My Roundup: Best Books of 2012

I love December. Sure, the presents, cookies and family time are great. But what gets me really excited? The Best Books of 2012 lists. I don’t usually agree with the (snobbish) book world’s top picks, but I relish in reading their carefully selected and politically correct choices. You know in high school when the coach would post who made the cheerleading squad? Book picks are like that for me because I’m a geek.

Below, I’ve compiled Best of Lists from The New York Times, Amazon and Publisher’s Weekly. I saw several repeats such as Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, Building Stories by Chris Ware and Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo.

Have you read any of those three? I haven’t. How many of the books below interest you? I’ve read four of them, and three others are in my to-read pile. Is it PC to write that several of these seem kind of boring? I only speak the truth.

I’ll write about my own picks next week, and I promise they’re more fun. Also, stay tuned for a post about the books Parents staffers loved this year.

Most importantly, what’s your favorite book of 2012? Bare your soul to me in the comments. 

The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2012

Bring Up the Bodies
by Hilary Mantel

Building Stories
by Chris Ware

A Hologram for a King
by Dave Eggars

by Zadie Smith

The Yellow Birds
by Kevin Powers

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
by Katherine Boo

Far from the Tree
by Andrew Solomon

The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson
by Robert A. Caro

The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy
by David Nasaw

Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story
by Jim Holt

Amazon’s Best Books of the Year So Far: Top 20 Picks of 2012

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
by Katherine Boo

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

 The Fault in Our Stars (*This is Young Adult)
by John Green

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: A Novel
by Ben Fountain

The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson
by Robert A. Caro

The Orphan Master’s Son: A Novel
by Adam Johnson

Tell the Wolves I’m Home: A Novel
by Carol Rifka Brunt

by Cheryl Strayed

The Age of Miracles: A Novel
by Karen Thompson Walker

Private Empire: ExxonMobile and American Power
by Steve Coll

Half-Blood Blues: A Novel
by Esi Edugyan

Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks and the Hidden Powers of the Mind
by Alex Stone

Song of Achilles
by Madeline Miller

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking
by Susan Cain

by Toni Morrison

The Coldest Night
by Robert Olmstead

Bringing Up the Bodies
by Hilary Mantel

The Vanishers
by Heidi Julavits

The Cove
by Ron Rash

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
by Charles Duhigg

Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of 2012

Building Stories
by Chris Ware

Bringing Up the Bodies
by Hilary Mantel

The Round House
by Louise Erdrich

Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain
by Lucia Perillo

The Devil in Silver
by  Victor LaValle

Detroit City is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis
by Mark Binelli

All We Know: Three Lives
by Lisa Cohen

People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo
by Richard Lloyd Parry

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956
Anne Applebaum


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  1. by dcorneal

    On December 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Ok, so I get that Hilary Mantel has done 1,000 years worth of research, but I found Wolf Hall so boring that there is no way I’m even attempting Bring Up The Bodies. I’m with you — I want to be really literary, but I’m not. I’m reading Round House and Far from the Tree and Beyond the Beautiful Forevers now for book groups, but am secretly relishing The Fault in Our Stars for my own pleasure. My choice for best book of the year? “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” Thank you Jenny Lawson.