28 December 2012

Imprint Friday: The Best of 2012

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."

From Picador

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."

From Riverhead

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.)


bermudaonion 12/28/12, 8:34 AM  

I've only read 2 of those books but will be reading The Art Forger soon.

Literate Housewife 12/28/12, 8:39 AM  

Such a wonderful list. I have read four of these books, but I'm sure they're all good. I love your Imprint Friday series!

Andi 12/28/12, 9:05 AM  

Good-lookin' choices. The Art Forger is high on my want list as are several others listed here. Good stuff!

Beth Hoffman 12/28/12, 11:11 AM  

I've read 3 of the 12 you've listed, and several of the others are on my list! I hope to crack the spine on The Art Forger soon.

Amy 12/28/12, 12:02 PM  

Basically I look at this list and wonder what I spent my year reading. Happy New Year, friend!

Izzy 12/28/12, 12:25 PM  

A fab list Beth -- thanks for sharing.I keep meaning to read Canada and am definitely going to buy it. Liking the look of several of the others too.

Sue Jackson 12/28/12, 1:11 PM  

What a fascinating collection of lesser-known reads from this year!

And you have such a way with words! I really enjoyed your 1 sentence synopsis excerpts. You have made me want to take a closer look at many of these books.


Book By Book

Sue Jackson 12/28/12, 1:19 PM  

PS I just added many of these to my TBR list...and I am VERY picky about what I add to it these days since it is already so long!


Book By Book

JoAnn 12/28/12, 1:45 PM  

SO many great Imprint Friday books!! The Chaperone is the only one I've read, but The World We Found is near the top of my tbr pile and most of the others are on my wish list.

chrisa511 12/28/12, 10:01 PM  

You read SO many good books!! There are so many here that I want to read :) Hopefully get to them in the next year.

Laurie C 12/29/12, 8:05 AM  

I've only read the two from Algonquin, but hope to get to many of the others eventually. Love your Imprint Fridays!

Julie P. 12/29/12, 9:00 AM  

I totally agree about some of these. In fact, a few of them made my best of list.

Nise' 12/29/12, 12:24 PM  

I have both The Art Forger on audio and The Chaperone that I plan to get to in January!

Jenners 12/29/12, 12:44 PM  

An interesting way to approach your end of the year list!

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 12/29/12, 3:03 PM  

Nice list. I've read a few of these and liked them as well.

Kaye 12/30/12, 10:29 AM  

Hi Candace, just wanted to pop in and wish you a very happy, healthy and peaceful new year. {{Hugs!}}

Anonymous,  1/3/13, 3:27 PM  

neat! I plan to read The Art Forgerer.
you will find my list in this post:

Meghan 1/6/13, 7:17 AM  

I have a few of these on my must-buy-soon lists - but the one I actually own is The Chaperone, and I really should get to it soon!

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