a title, I suppose.

WORST representation of a literary figure: Dorothy Parker, Farewell, Dorothy Parker by Ellen Meister–The best part about this book is that it convinced me to check out Parker’s work, so I guess it wasn’t all bad.

WORST execution of a BEST idea: American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men by David McConnell—I hoped for an in-depth examination of the use of the “gay panic defense,” but after being assured in the introduction that the book would not be “academic” in any way, I got gruesome, sensationalized accounts of murders of gay men with no examination of the why’s and what we can do to stop them.

BEST underrated novel: The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

WORST YA novel from the 1970s with gay characters: The Man Without a Face by Isabelle Holland and Trying Hard to Hear You by Sandra Scoppettone—Whenever I start to feel sad about how far we still need to go, I think about these painfully depressing books and feel better about how far we’ve come.

BEST detective: Lacey Flint, S.J. Bolton—Serious, complicated, thrilling mysteries with a dash of humor and wit and a great female detective. Thumbs up.

WORST history book: The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin—I just can’t get into hero worship of Theodore Roosevelt.

BEST history book: Ready For a Brand New Beat: How “Dancing in the Street” Became the Anthem for a Changing America by Mark Kurlansky—A thorough cultural exploration of 1964 that gets my nerdy, history-loving heart grow eight sizes.

WORST book about pop culture: The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things edited by Anna Holmes, Kate Harding, and Amanda Hess—More like The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Straight White Lady Things. BAM.

BEST book about pop culture, fiction: Reality Boy by A.S. King—Not only does this book explore what happens to a family after the reality show’s over, it also provides an interesting perspective on the effects of trauma.

BEST book about pop culture, non-fiction: With Amusement For All: A History of American Popular Culture since 1830 by LeRoy Ashby—I was surprised that I was most interested in the sections about country music and wrestling and NASCAR, which is a little out of my personal wheel-house these days.

And one more thing… My #1 goal for reading in 2014 is to read with intention and avoid picking up “buzz” books that don’t interest me, since reading just to be part of the conversation–no matter how annoying or frustrating the book may be–didn’t really work well in 2013.

*I have never previously said this.
**Does this make me sound like a hipster? 


Filed under 2014 Reviews, Fiction, Gender Studies, GLBTQ, Lists, Mystery, Non-Fiction, Year End, Young Adult Fiction

2012 Round-Up

I’m a little later with this summary of my 2012 reading than I would have liked, but later is better than never I guess. I kind of geek out here a bit (although I did keep out some of my numbers, you’re welcome) but I am always fascinated by what type of books a year’s events can encourage me to read. 


Total Books Read in 2012: 165

  • Fiction read: 107 or 65%
  • Non-Fiction read: 58 or 35%
  • Total pages read: 17,204
  • Total hours listened: 1,410 hours and 30 minutes OR about 59 days

Total number of books read borrowed from the library: 115 or 70%
Total number of books read that were published in 2012: 61

Longest audio book: 54 hours, Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson III by Robert A. Caro
Longest print or ebook: 683, The Shining by Stephen King

# of LGBTQ books read: 37 (22%)
Favorite memoir: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
Favorite queer theory: How to Be Gay by David M. Halperin
Favorite accessible queer theory: Gaga Feminism by Jack Halberstam
Favorite young adult novel: The Difference Between You and Me by Madeline George

# of Stephen King novels read: 11
Favorite: 11/22/63
Best on audio: Dolores Claiborne, narrated with a pitch-perfect Maine accent by Frances Sternahagen

# of books featuring Presidents read: 18
Favorite non-fiction books about Presidents: Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson IV by Robert A. Caro; The Presidents’ Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy
Favorite novel featuring a president: 11/22/63


  • Novel published before 2012: Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall
  • Novel published in 2012: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
  • Short story collection: What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander
  • Historical fiction: Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
  • Non-political biography: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss
  • About the Supreme Court: The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin
  • Classic read in 2012: The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

Most disappointing sequel: Wild Thing by Josh Bazell, the follow-up to Beat the Reaper
Most disappointing reread: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Book featuring the most over-the-top hatred for Microsoft: Year Zero by Rob Reid
Book featuring the most over-the-top love for Microsoft: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Novel I should have read sooner: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Novel I should have avoiding longer: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Other Notes

  • Best book written by an MSNBC personality: Drift by Rachel Maddow
  • Surprisingly fun, out-of-my-comfort-zone read: Always Something There to Remind Me
  • Worst Godfather sequel: The Family Corleone
  • Most disturbing: American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
  • Should be made into a movie because it would be my favorite rom-com: Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
  • Book that made me the most nostalgic for fifth grade: Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman
  • Best classic horror: Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • Author I keep trying even though I haven’t liked one of their books: Val McDermid



Filed under Lists, Monthly Round-Up, Year End

Read 2012


  1. Drop Shot (Myron Bolitar #2) by Harlan Coben (audio)
  2. The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits (audio)
  3. Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
  4. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (audio)
  5. The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy by David Nasaw (audio)
  6. The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin (audio)
  7. The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George
  8. Say Nice Things About Detroit by Scott Lasser (audio)
  9. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (audio)
  10. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (audio)


  1. The Passage of Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson #4) by Robert A. Caro (audio)
  2. These Things Happen by Richard Kramer
  3. The Heart Has Its Reasons: Young Adult Literature with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content, 1969-2004 by Michael Cart and Christine Jenkins
  4. Master of the Senate (The Years of Lyndon Johnson #3) by Robert A. Caro (audio)
  5. Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court by Jeff Sheshol (audio)
  6. Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie (audio)
  7. Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein (audio)


  1. Dancing In the Streets: A Novel of Collective Joy by Barbara Ehrenreich (audio)
  2. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (audio)
  3. Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris by David King (audio)
  4. Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy by Christopher Hayes (audio)
  5. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (audio)
  6. Heart of Darkness by Joesph Conrad (audio)
  7. Love, In Theory by E.J. Levy
  8. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (audio)
  9. Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness by Jessica Valenti (ebook)
  10. But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist by Margaux Motin
  11. Seconds Away (Mickey Bolitar, #2) by Harlan Coben
  12. You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon (audio)
  13. Diary by Chuck Palahniuk (audio)
  14. Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin (audio)
  15. Pray the Gay Away: The Extraordinary Life of Bible Belt Gays by Bernadette C. Barton (ebook)
  16. The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid (audio)
  17. How to Be Gay by David M. Halperin
  18. Astray by Emma Donoghue (audio)


  1. Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America by Jonathan Kozol
  2. Prayers for Rain (Kenzie & Gennaro, #5) by Dennis Lehane (audio)
  3. The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge by T.J. English (audio)
  4. Moonlight Mile (Kenzie & Gennaro, #6) by Dennis Lehane (ebook)
  5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (audio)
  6. Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart (audio)
  7. Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman (audio)
  8. Deal Breaker (Myron Bolitar #1) by Harlan Coben (audio)
  9. The Last Nude by Ellis Avery (audio)
  10. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (ebook)
  11. The Tommyknockers by Stephen King (audio)
  12. Before the Rain by Luisita López Torregrosa
  13. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn (audio)
  14. Criminal by Karin Slaughter
  15. Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss (audio)


  1. The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (audio)
  2. How to Be Good by Nick Hornby (audio)
  3. The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman (ebook)
  4. Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King (audio)
  5. A Place of Execution by Val McDermid (audio)
  6. Apt Pupil by Stephen King (audio)
  7. Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick (audio)
  8. Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (audio)
  9. The Shining by Stephen King (ebook)
  10. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (audio)
  11. The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares by Joyce Carol Oates (audio)
  12. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (audio)
  13. A Drink Before the War (Kenzie & Gennaro, #1) by Dennis Lehane (audio)
  14. Darkness Take My Hand (Kenzie & Gennaro, #2) by Dennis Lehane (audio)
  15. ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King (audio)
  16. The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman (audio)
  17. Dare Me by Megan Abbott (audio)
  18. Starting From Here by Lisa Jenn Bigelow
  19. Sacred (Kenzie & Gennaro, #3) by Dennis Lehane (audio)
  20. Year Zero by Rob Reid (audio)
  21. Gone Baby Gone (Kenzie & Gennaro, #4) by Dennis Lehane (audio)


  1. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson (audio)
  2. Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton
  3. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (audio)
  4. Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon (audio)
  5. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (audio)
  6. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (ebook)
  7. The Stand by Stephen King (audio)
  8. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (audio)
  9. Drawn With the Sword: Reflections on the American Civil War by James M. McPherson (ebook)
  10. As Texas Goes…: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda by Gail Collins (audio)
  11. Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression by Morris Dickstein (audio)
  12. Gaga Feminism by J. Jack Halberstam (ebook)
  13. Christine by Stephen King (audio)
  14. City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago by Gary Krist (audio)
  15. The Dark Half by Stephen King (audio)
  16. Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney (audio)
  17. About a Boy by Nick Hornby (audio)
  18. The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson (audio)


  1. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  2. Oklahoma City by Andrew Gumbel and Roger G. Charles (audio)
  3. The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard (audio)
  4. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  5. Angel’s Tip (Ellie Hatcher #2) by Alafair Burke
  6. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
  7. Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel (audio)
  8. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (audio)
  9. Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage edited by Ryan Conrad
  10. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (ebook)
  11. Mind-Blowing Sex: A Woman’s Guide by Diana Cage (ebook)
  12. Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
  13. Britten and Brülightly by Hannah Berry
  14. The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar
  15. The Might Have Been by Joesph M. Schuster
  16. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (audio)
  17. Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson (ebook)
  18. Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 by Max Hastings (audio)
  19. The Infernals by John Connolly (audio)
  20. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach


  1. Care To Make Love In That Gross Little Space Between Cars?: A Believer Book of Advice edited by Eric Spitznagel (audio)
  2. Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
  3. Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York by Richard Zacks (audio)
  4. The Harder She Comes: Butch Femme Erotica by D.L. King
  5. The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith by Matthew Bowman (audio)
  6. Dead Connection (Ellie Hatcher #1) by Alafair Burke (audio)
  7. Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall
  8. The Family Corleone by Edward Falco (audio)
  9. The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler (audio)
  10. The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century by Scott Miller (audio)
  11. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust (audio)
  12. The Forever War by Dexter Filkins (audio)
  13. Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho (ebook)
  14. It by Stephen King (audio)
  15. Taft 2012 by Jason Heller
  16. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (ebook)
  17. The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy (audio)
  18. The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon
  19. Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story by Chuck Klosterman (audio)


  1. Stay Close by  Harlan Coben (audio):
  2. The New Topping Book by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy (ebook)
  3. I’m Not Crazy, Just Bipolar by Wendy K. Williamson (ebook)
  4. Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner by Julie A. Fast, John Preston (ebook)
  5. Always Something There to Remind Me by Beth Harbison (audio)
  6. Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow (audio)
  7. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
  8. The Good Father by Noah Hawley (audio)
  9. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho
  10. Pity the Billionaire: The Unexpected Resurgence of the American Right by Thomas Frank (audio)



  1. Wild Thing by Josh Bazell (ebook)
  2. Well With My Soul by Gregory Allen
  3. Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life by Samhita Mukhopadhyay (ebook)
  4. Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell
  5. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  6. Broken (Georgia Series #2) by Karin Slaughter (audio)
  7. What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank: Stories by Nathan Englander (audio)
  8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (audio)
  9. Out of Sync by Lance Bass
  10. Fallen (Georgia Series #3) by Karin Slaughter
  11. Enemies: A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner (audio)
  12. Death Comes to Pemberly by PD James (audio)
  13. The Comedy Is Finished by Donald E. Westlake (audio)
  14. Best Lesbian Erotica 2012 edited by Kathleen Warnock


  1. Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder (audio)
  2. 11/22/63 by Stephen King (ebook)
  3. Cover Her Face by PD James
  4. The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, etc. by Jonathan Lethen (audio)
  5. Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell (audio)
  6. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (audio)
  7. A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown by Julia Scheeres (audio)
  8. The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898 by Evan Thomas (audio)
  9. Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay (audio)
  10. American Gods by Neil Gaiman (audio)

Books Read in 2011

Books Read in 2010


Filed under Lists, Year End

A Reading Year In Review: 2011

Total Books Read in 2011

Print: 101 — 27,436 pages
Audio: 93 — 1,169.25 hours; 49 days (THIS IS SO MANY DAYS)
Ebooks: 11

My goal in 2011 was to read 20 ebooks…oops. Maybe in 2012!

Fiction: 106
Non-fiction: 99

I’m incredibly pleased that I managed to read an almost equal amount of fiction and non-fiction in 2011, although it definitely explains why I read about fifty less books overall. Non-fiction is dreamy.

LGBTQ books: 45

Most books read by the same author: 14, Harlan Coben

Author whose books I read for the first time in 2011 that I now want to read all of his books: Stephen King. I read seven of his books in 2011! Considering he has published like 50000000 books, I’ve still got a ways to go.

Oldest book read: The Tuesday Club Murders (A Miss Marple Mystery) by Agatha Christie, originally published 1932

Number of books read that were published in 2011: 59–I’m really happy about this incredibly high number. Thanks, awesome library!

Longest audio book listened to: Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of FDR by H. W. Brands (37.25 hours)

Most likely response from people when I tell them about the books I’ve been reading lately: “Oh, my Dad would really like that.”

Book I was most pleasantly surprised was incredibly delightful: Gemini Bites by Patrick Ryan

Least favorite book: The Ridge by Michael Koryta–it was just so incredibly boring.

Most successful book recommendation to my boss: The Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Medicine, Madness, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard– +20 points for me

Favorite president of 2011: Richard Milhous Nixon (also “best way to lead to conversations that lead to the ‘most likely response from people when I tell them about the books I’ve been reading lately’)


  • Read at least 20 ebooks
  • Read 10 books from my bookshelf
  • And some other stuff I haven’t decided yet…


Filed under Year End

Top Reads Published & Read in 2010, with Exciting! Bonus Features

  • Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger: I knew zilch about either Taylor or Burton before I read Furious Love, and afterward I was completely smitten with both of them and may or may not have put all their films on my Netflix queue. It’s serious.
  • Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation edited by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman: A worthy follow-up to Bonstein’s original Gender Outlaw, this anthology managed to represent a wide range of gender variance and identity.
  • I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman: If there was such a thing as a “literary mystery,” this would be it.
  • Zombies vs Unicorns edited by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan: Oh Tiny Cooper, please be my best friend.
  • Big Girls Don’t Cry by Rebecca Traister (audio narrated by Kristen Potter)
  • Missed Her by Ivan Coyote

Bonus! Gratuitous cat cuteness!

Henry and Idgie snuggle up.

Bonus! First purchased books of the year!

The good news–I sold about 10 books to a used bookstore! The better news–I used to credit to buy two new ones!

Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth about Guilty Pleasure TV by Jennifer Pozner: This comes with the highest of recommendations by Melissa Harris-Perry, professor at Princeton and MSNBC commentator, and since I basically listen to whatever she says, I couldn’t resist buying the book. It’s published by Seal Press, which published some of the best books on gender studies and feminism.

Boston Noir edited by Dennis Lehane: I have a bit of love for crime novels, and this is a collection of stories set in different neighborhoods in Boston, where I happen to live. I am very excited about it.

Bonus! Melissa Harris-Perry on removing the n-word from Huckleberry Finn!

This video will quickly help you realize why I can’t refuse her recommendations.


Bonus! This will be my last list post about books read in 2010!


Filed under Lists, Year End

Favorite Non-Fiction Reads of 2010

Columbine by Dave Cullen (Audio narrated by Don Leslie): Journalism as its finest. Cullen spent 10 years working on this book, and his dedication to research and his tremendous talent is on full display here. Everything you know about the school shooting tragedy in Columbine, Colorado, is wrong–and here Cullen not only informs, but explains the real reasons why it happened. The audio is narrated by a man who sounds like he does voice overs for television, and it sounds like an excellent news report.

The Breakthrough: Politics and Race In the Age of Obama by Gwen Ifill (Audio narrated by the author): Another Simmons alum, another amazing book. Despite Obama’s name being in the title, the book is really about black politicians and how they have maneuvered their political careers. Thoroughly engaging, and highly recommended in audio: Ifill is a news anchor for PBS and her TV voice is in full command in the production.

The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America by Jonathan Kozol (Audio narrated by Robertson Dean): If you care about children, if you care about equality, if you care about justice, you need to read this book. Absolutely brilliant.

Finding George Orwell In Burma by Emma Larkin: An excellent combination of politics and literary nerdiness that grabbed me from the first page. I highly recommend watching the documentary Burma VJ before attempting the book–they’re great companions and will add to your understanding of Burma’s corrupt government.

Packing the Court: The Rise of Judicial Power and the Coming Crisis of the Supreme Court by James McGregor Burns (Audio narrated by Norman Dietz): I was oh so weary of this book, mainly because I had only ever heard the term “packing the court” in reference to President Franklin Roosevelt’s threat to add seats to the Supreme Court in order to pass more bills for the New Deal. I was nervous it would be a book completely anti-FDR; but in actuality, it is an invigorating history of the division of the highest US court and argues that Judicial Review is anti-Constitutional. Thoroughly thought-provoking.

The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies by Vito Russo: Cultural criticism of the portrayals of gay men and lesbians in film from the silent era to the 1970s. A must read if you are interested in gay and lesbian history and/or in film.

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner (Audio narrated by Stefan Rudnicki): All of his sources are named, and he managed to get interviews with 11 of the 12 living former directors of the CIA. I wish every history was as in-depth and well researched as this one.


Filed under Lists, Non-Fiction, Year End

Favorite Fiction Reads of 2010

War Dances by Sherman Alexie: I can’t get enough of Alexie’s work. War Dances is a collection of inter-connected short stories and poems, and while I am not usually a fan of either short stories or poems, I loved (almost) every page. Each time I read a Sherman Alexie book I feel like I’m unwrapping a very special gift.

Emma by Jane Austen: 2010 was the year I finally gave Austen a chance, after years of avoiding her books because I was so annoyed that she was frequently the only woman acknowledged as a “great writer” in high school anthologies and on certain Barnes & Noble tote bags. I was surprised by how much I loved the characters: Emma, Mr. Knightley, Mrs. Weston, and, especially, Mrs. Elton. I don’t think I’ve ever giggled so much while reading a classic!

Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell: I put this list in alphabetical order by author, but now I feel kind of odd jumping from Jane Austen to Josh Bazell. Their books are basically complete opposites, but since they are only on a list together because I loved them both, I suppose I should focus on that one commonality. Beat the Reaper appeals to that secret, odd side of my genre-loving self that enjoys books like The Godfather and most of Christopher Moore’s books. It is currently in development to be made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the main character. It involves the MOB and the WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM and the main character is a doctor who is vaguely reminiscent of Dr. House. Need I say more?

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn: Sometimes I read books I would never otherwise try because they are available on my library’s online catalog as audio downloads and I need something to listen to so my work day goes by more quickly. I’m pretty pleased with this arrangement, because Sharp Objects is a real treat for mystery lovers like myself. A tight plot, unforgettable characters, and a mystery that will keep you guessing.


Gods In Alabama by Joshilynn Jackson: Even though I’m basically as New England-y as an American can be, I have a soft spot for books set in the south. Maybe I just long for leisurely days, good manners, and tall cool glasses of iced tea? Gods In Alabama is KIND OF like that, only it shows what’s behind the scenes (and hidden in the closets) of otherwise picturesque families.

The Family Man by Elinor Lipman: I’m pleased to say that Elinor Lipman attended my alma mater, Simmons College, and still lives in the Boston area, so I went into The Family Man a little biased and really hoping that I would like the book. I, in fact, loved the book, a literary-leaning cozy comedy about a gay man who reconnects with his former step daughter after the death of her father.

Pedro and Me by Judd Winick: I shouldn’t have liked this graphic novel–it’s written by a former Real World cast member! But it’s beautifully done, and portrays, with true feeling, the deep friendship between Judd and Pedro, who was the first HIV+ cast member on the Real World and a vocal advocate for HIV prevention and gay rights.


    Filed under GLBTQ, Lists, Year End

    Favorite Young Adult Novels Read In 2010

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie: This is a tale of a boy between two worlds, conflicted by his desire to crawl out of poverty and fit in at a privileged school while trying to stay connected to his family and childhood friends struck a chord with me. The first book I read by Alexie, it easily convinced me that it was necessary to read his entire back-list.

    Flight by Sherman Alexie: A tribute of sorts to Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter-House Five, the main character flashes back to important moments in Native American history and learns about the past of his people. I read this book quite unintentionally soon after I had finished Slaughter-House Five, and found it complemented Vonnegut’s work perfectly.

    Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin (audio narrated by Tom Parks): I downloaded the audio on a whim, entirely because I thought the cover was pretty and that the story was only three and a half hours long. Jason, a sixth grader with autism, is only able to express his emotions through writing, and when he posts the stories online, he meets Rebbecca but then has to decide how meeting her in real-life would affect their relationship. A beautiful story with an excellent narration.

    The Cat Ate My Gym Suit by Paula Danzinger (audio narrated by Caitlin Brodnick): Fighting censorship! Good English teachers! A feminist message! A book I should have read a long time ago, but still resonated with my grown-up self with its perfect mix of 70s nostalgia and modern day relevance.

    The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer (translated from the Dutch): From Booklist: “When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, nine-year-old Thomas responds, “Happy. When I grow up, I’m going to be happy.” His rigid, religious father, who hits his wife and children, warns Thomas, “Only good-for-nothings and weaklings are happy.” Fortunately, Thomas is aided by a neighbor, who introduces him to Beethoven and poetry; a remarkable older girl with a leather leg; and even the Lord Jesus, who actually communicates with Thomas from time to time: “Hey there, Thomas. Everything under control?” Set in Amsterdam in 1951, this slender Dutch novel is filled with quirky characters, frightening family confrontations, and laugh-out-loud moments. Dark humor and a wry, ironic tone, reminiscent of Kurt Vonnegut, give the story a sharp edge. In a faux introduction, the author explains how the elderly Thomas gave him the book and warned him that he should read it first because it “may be too disrespectful.” This irreverence may disturb some but delight others, who will cheer on the earnest, good-hearted Thomas.”


    Filed under Lists, Year End, Young Adult Fiction

    2010 Round-Up


    Total Books Read in 2010

    Print — 153 — 38,107 pages
    Audio — 99 — 944 hours or 39 days

    Fiction — 192 — 72 young adult — 120 adult
    Non-Fiction — 61

    Books featuring and/or authored by GLBTQ folks — 64 (25%)
    Books featuring and/or authored by people of color — 76 (30%)


    Most read authors: Bill Willingham, 14 books (Fables graphic novel series and Jack spin-off); Harlan Coben, 10 books (Myron Bolitar mystery series and stand-alone novels); Sara Shepard, 9 books (Pretty Little Liars series and the first book in The Lying Game series)

    Oldest book read: Emma by Jane Austen (1815)

    Longest audio listened to: Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner (22.5 hours)

    Favorite audio book narrator: Simon Vance (Mr. Toppit), Jonathan Marosz (Myron Bolitar mysteries), Gwen Ifil (Breakthrough: Race In the Age of Obama), Jeff Lindsay (Dexter Is Delicious)

    Favorite book signing: The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris at the Coolidge Theatre, hosted by Brookline Booksmith

    Best awkward question asked by a librarian while picking up holds: “So…um…do you actually read these books?”

    Most exciting find at a used bookstore: Two first edition books by Patrick Califia

    Most exciting find at a library booksale: A first edition of True Compass, Senator Ted Kennedy’s autobiography, for $2.00

    Books that made me want to watch lots of movies: Revolution at the Pictures by Mark Harris; Furious love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of a Century

    Most “…Ewwww” sex scene: Featuring Jane Austen and a spoil-free companion in Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford. JANE AUSTEN. HAVING SEX.*shudder*

    Most surprising book to NOT have an “…Ewww” sex scene: What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown

    Favorite book set in Scandinavia: The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer

    Book I appreciate even more now, as an adult, than I did when I read it in high school: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky

    Worst book I read in 2010: The Humbling by Philip Roth

    Author I need to stop giving second chances, because I just don’t enjoy his books: Chris Bohjalian

    Author I’m glad I gave a second chance, because I ended up really enjoying his books: David Levithan

    Author I will eventually read the entire back-list of, even if it takes me forever: Joyce Carol Oates; Sherman Alexie

    Number of books narrated by an multiple-Oscar winner: 1, Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates, narrated by Hillary Swank (and Chad Lowe)


    By Grade:

    A 45
    B 160
    C 31
    D 5
    Unrated 14


    ***Some Goals for 2011***

    • Review at least a third of the books I read
    • Post at least five times a week–all year!
    • Don’t vomit while speaking on the Blogging for a Niche Audience panel at the Book Blogger Convention in May
    • Read at least five books by South American authors
    • Read less young adult books!


    Filed under Lists, Monthly Round-Up, Year End

    Books Read In 2010


    1. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
    2. Who Moved My Blackberry? by Lucy Kellaway
    3. Pretty Little Liars (#1) by Sara Shepard
    4. Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
    5. Flawless (Pretty Little Liars #2) by Sara Shepard
    6. Perfect (Pretty Little Liars #3) by Sara Shepard
    7. Unbelievable (Pretty Little Liars #4) by Sara Shepard
    8. Wicked (Pretty Little Liars #5) by Sara Shepard
    9. Landing by Emma Donoghue
    10. Killer (Pretty Little Liars #6) by Sara Shepard
    11. Heartless (Pretty Little Liars #7) by Sara Shepard
    12. Wanted (Pretty Little Liars #8) by Sara Shepard
    13. Powder Necklace by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
    14. Mr. Toppit by Charles Elton
    15. Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
    16. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
    17. Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin
    18. Travels In a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans by Philip Gambone
    19. The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest if Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Race, Class, and Crime in America by Charles Ogletree
    20. More Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
    21. Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan
    22. What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown
    23. Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro


    1. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
    2. The Lying Game by Sara Shephard
    3. Freak Show by James St. James
    4. Scars by Cheryl Rainfield
    5. Zombies Vs Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
    6. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
    7. Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists edited by Courtney E. Martin and J. Courtney Sullivan
    8. Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood by Mark Harris
    9. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
    10. David Inside Out by Lee Bantle
    11. Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
    12. Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie
    13. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly


    1. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
    2. Medium Raw by Anthony Boudain
    3. Packing the Court by James MacGregor Burns
    4. Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation edited by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman
    5. The Final Detail: Myron Bolitar #7 by Harlan Coben
    6. Darkest Fear: Myron Bolitar #8 by Harlan Coben
    7. Wide Awake by David Levithan
    8. Based Upon Availability by Alix Strauss
    9. Running the Books by Avi Steinberg
    10. Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde
    11. Hear Us Out! by Nancy Garden
    12. Big Girls Don’t Cry by Rebecca Traister
    13. The Woods by Harlan Coben
    14. In The President’s Secret Service by Ronald Kessler
    15. Dexter Is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay
    16. Missed Her by Ivan Coyote
    17. Delirium by Lauren Oliver


    1. I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
    2. Fade Away: Myron Bolitar #3 by Harlan Coben
    3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
    4. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl
    5. Lost in the Forest by Sue Miller
    6. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
    7. The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies by Vito Russo
    8. This Land Is Their Land by Barbara Ehrenreich
    9. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
    10. The Shadow Factory by James Bamford
    11. Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill
    12. The False Friend by Myla Goldberg
    13. The Beats: A Graphic History by Harvey Pekar
    14. Back Spin: Myron Bolitar #4 by Harlan Coben
    15. One False Move: Myron Bolitar #5 by Harlan Coben
    16. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    17. Half the Sky: Turning Opression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn


    1. Going Rouge: An American Nightmare edited by Richard Kim and Betsy Reed
    2. Brightsided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich
    3. Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
    4. In the Land of Believers: An Outsider’s Extraordinary Journey Into the Heart of the Evangelical Church by Gina Welch
    5. The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Frank Rich
    6. God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
    7. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
    8. The Humbling by Philip Roth
    9. Freakonomics by Stephen Leavitt and Stephen Dubner
    10. Beastly by Alex Flinn
    11. Deliver Us From Evie by M.E. Kerr
    12. Avalon High by Meg Cabot
    13. Sing Sing: The Inside Story of A Notorious Prison by Brian Denis
    14. Hold Tight by Harlan Coben
    15. Caught by Harlan Coben
    16. A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott
    17. Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
    18. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
    19. Deal Breaker: Myron Bolitar #1 by
    20. Stiff by Mary Roach
    21. The Boy With the Cuckoo Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu
    22. Drop Shot: Myron Bolitar #2 by Harlan Coben


    1. This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson
    2. Fables: Arabian Nights (and Days) by Bill Willingham
    3. Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner
    4. It’s a Jungle Out There by Amanda Marcotte
    5. Fables: Wolves by Bill Willingham
    6. Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham
    7. Jack of Fables: The (Nearly) Great Escape by Bill Willingham
    8. Follow Me Down by Shelby Foote
    9. Bellfield Hall: The Observations of Miss Dido Kent by Anna Dean
    10. Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
    11. The Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Krugman
    12. Fables: Sons of Empire by Bill Willingham
    13. Fables: The Good Prince by Bill Willingham
    14. All Sleek and Skimming: Stories edited by Lisa Heggum
    15. Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian
    16. Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
    17. Fables: War and Pieces by Bill Willingham
    18. Newjack: Guarding Sing-Sing by Ted Conover
    19. Fables: The Dark Ages by Bill Willingham
    20. Conservatize Me by John Moe
    21. Love Is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield


    1. The Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grant
    2. Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
    3. The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine
    4. Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle
    5. A People’s History of the United States: Highlights From the 20th Century by Howard Zinn
    6. The Breakthrough: Politics and Race In the Age of Obama by Gwen Ifill
    7. Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell
    8. Fables: Storybook of Love by Bill Willingham
    9. Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham
    10. The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
    11. Push by Sapphire
    12. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
    13. Shenzhen: A Travelogue From China by Guy Delisle
    14. Fables: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham
    15. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
    16. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
    17. Fables: Homelands by Bill Willingham


    1. Finding George Orwell In Burma by Emma Larkin
    2. Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman
    3. Dead In the Family by Charlaine Harris
    4. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight In Heaven by Sherman Alexie
    5. Charm City by Laura Lippman
    6. Then She Found Me by Elinor Lipman
    7. Woman From Shanghai by Xianhui Yang
    8. The Shame of the Nation by Jonathan Kozol
    9. Ordinary Resurrections by Jonathan Kozol
    10. Columbine by Dave Cullen
    11. Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky


    1. Memoir: A History by Ben Yagoda
    2. Dexter In the Dark by Jeff Lindsay
    3. War Dances by Sherman Alexie
    4. Dexter By Design by Jeff Lindsay
    5. In Mike We Trust by P.E. Ryan
    6. Bite Me by Christopher Moore
    7. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
    8. Two or Three Things I Know For Sure by Dorothy Allison
    9. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
    10. Are We There Yet? by David Levithan
    11. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle
    12. If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
    13. Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham
    14. Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
    15. Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
    16. Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir by Terry Galloway
    17. I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb
    18. Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut
    19. Flight by Sherman Alexie
    20. The Cat Ate My Gym Suit by Paula Danzinger
    21. Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
    22. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
    23. The Family Man by Elinor Lipman
    24. Holes by Louis Sachar
    25. My Latest Grievance by Elinor Lipman
    26. My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger
    27. What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
    28. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
    29. The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer
    30. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan


    1. The Last Time I Wore a Dress: A Memoir by Dylan Scholinski
    2. Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore
    3. All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
    4. Black Hole by Charles Burns
    5. Devilish by Maureen Johnson
    6. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
    7. Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko
    8. Upstate by Kalisha Buckhanon
    9. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
    10. Pedro and Me by Judd Winick
    11. Mr. Knightley’s Diary by Amanda Grange
    12. Miracle’s Boys by Jacqueline Woodson
    13. Behind You by Jacuqline Woodson
    14. Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore
    15. Bait and Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich
    16. You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore
    17. The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga
    18. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
    19. Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger
    20. Hush by Jacqueline Woodson
    21. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
    22. A Clue For the Puzzle Lady by Parnell Hall
    23. Nation by Terry Pratchet
    24. If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko
    25. Nylon Road by Parsua Bashi
    26. Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay


    1. Black Girl, White Girl by Joyce Carol Oates
    2. Angel of Death Row: My Life As a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer by Andrea Lyon
    3. Crossing Washington Square by Joanne Rendell
    4. Lena by Jacqueline Woodson
    5. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
    6. Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
    7. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonneguet
    8. Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations by bell hooks
    9. Pride and Prejudice: A Graphic Novel by Nancy Butler
    10. Scarlett Takes Manhattan by Molly Crabapple
    11. The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
    12. The House You Pass On the Way by Jacqueline Woodson
    13. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table: A Graphic Novel by M.C. Hall
    14. The Philosophy of Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol
    15. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
    16. The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
    17. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
    18. Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford
    19. The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore
    20. Blankets by Craig Thompson


    1. Lost In a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
    2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
    3. Resilience by Elizabeth Edwards
    4. The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde
    5. Until It’s Over by Nicci French
    6. American Born Chinese by Luen Gene Yang
    7. A People’s History of American Empire by Howard Zinn
    8. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    9. The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories by Agatha Christie
    10. Liar by Justine Larbalestier
    11. Flowers In the Attic by V.C. Andrews
    12. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    13. The Alchemist: The Immortal Nicholas Flammel by Michael Scott
    14. Not the Only One: Lesbian and Gay Fiction for Teens edited by Tony Grima
    15. Lynnee Breedlove’s One Freak Show by Lynn Breedlove
    16. Confederates In the Attic: Dispatches From the Unfinished Civill War by Tony Horwitz
    17. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
    18. M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker
    19. Arab In America by Toufic El Rassi
    20. Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
    21. Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde
    22. Fables: Legends In Exile by Bill Willingham
    23. How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity edited by Michael Cart
    24. Emma by Jane Austen
    25. Kindred by Olivia Butler
    26. Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak
    27. The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde


    Filed under Lists, Year End