The Best Books Read in 2012

Submitted just as the window of year-end reminiscences is closing, this post is my chance to look back at the dozen books that stood out most for me in 2012. I hit some kind of reading slump toward the end of the year, my pace of matching 2011’s total of 60-plus books, well in reach around summertime, taking a hit late to settle for 53 books. Better luck in 2013, I guess. Coming up with this list wasn’t too difficult, nor was selecting one of the 12 as my favorite of the year. It was a book I read early in the year, and nothing I read in the remaining months came (anywhere) close to matching it for ambition, scope, and resonance.

Drum roll, please…

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2012), by Maria Semple

This book, published this month, obviously is not part of the Time 100 project. But if a visitor comes across this blog looking for stuff about that list, maybe they’ll read this and seek out Maria Semple’s new novel.

In lieu of cranking out several hundred ponderous words on why Maria Semple’s wonderful novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette is so good, why don’t I just offer up some blurbs Little, Brown can slap onto the paperback edition:

“I’d call Where’d You Go, Bernadette my big guilty pleasure of 2012, but the truth is I don’t feel the least bit guilty about the amount of pleasure I took reading it. Neither will you.”
–Michael P., National Book Award-aspiring author of many future Important Works

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