my top 12 books of 2012

One of my friends did a list of her top 12 books from 2012 for her library. I saw her list and went, man, we read very different stuff. I’d heard of four of her books and read none (though a few are in my interminable and not written down anywhere “to read” list). But here’s my list of books I really liked that were released this year. All the links go to my reviews if you want more information than might be conveyed in the specific prize each won.

  • Best book about art: The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan
  • Best book about love: Ask The Passengers by A.S. King
  • Best book about politics: The Five Nations of New York by Brian Wood (Technically this is only the end of a much longer tale spanning many years of story, but it was a damned good ending.)
  • Best book about sex & politics: The Complete Lockpick Pornography by Joey Comeau (Technically these are older books than 2012 but putting them together in one volume, as was done this year, makes the experience different enough to make the list.)
  • Best book about war: The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Best book about mechanical bees (with spies): Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
  • Best book about giant moles (with philosophies): Railsea by China Miéville
  • Best adaptation of a book: A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson and Madeline L’Engle
  • Best adaptation of that feeling you get from the best episodes of the Twilight Zone into a book that isn’t really an adaptation at all: The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire
  • Best book about a society I would no-shit never ever ever want to live in: Dark Eden by Chris Beckett
  • Best book about high school (with ghosts): Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
  • Best book about books (with immortality, data-visualization, friendship and epic fantasy quests): Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

What were your favourites?

4 thoughts on “my top 12 books of 2012

  1. My Top five 2012 books I read this year that were not picture books or graphic novels:

    • If I imposed some sort of artificial limit like that (“not science fiction or comics”) my list would be pretty small too. But what were your top graphic novels/picture books of the year?

      • Well, going over my Goodreads list, the vast majority of things I read this year were pre-2012 (or at least not worthy of any sort of year-end list). My top graphic novels in no particular order:
        Ben Hatke – Legends of Zita the Spacegirl
        Raina Telgemeier – Drama
        Mike Norton – Battlepug, Vol. 1
        Luke Pearson – Hilda and the Midnight Giant
        Gene Yang (art by Gurihiru) – Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise Parts 1 & 2 [part 3 came out but haven’t read it yet]
        Faith Erin Hicks – Friends With Boys
        Brian K. Vaughan (art by Fiona Staples) – Saga, Volume 1
        Jeff Lemire – Sweet Tooth, Volume 4 [again, Volume 5 is out, but still waiting at the library for it]

        As for picture books, the only ones that really qualify are Jon Klassen’s This is Not My Hat and Robyn Eversole’s East Dragon, West Dragon (art by Scott Campbell), both excellent.

        2012 books I want to read:
        John Green – The Fault in Our Stars
        Robin Sloan – Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
        Rebecca Stead – Liar & Spy
        Glyn Dillon – The Nao of Brown
        David Wong – Escape to Gold Mountain

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