Sunday, February 24, 2013

Better Late Than Never! Favorite Books from 2012

One of you left a comment last week asking if I’d posted about favorite books from 2012… No, at least not until today: I came home from an early winter trip to Moscow with a cold that left me zombified through the holidays and then, I admit, I forgot. Looking back on my posts from last year, I see several titles that I enjoyed very much. I’ve linked previous posts to book titles.

Patrick Ouředník’s Case Closed (translated by Alex Zucker from the Czech original Ad Acta) is probably my favorite among all last year’s posted books, thanks to absurdity and Alex Zucker’s wonderful translation.

Joseph Roth’s Job (translated by Ross Benjamin from the German original Hiob, Roman eines einfachen Mannes) makes the list because of Roth’s storytelling, Benjamin’s translation, and a setting in the waning Russian Empire.

Herta Müller’s The Hunger Angel (translated by Philip Boehm from the original German Atemschaukel) is another book with a largely Russian setting. I also appreciated word play that must have been difficult to translate.

Ben H. Winters’s The Last Policeman, a detective novel set in pre-apocalyptic New Hampshire, might be my favorite English original book from 2012: Winters’s combination of humor and sadness works well.

Here's hoping you're enjoying the new year!

Disclosures: Included in previous posts.

Up Next: Back to regular scheduled programming with Esmahan Aykol’s Baksheesh, then Kazuo Ishiguro’s When We Were Orphans.

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