2012 Cream of the Crop

There were no obvious choices for my favorites this year. I had lots of memorable experiences, but also quite unexpectedly disappointing ones. Some books gave me a hard time but I was thankful in the end. Some others were a treat while I kept turning the pages, and then when I was done not much remained. Some defeated me, some others were surprisingly easy and fun despite a very difficult reputation. How do I approach this diversity? This year I’ll try categories:

Classics: although I tried some Greek classics last year, the most memorable ones were a bit less ancient… and a lot more fun

  • Alexandre Dumas, Les Trois Mousquetaires (1844)
  • Chretien de Troyes, The Knight with the Lion (middle ages)

Mysteries: I couldn’t not name an Italian mystery, could I?

  • Gianrico Carofiglio, Le Perfezioni Provvisorie (2010): an endearing lawyer turned improvised P.I.
  • Liza Cody, Gimme More (2000): a thriller without a murder, and a very noisy book about rock

Non-Fiction: very WW2-oriented this year

  • Daniel Mendelsohn, The Lost (2006)
  • 2 Diaries: A Woman in Berlin (1945) or Helene Berr’s Journal (1942): pick your side of the conflict, but cry both sides

Fiction: (a.k.a. The Rest)

  • Siri Hustvedt, The Sorrows of an American (2008) but The Summer Without Men was great too
  • Yoko Ogawa, Secrete Crystallization (Jap. 1994): super sad and weird, but so much worth it

If I had to choose only one, it would probably be The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn. It was quite a big book with big ambitions and a big emotional journey for the writer and the readers alike. It’s not an easy read by all means, but I recommend it whole-heartedly.

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4 thoughts on “2012 Cream of the Crop

  1. Yay for the Three Musketeers! I think I might reread The Count of Monte Cristo this year–or something else by him maybe. And I really want to try Liza Cody–have one of her mysteries on hand. I also read A Woman in Berlin and have Helene Barr’s journal–thanks for the reminder on that one. Hopefully there will be some wonderful reads for you in 2013!

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