DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Dec 26 2012

Best in 2012

by Dea Anne M

As the year draws to a close, it’s no surprise to see “best of” lists appearing everywhere online. I’m always interested in these and sometimes even more interested in checking out the accompanying comments. Everyone it seems has an opinion about “the best” and many of us express our opinions on this topic with great, shall we say, energy. Here’s a roundup of some recent top reads lists.

NPR publishes several targeted lists each year. Lists for 2012 include:

The  New Yorker’s “Page-Turners” blog features favorites from regular contributors. Not all these picks are new books but the list is nonetheless thought-provoking.

On November 30th, the  New York Times published its 10 Best Books of 2012. Several of these titles are available from DCPL including:bodies



Goodreads, the popular “social cataloging” website has announced its Choice Awards for 2012. Readers vote for the best books in a wide range of categories including Paranormal Fantasy, Food and Cookbooks, Graphic Novels and Poetry. Some top picks include the following—all available at DCPL.

Reading through these lists has, quite naturally, led me to select my own “best reads” for the year. They are as follows:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, an incredibly original thriller which appears on several best of lists this year. I loved it but be aware—its merits are being hotly debated in a number of comments threads.

The Good Life: the moral individual in an antimoral world by Cheryl Mendelson. This is a provocative, moving, and extremely timely study of the idea of “morality” and its appropriation by those who claim it exclusively for themselves. This is an inspiring and hopeful book—just right for times like these—by the author of my favorite book on the subject of keeping house Home Comforts: the art and science of keeping house.

The Twelve by Justin Cronin, a brilliant sequel to 2010’s stunning horror novel The Passage (which I posted about here).

Lost At Sea: the Jon Ronson mysteries by Jon Ronson. This book of essays,  from the author of The Psychopath Test and The Men Who Stare At Goats, explores a fascinating variety of subjects that range from the surprising religious beliefs of the duo who are Insane Clown Posse to sentient robots who communicate with humans (really!). Ronson isn’t afraid to explore dark edges where whatquiet we think of as reality threatens to collapse at any moment and he manages to do so with a great deal of humor. I couldn’t put this one down.

Finally, my pick for the hands down best book that  I read in 2012 is one that I would go so far as to call  life-changing. Liberating, original, thoroughly readable—I posted about it here—it is Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain.  I think that J’nai might have liked it too.

What are your top picks for 2012?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Veronica W December 26, 2012 at 1:30 PM

I too love “best” lists; best dressed, best pizza joint, best guard dog. I just read Rick Bragg’s Prince of Frogtown and although I have read all of his other books, I remain in awe of his writing. Every phrase is a skillful word picture. He is truly one of the best.

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