Best Books of 2012

I collected over 20 lists of “best books of the year” and combined them into one list.  The results are below.  The numbers in bold represent how many of the original 20 lists contained that particular book.  If I’ve read the book, I’ve included the rating I gave it on Goodreads (1-5 stars).

19   
BRING UP THE BODIES. By Hilary Mantel.

16
BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. By Katherine Boo.

14
BEAUTIFUL RUINS. By Jess Walter.

13
WILD: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.  By Cheryl Strayed. (3)

10
THE PASSAGE OF POWER: The Years of Lyndon Johnson. By Robert A. Caro.
GONE GIRL. By Gillian Flynn. 
CANADA.
By Richard Ford.
DEAR LIFE: Stories
. By Alice Munro.

9
THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER. By Junot Díaz.
BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK. By Ben Fountain.

8
THE YELLOW BIRDS. By Kevin Powers.
WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE.  By Maria Semple.
NW
. By Zadie Smith.

7
IRON CURTAIN: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956. By Anne Applebaum.
TELEGRAPH AVENUE. By Michael Chabon.
THE ORPHAN MASTER’S SON. By Adam Johnson.
EVERY LOVE STORY IS A GHOST STORY: A Life of David Foster Wallace. By D.T. Max.
PEOPLE WHO EAT DARKNESS: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished From the Streets of Tokyo — and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up
. By Richard Lloyd Parry.
JOSEPH ANTON.  By Salman Rushdie.
ALIF THE UNSEEN. By G. Willow Wilson.

6
THE ROUND HOUSE. By Louise Erdrich.
FLIGHT BEHAVIOR. By Barbara Kingsolver.
SWEET TOOTH. By Ian McEwan.
SPILLOVER: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. By David Quammen.
BUILDING STORIES. By Chris Ware.

5  
SAN MIGUEL. By T. Coraghessan Boyle.
ARCADIA. By Lauren Groff.
ON SAUDI ARABIA: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines – and Future. By Karen Elliott House.
WATERGATE. By Thomas Mallon.
THE OLD WAYS: A Journey on Foot. By Robert MacFarlane.
HOME. By Toni Morrison.
AT LAST. By Edward St. Aubyn.
HOUSE OF STONE: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East. By Anthony Shadid.
FAR FROM THE TREE: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity. By Andrew Solomon.

4   
BLASPHEMY. By Sherman Alexie.
THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS: Essays. By Nicholson Baker
ARE YOU MY MOTHER? A Comic Drama. By Alison Bechdel.
SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis. By Timothy Egan
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ANNE FRANK: Stories. By Nathan Englander.
THOMAS JEFFERSON: The Art of Power. By Jon Meacham.
THE GENERALS: American Military Command From World War II to Today. By Thomas E. Ricks
ON A FARTHER SHORE: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson. By William Souder.
THE GREY ALBUM: On the Blackness of Blackness. By Kevin Young.

3
THE BARBAROUS YEARS: THE PEOPLING OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600–1675. By Bernard Bailyn
BIRDS OF A LESSER PARADISE.  By Megan Mayhew Bergman
HHhH. By Laurent Binet. Translated by Sam Taylor.
THE RICHARD BURTON DIARIES. Edited by Chris Williams.
A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME. By Wiley Cash.
LITTLE AMERICA: The War Within the War for Afghanistan. By Rajiv Chandrasekaran.
THE ORCHARDIST.  By Amanda Coplin.
ZONA.  By Geoff Dyer.
A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING. By Dave Eggers.
THE REVISED FUNDAMENTALS OF CAREGIVING. By Jonathan Evison.
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. By John Green.
HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? By Sheila Heti.
MORTALITY.  By Christopher Hitchens.
IN ONE PERSON. By John Irving.
THE SNOW CHILD. By Eowyn Ivey.
GODS WITHOUT MEN. By Hari Kunzru.
CAPITAL.  By John Lanchester.
THE DEVIL IN SILVER. By Victor LaValle.
THREE STRONG WOMEN. By Marie NDiaye. Translated by John Fletcher.
THE ODDS: A Love Story. By Stewart O’Nan.
SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, SHIELD OF FAITH: Religion in American War and Diplomacy. By Andrew Preston.
FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM: A New English Version. By Philip Pullman.
THE COVE. By Ron Rash.
THE BLACK COUNT: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo. By Tom Reiss.
THE LIFEBOAT.  By Charlotte Rogan.
ELSEWHERE: A Memoir. By Richard Russo.
THE TENDER HOUR OF TWILIGHT: Paris in the ‘50s, New York in the ‘60s – A Memoir of Publishing’s Golden Age.  By Richard Seaver.
THE OATH: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court.  By Jeffrey Toobin.

BATTLEBORN.  By Claire Vaye Watkins.
ENEMIES: A History of the FBI. By Tim Weiner.
WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMAL? By Jeanette Winterson.

One thought on “Best Books of 2012

  1. Pingback: 2012 – It Was A Very Good Year | Make Lists, Not War

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