Welcome to this special edition of Imprint Friday in which I highlight my top picks from the imprints featured on Beth Fish Reads.
When I decided to limit myself to only two books from each imprint, I
hadn't realized that almost all of my most memorable reads of 2012 were
published by this group. As a result, I can't tell you how many "But
what about this book?" moments I had. In the end, though, the
following books have stuck with me. (For my thoughts and more
information, click on the links.)
From Algonquin Books
When I reviewed Jonathan Evison's The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving I called it "a thought-provoking story about two men trying to do their best in a world that doesn't play fair." I noted that that B. A. Shapiro's The Art Forger was "an engaging and successful literary thriller that will quickly rise to top of the genre."
From Amy Einhorn Books
Here's what I wrote about these novels: "From the very first line ('Always, there was music') to the very last, Alex George's A Good American had my heart in its hands. It still does." "Be prepared: When reading [Dianne Warren's] Juliet in August, your physical world will seem to have disappeared; you won't be conscious of anything except what's happening in Juliet on a sunny August day."
From Ecco Books
I opened my post about Roger Rosenblatt's Kayak Morning: Reflections on Love, Grief, and Small Boats this way: "Every once in a while I run across a book that is so full of truth and beauty, I want to underline every passage." I said this about Richard Ford's novel: "Canada is one of the best books I've read this year . . . hell, perhaps this decade." (Here's a link to my review for AudioFile magazine.)
From Harper Perennial
I wrote: "Unlike lighter books about women's relationships, [Thrity Umrigar's The World We Found] takes a more realistic look, highlighting what the friends cannot share as much as what they can." This edition of Louise Erdrich's The Antelope Wife is a complete reworking of an earlier, successful novel. I noted that "Erdrich's writing style is beautifully poetic, sometimes sparse, but always vivid."
The art of the personal essay is alive and well: In Alibis, André Aciman "savors his journeys, sometimes pondering the impossibility of recapturing the past, and sometimes celebrating the special moments that do just that." In Some of My Lives: A Scrapbook Memoir, Rosamond Bernier's "intelligence, charm, and kindness shine through her stories, which just happen to be about Picasso, Henry Moore, and the Rothschilds."
Ann Brashares's My Name Is Memory asks, "If you had the ability to remember all your past lives—millennia of deaths, lives, tragedies, and joys—would you consider it a blessing or a burden?" I reviewed both the print and audio editions of Laura Moriarty's The Chaperone. Over at the SheKnows Book Lounge I predicted "The Chaperone, like the young Louise Brooks, is clearly destined to be a star." (Here's a link to my review for AudioFile magazine.)