Best of 2012: Pre-2012 releases (re)read this year

December 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Although it will be several days before I start writing the year-end posts on 2012 releases, I thought now would be a good time to mention older books that I read (or in a few cases, re-read) this year that are worthy of recognition.  There is little commonality to these books other than them being enjoyable works that many of you may want to visit (or revisit) in the years to come.  There is no “ranking” to these, as this is more of a gathering of favorites rather than a determination of “the” favorite for the year.  So in roughly chronological order of what I’ve read this year, here goes:

January

1.  Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

2.  Sohrab Sepehri, Water’s Footfall

3.  Lawrence Durrell, The Alexandria Quartet books (Justine; Balthazar; Mountolive; Clea)

4.  Eric Basso, The Smoking Mirror

5.  Mercé Rodoreda, Death in Spring

February

6.  Jean Ray, Malpertuis

7.  Teju Cole, Open City

8.  Jenny Boully, not merely because the unknown that was stalking toward them

9.  David Bellos, Is That a Fish in Your Ear?:  Translation and the Meaning of Everything

10. Zoran Živković, The Five Wonders of the Danube

March

11.  Dana Spiotta, Stone Arabia

12.  Yan Lianke, Dream of Ding Village

13.  Gonçalo M. Tavares, Jerusalem

14.  Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist

15.  Aimee Bender, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

April

16.  Mercé Rodoreda, Aloma

17.  Jan Morris, Hav

18.  Judith Hermann, Alice

19.  Diego Marani, New Finnish Grammar

20.  Giannina Braschi, Yo-Yo Bang!

May 

21.  Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place

22.  Imre Kertész, Fatelessness

23.  Erri de Luca, God’s Mountain

24.  David Soares, Batalha

25.  Helen Oyeyemi, The Icarus Girl

June

26.  Carlos Fuentes, La gran novela latinoamerica

27.  Yoko Ogawa, The Housekeeper and the Professor

28.  Cormac McCarthy, The Border Trilogy (All the Pretty Horses; The Crossing; Cities of the Plain)

29.  László Krasznahorkai and Max Neumann, Animalinside

30.  Modris Eksteins, Walking Since Daybreak

July

31.  Goran Petrović, Le Siége de L’église Saint-Sauveur

32.  Ernesto Cardenal, Poesía Completa:  Tomo I

33.  Branko Miljković, Fire and Nothing

34.  Joseph Brodsky, Watermark

35.  Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams

August

36.  Leonardo Sciascia, The Wine-Dark Sea

37.  Emilio Salgari, The Black Corsair

38.  Danilo Kiš, Early Sorrows

39.  Fainna Solasko, Kutkha the Raven

40.  Thomas Wolfe, The Web and the Rock

September

41.  Luigi Pirandello, Racconti fantastici

42.  Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

43.  Umberto Eco, Mouse or Rat?:  Translation as Negotiation

44.  Ivo Andrić, The Damned Yard and Other Stories

45.  Alina Diaconú, ¿Qué nos pasa, Nicolás?

October

46.  Ian McEwan, Atonement

47.  Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

48.  David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

49.  Thomas Wolfe, The Hills Beyond

50.  C. Alberto Bessa, Poética efêmera:  Poemas Reunidos

November

51.  Alberto Moravia, Boredom

52.  Milorad Pavić, For Ever and a Day

53.  Haley Tanner, Vaclav & Lena

54.  Angélica Gorodischer, Kalpa Imperial

55.  Salvatore Quasimodo, The Selected Writings of Salvatore Quasimodo

December

56.  Bruno Schulz, The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories

57.  Luigi Pulci, Morgante

58.  Matteo Maria Boiardo, Orlando Innamorato

59.  Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso

60.  Mark Jarman, Bone Fires

Hopefully, there’ll be something of interest for you, or perhaps you’ll recollect an old favorite.  I limited myself to 5 pre-2012 releases a month, in order to make sure I didn’t list 100+ books.  The ones listed I think will (or have) stand the test of time, or at least long enough to remember them fondly in 2013 and perhaps beyond.

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