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Favorite Memoirs of 2012

I think cheated a little bit, splitting out my favorite memoirs from my favorite nonfiction since technically memoirs are also nonfiction. But, this way I got to highlight even more of my favorite books from the year, and there's nothing wrong with that, right? After years of being beaten down working as a foreign correspondent, journalist [...]


Favorite Nonfiction Reads of 2012

I tried, really, to get this list down to five books... but, you guys, I read a lot of fabulous nonfiction this year. So instead of ignoring some deserving books I decided to highlight 10 of my favorites in 140 characters or less each. The links with each title go to posts with my full reviews, if you want to learn more.


Favorite Fiction Reads of 2012

While I know that 2012 isn't technically over, I decided to get a start on posting my favorite books of the year this week before the holidays hit and I lose all motivation blog. If I read any life-changing books before the end of the year, I'll add an addendum to the lists or consider them for my favorite books of 2013. I'm starting with fiction, and over the next two weeks will have a series of posts on my favorite nonfiction, memoirs, and the books that got away.


I read The Victory Labback in September when I was going through a political books phase. However, I put off writing anything about it long enough that my election excitement turned into election exhaustion and I didn’t want to think about the book anymore, despite the fact that it was really very good. Admittedly, The Victory Lab is a little on the dry side for even the most hard-core political junkie — it’s hard to make political polling and microtargeting sexy — but Issenberg gives it a pretty decent shot by profiling the people who have helped develop the data-driven methods that have been used recent political campaigns.


From November 1 to December 1, Jenny (Jenny Love to Read) and Trish (Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity) are hosting a read-a-long of Charles Dickens' epic novel Bleak House. (Confession: Every time I think about the title of the book, I want to sing "Brick House" by the Commodores. Maybe there's a read-a-long song in there somewhere, Fizzy?)


If you happened to miss the announcement, then here is some news: the finalists for the National Book Award were selected! Although the fiction list often gets a lot of the attention, I've always found the nonfiction list to be much more interesting (surprise, surprise!).


A Nine Month Review of Books Read

Happy October! I can't believe that the year is 75 percent over already... it's flying by. Since I haven't done a bookish stats post in a long time (maybe as far back as the end of 2011), so I decided today would be as good a day as any to check in


Reading from a More Diverse Universe

Today I'm scheduled to put up a post as part of the A More Diverse Universe blog tour, a project hosted by Aarti of BookLust to celebrate speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy, for example) written by people of color.

I originally intended to write a review about The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie, but after forcing my way through 200 pages this week I decided I wasn't enjoying the book enough to continue.


PSA: The Story of My Hacked Blog

Three months ago, Sophisticated Dorkiness was hacked... and I didn't know it.

Someone, somewhere, managed to exploit a loophole in my website security and insert malware that took over the search results to this site, hijacking my traffic and putting my work at risk.

I'm writing this post because what happened to me and my site was likely preventable. Had I paid more attention to some early signs of a problem or taken basic website maintenance and security seriously, I probably wouldn't be writing this post. I don't want to scare anyone, but I think it's important to share this information and remind other bloggers who self-host their sites to be vigilant.


Finally, a recap of Book Expo America! Although BEA is about a lot more than free books (believe me, it really is), as I thought about putting together this post I decided it would be fun to recap the week by talking about the books I grabbed and how the tied to some of my favorite moments of the conference.

First, here are the books that made it all the way from New York to rural Minnesota, arranged roughly by publication date (except Fooling Houdini, which I already had at home but met the author at BEA and wanted to include).