Tuesday, June 5, 2012

ArmChair BEA: Best of 2012 So Far- And What's Coming Up Soon

Today's topic for ArmChair BEA is "Best of 2012 Releases" including upcoming books that we hope will be our favorites.

I have to say so far 2012 has been a really good reading year for me. I'm behind on writing reviews, so I haven't told you about all the books I've loved but there have been quite a few.

My favorite release of 2012 so far is without a doubt (and as I said yesterday) Patrick Flanery's Absolution. This is a guy to watch; Absolution is only his debut novel and it's as good or better than what many established writers have done. Flanery is American by birth but there's been talk that his U.K. citizenship might make him eligible for a Booker nomination. I hope so!

Varamo, which I reviewed last week, is another favorite from this year. A world away from the intensity and violence of Absolution, Varamo is a comic delight about a government clerk and the night that changed his life.

Glaciers, by Alexis M. Smith, is a slim, arty novel also about a day in the life, set in the hipster heartland of Portland, Oregon.

Second Person Singular, by Sayed Kashua, is a wonderful novel about identity and authenticity and the lives and lies we build for ourselves and others.

The Testament of Jessie Lamb, by Jane Rogers, is a deeply disturbing and thought-provoking dystopia about righteousness and survival.

Divorce Islamic Style, by Amara Lakhous, is a great dark comedy about contemporary Italy.

Coming up later in 2012 I'm looking forward to

The Twelve, by Justin Cronin, the sequel to his smash hit The Passage (October),

Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan, about which I know nothing except that it's by Ian McEwan- and really, what more do I need to know? (Fall)


In the Shadow of the Banyan, by Vaddey Ratner, a novel based on her experiences escaping from the Khmer Rouge (August), and

the rerelease by NYRB Classics of Kingsley Amis's Booker Prize winner The Old Devils (September).

I'm also looking forward to dipping into the crime novels of Andrea Camilleri, new international crime from Melville House, lots of new things from Europa Editions, reading more older books and lots more great adventures in reading.

Go to ArmChair BEA Central for more favorites!