Books I enjoyed in 2012 (not necessarily published in 2012)
Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Good storytelling, and I learned about a time which I'd held only brief and hazy beliefs.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Good lord. This is a smart, funny, and devastating story of love. I read it right after a young family member died suddenly. All I have to do is think about the last quarter of this book and I want to do things over again, and better.
Canada by Richard Ford
This is my favorite read of the year.
The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes
1960s Arizona noir. Well-crafted and moody. It goes well with the stupidly hot summer we had.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
I read this when I was a teenager and I remembered almost nothing about it. There's no way I could have understood everything it is about, especially the philosophy. I think you either like Steinbeck's layered and sometimes histrionic stories or you don't. I was sucked in then, and again this time around.
So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell
You can tell that Richard Ford read a lot of William Maxwell; their narrators in Canada and this novel share a common ethos. I am attracted to the longings of children, the pangs of homesickness, the lure of the close-knit family. There's a lot of that in this book.
May We Be Forgiven by AM Homes
This is a story that fits like a glove to today's culture. It's satirical, but it's also full of love. Other Homes' books I've read before didn't have the love.