NYT Book Review’s 100 Notable Books of 2012

Unbelievably, it’s that time of year again…

From the NYT Book Review:

The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.

Here are a few of their selections. The full list is here. Do you agree with the editors, LitStackers? And don’t forget to cast your vote for our end of the year ‘best’ list.

FICTION & POETRY

ALIF THE UNSEEN. By G. Willow Wilson. (Grove, $25.) A young hacker on the run in the Mideast is the protagonist of this imaginative first novel.

ALMOST NEVER. By Daniel Sada. Translated by Katherine Silver. (Graywolf, paper, $16.) In this glorious satire of machismo, a Mexican agronomist simultaneously pursues a prostitute and an upright woman.

AN AMERICAN SPY. By Olen Steinhauer. (Minotaur, $25.99.) In a novel vividly evoking the multilayered world of espionage, Steinhauer’s hero fights back when his C.I.A. unit is nearly destroyed.

BLASPHEMY. By Sherman Alexie. (Grove, $27.) The best stories in Alexie’s collection of new and selected works are moving and funny, bringing together the embittered critic and the yearning dreamer.

THE BOOK OF MISCHIEF: New and Selected Stories. By Steve Stern. (Graywolf, $26.) Jewish immigrant lives observed with effusive nostalgia.

BRING UP THE BODIES. By Hilary Mantel. (Macrae/Holt, $28.) Mantel’s sequel to “Wolf Hall” traces the fall of Anne Boleyn, and makes the familiar story fascinating and suspenseful again.

IN ONE PERSON. By John Irving. (Simon & Schuster, $28.) Irving’s funny, risky new novel about an aspiring writer struggling with his sexuality examines what happens when we face our desires honestly.

A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME. By Wiley Cash. (Morrow/HarperCollins, $24.99.) An evil pastor dominates Cash’s mesmerizing first novel.

MARRIED LOVE: And Other Stories. By Tessa Hadley. (Harper Perennial, paper, $14.99.) Hadley’s understatedly beautiful collection is filled with exquisitely calibrated gradations and expressions of class.

NONFICTION

ALL WE KNOW: Three Lives. By Lisa Cohen. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $30.) The vanished world of midcentury upper-class lesbians is portrayed as beguiling, its inhabitants members of a stylish club.

AMERICAN TAPESTRY: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama. By Rachel L. Swarns. (Amistad/HarperCollins, $27.99.) A Times reporter’s deeply researched chronicle of several generations of Mrs. Obama’s family.

AMERICAN TRIUMVIRATE: Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, and the Modern Age of Golf. By James Dodson. (Knopf, $28.95.) The author evokes an era when the game was more vivid and less corporate than it seems now.

ARE YOU MY MOTHER? A Comic Drama. By Alison Bechdel. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22.) Bechdel’s engaging, original graphic memoir explores her troubled relationship with her distant mother.

BARACK OBAMA: The Story. By David Maraniss. (Simon & Schuster, $32.50.) This huge and absorbing new biography, full of previously unexplored detail, shows that Obama’s saga is more surprising and gripping than the version we’re familiar with.

LINCOLN’S CODE: The Laws of War in American History. By John Fabian Witt. (Free Press, $32.) A tension between humanitarianism and righteousness has shaped America’s rules of warfare.

LITTLE AMERICA: The War Within the War for Afghanistan. By Rajiv Chandrasekaran. (Knopf, $27.95.) A beautifully written and deeply reported account of America’s troubled involvement in ­Afghanistan.

MEMOIR OF A DEBULKED WOMAN: Enduring Ovarian Cancer. By Susan Gubar. (Norton, $24.95.) A feminist scholar recounts her experience and criticizes the medical treatment of a frightening disease in a voice that is straightforward and incredibly brave.

MY POETS. By Maureen N. McLane. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) Part memoir and part criticism, this friendly book includes essays on poets canonical and contemporary, as well as lineated poem-games.

THE OBAMAS. By Jodi Kantor. (Little, Brown, $29.99.) Michelle Obama sets the tone and tempo of the current White House, Kantor argues in this admiring account, full of colorful insider anecdotes.

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