Monday, December 17th, 2012

LT Staff’s Favorite 2012 Reads

I asked everyone on the LT staff to put together a list of their five favorite reads from 2012. Here’s what they came up with:


The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann.

Why Big Fierce Animals are Rare: An Ecologist’s Perspective by Paul A. Colinvaux.

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl (with my son).


The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro.

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeannette Winterson.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.

Abby adds “Because picking just 5 is hard, honorable mention to: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness, and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.”

Chris H.:

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham.

The Fourth Part of the World by Toby Lester.

The Icon Handbook by Jon Hicks.

The Art of Urban Sketching by Gabriel Campanario.

The Road to Ubar by Nicholas Clapp.


Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer by Wesley Stace.

The Passage of Power by Robert Caro.

The Rector and the Rogue by W.A. Swanberg (the new edition edited by Paul Collins).

The Social Conquest of Earth by E.O. Wilson.

The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann.

Honorable mentions here for The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King and PYG: The Memoirs of a Learned Pig by Russell A. Potter. NB: I always post a top ten fiction and a top ten non-fiction list on my blog on December 31, so check in there at the end of the year for the complete list.


How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.

Kate gives an honorable mention to Pulphead: Essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan.


The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks.

In the Woods by Tana French.

The Riyria Revelations (series) by Michael J. Sullivan.

Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook.

Hide and Seek by Ian Rankin.


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Hunter.

PHP Master: Write Cutting-Edge Code by Davey Shafik.

What were your favorite 2012 reads? Come tell us here.

Labels: holiday, lists, reading, top five


  1. kristinevandusen says:

    2012 TOP FIVE

    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
    Dickens: Public Life and Private Passion by Peter Ackroyd
    The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller

  2. laurie blum says:

    Girls in White Dresses by J Close
    The Cranes Dance by M Howrey
    The Night Circus by E Morgenstern
    The Age of Miracles by KT Walker
    The Cat’s Table by M Ondaatje

  3. Benuathanasia says:

    Count of Monte Cristo – A. Dumas
    The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – Kate DiCamillo
    Memoirs of a Goldfish – Devin Scillian
    Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
    Science of Jurassic Park – Bob DeSalle

  4. Limelite says:

    Top 5:
    “Caleb’s Crossing” by Geraldine Brooks
    “The Untouchable” by John Banville
    “The Secrets of Jin-Shei” by Alma Alexander
    “The Gift of Rain” by Tan Twan Eng
    “The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood” by James Gleick

    Honorable Mention:
    “Heading Out to Wonderful” by Robert Goolrick
    “Man Walks into a Room” by Nicole Krauss
    “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” by Michael Chabon
    “The Storyteller of Marakesh” by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya
    “The Sportswriter” by Richard Ford

    Second List:
    “Baudolino” by Umberto Eco
    “A Palace in the Old Village” by Tahar Ben Jelloun
    “Boy’s Life” by Robert R. McCammon
    “Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World” by Timothy Brook
    “Gardens of Water” by Alan Drew

    Second Honorable Mention:
    “Empire Falls” by Richard Russo
    “Violette Nozière: A Story of Murder in 1930s Paris” by Sarah Maza
    “The Moviegoer” by Walker Percy
    “Arthur & George” by Julian Barnes
    “The Red Garden” by Alice Hoffman

    And mentioned by others that would have been on my Top 5 List:
    “The Cat’s Table”
    “The Sisters Brothers”

  5. riida says:

    my top 5…

    Death Note Black Edition v1-6 – Tsugumi Ohba
    1q84 v1-3 – Haruki Murakami
    The Wind-up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
    Lord of the Flies – W Golding
    Memoirs of a Master Forger – William (Graham Joyce) Heaney

    and my runner ups 🙂

    The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
    More Than Human – Theodore Sturgeon
    House of Silk – Anthony Horowitz
    Annabel: A Novel – Kathleen Winter
    Batman: Blind Justice – Sam Hamm

  6. dkelly2 says:

    HHhH – Laurent Binet
    Train Dreams – Denis Johnson
    Colonel Roosevelt – Edmund Morris
    Theodore Rex – Edmund Morris
    The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt – Edmund Morris

  7. Max says:

    I agree with Tim about “1491” – a really amazing book, a game-changer in terms of how one thinks about the New World. I of course bought his follow-up “1493” – huge disappointment; stodgy, fragmented, too didactic. I got about half way through before abandoning it (probably temporarily) for something more worthwhile.

  8. PhysiCaRollMops says:

    The fault in our stars – John Green
    Elefantengedächtnis – Antonio Lobo Antunes
    Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
    Skippy dies – Paul Murray
    Les ballades de Haldur et autres racontars – Jorn Riel

  9. xkyzero says:

    “Black cat bone” – John Burnside
    “The fair society” – Peter A. Corning
    “Shannon : a poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition” – Campbell McGrath
    “The Prince of Evolution: Peter Kropotkin’s Adventures in Science and Politics” – Lee Alan Dugatkin
    “Wicked times : selected poems” – Aaron Kramer

  10. Linda Sexauer says:

    1. Heft by Liz Moore
    2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    3. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison
    4. Bluefish by Pat Schmatz
    5. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

    And because its impossible to just stop at six:
    6. The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

  11. mvo62 says:

    1. Death and the Maiden by Q. Patrick
    2. The Dying Alderman by Henry Wade
    3. The Murderer of Sleep by Milward Kennedy
    4. In The Queen’s Parlour (or In The Queen’s Parlor) by Ellery Queen
    5. Masters of the “Humdrum” Mystery: Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, Alfred Walter Stewart and the British Detective Novel, 1920-1961 by Curtis Evans

  12. poetontheone says:

    Hunger – Knut Hamsun
    A Monk Swimming – Malchy McCourt
    Old School – Tobias Wolff
    Naomi – Junichiro Tanizaki
    Wolf: A False Memoir by Jim Harrison
    I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon- Crystal Zevon

  13. twopairsofglasses says:

    The Round House by Louise Erdrich
    The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea
    Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
    Juliet in August by Diane Warren
    Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

    Also really enjoyed When We Get There, The Winter Palace, The Soldier’s Wife, Heft, The Snow Child, The Light between Oceans, and Swamplandia!

  14. Ken N. says:

    1. The Night Circus- Erin Morgenstern

    2. The Name of the Wind- Patrick Rothfuss

    3.The Wise Man’s Fear- Patrick Rothfuss

    4. The Unfolding Mystery- Edmund Clowney

    5. Rifleman Dodd- C. S. Forester

  15. Patience Frederiksen says:

    Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity – Katherine Boo
    Cellist of Sarajevo – Steven Galloway
    The One and Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate
    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Will Not Shut Up – Susan Cain

  16. Rich Warren says:

    Pride of Chanur – C. J. Cherryh
    John the Balladeer – Manly Wade Wellman
    Bury My Heart at W. H. Smith – Brian Aldiss
    Old Nathan – David Drake
    Sargasso of Space – Andre Norton

    In no particular Order.

  17. Adam says:

    The First Circle – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
    Blindness – Jose Saramago
    My Struggle (Part 4) – Karl Ove Knausgard
    Women – Charles Bukowski
    One Man’s Bible – Gao Xingjian

  18. Karen B says:

    1. Juliet in August by Dianne Warren
    2. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
    3. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by
    Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
    4. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
    5. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

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