As part of our Best Books of 2012 coverage, our editors weigh in on some of their personal favorites from the list.
J.K. Rowling's first published novel for adults has received more mixed reviews than any other book published in 2012. We are firmly in the "worth reading" camp. In her story of warring factions in a small town in England's West Country, Rowling reminds us of how good she is at slowly building a world with small details; at writing catchy dialogue (does anyone have a better ear?); and at touching our hearts. The Casual Vacancy is sobering and sad, but the characters will stick in your mind, maybe even changing how you think about people born into poverty.
View our Best Books of 2012: #26-50. Full list to come later this week!