The OF Blog: Best of 2012: 25 Notable 2012 Releases (and 10 Honorable Mentions)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Best of 2012: 25 Notable 2012 Releases (and 10 Honorable Mentions)

I ended up reading 501 books in 2012.  Several dozen, almost 100, were released in some sort or fashion in 2012.  Some were mediocre, a few were bad.  But roughly half were enjoyable.  Out of that number I wrote down 34 titles, 25 out which I'll list in descending fashion, followed by the other 10 in unranked order.  A variety of genres and styles of writing are represented here.  Hopefully, some, if not all of these, will be of interest to you.  Due to time constraints, no links/commentaries:

25.  Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

24.  Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis

23.  Patricia McCormick, Never Fall Down

22.  Nick Tosches, Me and the Devil

21.  Zadie Smith, NW

20.  Mark Helprin, In Sunlight and in Shadow

19.  K.J. Bishop, That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote

18.  Samuel Delany, Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders

17.  L. Annette Binder, Rise

16.  Padgett Powell, You & Me

15.  Nick Mamatas, Bullettime

14.  Brian Evenson, Windeye

13.  Robert Caro, The Years of Lyndon Johnson:  The Passage of Power

12.  Goran Petrović, An Atlas Described by the Sky

11.  Gonçalo M. Tavares, Joseph Walser's Machine

10.  Louise Erdrich, The Round House

9.  Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

8.  Dung Kai-cheung, Atlas:  The Archaeology of an Imaginary City

7.  Michael Cisco, Celebrant

6.  Karin Tidbeck, Jagannath:  Stories

5.  Will Self, Umbrella

4.  Sherman Alexie, Blasphemy

3.  László Krasznahorkai, Satantango

2.  Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies

1.  Junot Díaz, This is How You Lose Her

Honorable Mentions:

Matt Bell, Cataclysm Baby

Jesse Bullington, The Folly of the World

Steve Erickson, These Dreams of You

Steven Erikson, Forge of Darkness

Brian Evenson, Immobility

Jeffrey Ford, Crackpot Palace

Felix Gilman, The Rise of Ransom City

Ben Marcus, The Flame Alphabet

Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds

Claire Vaye Watkins, Battleborn


Hélène said...

Not counting Erikson(I'm too late in the series), I intend to read at least four of these books plus the French edition of László Krasznahorkai.
Do you plan to review Goran Petrović's An Atlas Described by the Sky? This author is a happy discovery for me. Sadly, An Atlas isn't translated in French yet. If you review it, I might add it to the list(in English)!

Larry Nolen said...

Yes, but it'll probably be a few days from now, as I want to take a day or two off from reviewing anything right now.

marcheto said...

Quite an interesting list, Larry. Thanks. I plan to read at least Jagannath, Windeye and Rise in the near future.
Hélène, read Goran Petrovic's book in any language you understand. He's been my favorite author since I read "La mano de la buena fortuna" a few years ago. And I'm really happy today, because I've just found out that another of his books ("El cerco de la iglesia de la Santa Salvación") has been translated into Spanish. What a fantastic way to start a new year!

Larry Nolen said...

I read it in French translation, but El cerco de la iglesia de la Santa Salvación is an excellent book; I liked it even more than La mano de la buena fortuna, which I did read in Spanish translation and loved. Might have to track down this translation as well shortly :D

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