Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best of 2012

In 2012 I read 52 books. Some were great; many were not so great. Here are my favorites:

Most Important book of the year: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Religion and Politics by Jonathan Haidt. It changed my outlook on politics and religion.
Funniest: Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple. Laugh-out-loud funny skewering Seattle.
Best Essays: We Learn Nothing: Essays and Cartoons by Tim Kreider. A strange and wonderful look at life.
Most Heartbreaking: Defending Jacob by William Landay. Still haunts me especially in light of the Sandy Hook shootings.
Best Cookbook: Simple Pleasures by Cornelia Guest. I loved the recipes and all the photos of Cornelia Guest’s home.
Best Swedish Mystery: Some Kind of Peace by Camilla Grebe and Asa Traff. Masterful work by a sister team.
Best Family Story: The World Without You by Joshua Henkin. Great character development.
Biggest Surprise: Gossip by Beth Gutcheon. Looks like Chicklit. Deeply engrossing character study.
Best Presidential Assassination: Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard. A whole book about an aspect of history of which I knew nothing.
Best Disease Book: Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan. One of my most popular postings this year.
Best Spiritual: An Unquenchable Thirst by Mary Johnson. A former nun tells about life as a follower of Mother Teresa.
Best Immigrant book: Into the beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. Very funny look at illegal immigration.
Most Self-Serving:  Saving Each Other by Victoria Jackson and Ali Guthy. Mom’s career or daughter’s illness? Which is more important?
Worst Novel: Game of Secrets by Dawn Tripp and Dancing on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!”

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