2012: It’s a Wrap

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!


Filed under Blogging

8 responses to “2012: It’s a Wrap

  1. The dinner just missed my top ten wonderful insight into Dutch soul and ethics I thought , I see you liked Grub Street an American writer I like Elise Blackwell brought a modern take of it a few years ago that is well worth reading , all the best stu

  2. I’ve got Familiar and The Dinner. Just in time for the new year book buying ban. let’s see how that will go.
    I’d also like to read Tirra Lirra by the River and…
    Happy holidays to you, Guy, and to a wonderful new reading year.

    • AH yes, the old book buying ban…. I have to buy Emma’s choices for me so so much for the ban.

      Tirra Lirra by the River is OOP and was a bit harder to track down. Great book BTW

  3. I want to read at least New Grub Street and The Diner.

    Like Caroline, I intend to read from my TBR in 2013 because it’s getting out of control.
    I really enjoy reading your reviews, you always make me discover new books and expand my horizons. Thanks for that.
    Of course, I’ll be following your literary escapades in 2013 too.

  4. PS: no Balzac? It wasn’t a good year for this writer. I hope you’ll read better ones in 2013

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