Saturday, June 30, 2012

Best Books of 2012 - at Mid-Year

Half-way through 2012 already, and I'm finding these to be the best new books that I've encountered to this point.  This year's lists are limited to books published between October 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012.  That means that other worthy books will not be on the lists this year because they do not qualify as "new" titles. 


1.     Edge of Dark Water – Joe Lansdale - East Texas redneck noir at its finest
2.     The Angel Makers – Jessica Gregson – Hungarian women react badly to the aftermath of World War I
3.     Canada Richard Ford – Some borders cannot be uncrossed
4.     The World Without You Joshua Henkin – One family’s Fourth of July fireworks
5.     The Might Have Been Joseph M. Schuster – A lifetime in the minor leagues
6.     The Sense of an Ending Julian Barnes – What really happened?
7.     The Solitary House Lynn Shepherd – Period mystery using many Bleak House characters
8.     The Red House Mark Haddon – Two families get to know each other way too well
9.     The Fear Artist Timothy Hallinan – Bad things are happening in Bangkok
10.  The Detour Andromeda Romano-Lax – Hitler loots Italy before World War II


1.     The One – R.J. Smith – “the life and music of James Brown”
2.     Game Over – Bill Moushey, Bob Dvorchak – the horror of Jerry Sandusky and his enablers lives on
3.     Private Empire – Steve Coll – “ExxonMobil and American Power”
4.     Holy Ghost Girl – Donna M. Johnson – growing up while following a tent preacher from town to town
5.     Taking Flak – Dan Pastorini – frank sports autobiography from former Oiler quarterback
6.     Wild – Cheryl Strayed – one woman’s hike for her life
7.     This Mobius Strip of Ifs Mathias B. Freese – Essays and memories
8.     The End of IllnessDavid B. Agus, M.D. – alternative medicine and new technology combined
9.     Out of My League Dirk Hayhurst – He finally makes it to The Show for a little while
10.  The Voluntourist – Ken Budd – volunteering for manual labor all over the world


  1. Loved "The Might Have Been." Great characters and a fantastic life story.

  2. Mark, I think that's the best minor leagues book I've ever read. It really puts into perspective what it must be like to have big dreams turn into several decades in the minor leagues. Coach was a memorable character.

  3. Sam, I really like that Joe Lansdale tops your list! I also really like the one line blurbs for each book, very clever! Because of how you described it, now I want to read the Lynn Shepherd book :-)

  4. That Lansdale book is amazing, Susan, and I do love it. He's one of my favorites. Thanks for the kind words about my little book blurbs.