Another year over, and there’s been some great books along the way, and this brings me to the Annual Wrap-up. The categories are purely arbitrary, and since I haven’t read every book on the planet, these books are not the best of everything, but simply the best I read in 2012.
Best Classic Noir:
Black Wings Has My Angel by Elliott Chaze.
runner up: The Burglar by David Goodis
Best 19th Century Novel:
There was a lot of tough competition for this title. On one hand, George Gissing’s New Grub Street showed me how far money went in the 19th century, and just how much you needed to live like a gentleman. On the other hand, I loved The Claverings largely in part thanks to the hilarious character of Sophie Gourdeloup.
Best Australian Novel:
First place: Tirra Lirra by the River by Jessica Anderson
Runner up: Miss Peabody’s Inheritance by Elizabeth Jolley
Best New American Fiction of 2012:
Familiar by J. Robert Lennon
Runner up: Ménage by Alix Kates Shulman
Best New British Fiction:
The Last Hundred Days by Patrick McGuinness
Best New Crime Novel of 2012:
Broken Harbor by Tana French
Best Book Made Into Film:
Night and the City by Gerald Kersh
Man of Straw by Heinrich Mann (plus this is the best German book I read this year)
Biggest Reading Surprise:
The Dinner by Herman Koch
Two Wonderful Books in Translation:
Kafka in Love by Jacqueline Raoul-Duval
The Tunnel by Ernesto Sabata
J.Edgar Hoover Goes to the Movies: The FBI and the Origins of Hollywood’s Cold War by John Scardellati.
Thanks to all my readers and subscribers. Here’s to some great books in 2013!