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Bookpage Best Books of 2012

Memo to the Pulitzer board: 2012 has been a year full of great reading, especially when it comes to fiction. When our editors finished stumping for their personal favorites and the votes were counted, our top 10 included three notable debuts, a few familiar names and one beautifully written memoir. Though reading choices—and rankings!—are intensely personal, we think our top 50 has something for every reader. 

 1. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

 2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

 3. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

 4. May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes

 5. The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan

 6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

 7. The Round House by Louise Erdrich

 8. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

 9. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

10. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

11. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

12. Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

13. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

14. The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

15. Thomas Jefferson by Jon Meacham

16. The Mansion of Happiness by Jill Lepore

17. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

18. The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

19. Love’s Winning Plays by Inman Majors

20. Broken Harbor by Tana French

21. Home by Toni Morrison

22. NW by Zadie Smith

23. Mortality by Christopher Hitchens

24. The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger

25. You Came Back by Christopher Coake

26. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe

27. Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie

28. Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub

29. San Miguel by T.C. Boyle

30. Coming to My Senses by Alyssa Harad

31. Arcadia by Lauren Groff

32. The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin

33. Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick

34. Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins

35. Canada by Richard Ford

36. By the Iowa Sea by Joe Blair

37. The Cove by Ron Rash

38. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

39. Winter Journal by Paul Auster

40. Gypsy Boy by Mikey Walsh

41. The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones

42. In One Person by John Irving

43. Capital by John Lanchester

44. Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

45. A Partial History of Lost Causes by Jennifer duBois

46. A Good American by Alex George

47. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

48. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

49. Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung

50. Carry the One by Carol Anshaw

 

Read more Best of 2012 coverage, including musings from our editors on some of the winning titles, on our blog. Don't miss our best book covers, best titles and best books for kids and teens!