Guy Delisle

Best Books of the Year: My personal Top 20

2012 Juli Frantje-Haus Selfpic.

(After a popular list last year [Link]…)

…here are the 20 very best books I’ve read in 2012:

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20: JASON SHIGA, “Bookhunter”, Graphic Novel, 2007.
Bookhunter

19: GAYLE FORMAN: “If I stay”, Young Adult Novel, 2009.
If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

18: DAVID MARKSON: “The Last Novel”, (postmodern) Novel / Lists / Trivia Collection, 2007.
The Last Novel

17: SHARON M. DRAPER: “Out of my Mind”, Young Adult Novel, 2010.
Out of My Mind

16: OCTAVIA BUTLER: “Kindred”, (Fantasy) Novel, 1971.
Kindred

15: JOHAN HARSTAD: “Buzz Aldrin, what happened to you in all the Confusion?”, Novel (Norway), 2005.
Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?

14: KRISTEN D. RANDLE: “The only Alien on the Planet”, Young Adult Novel, 1995.
The Only Alien on the Planet

13: DANIELA KRIEN: “Irgendwann werden wir uns alles erzählen”, Novel (German), 2011.
Irgendwann werden wir uns alles erzählen

12: TENNESSEE WILLIAMS: “A Streetcar named Desire”, Play, 1947. […alternative / runner-up: HENRIK IBSEN: “A Doll’s House”, Play (Norway), 1879.]
A Streetcar Named Desire and A Doll's House

11: ARNO GEIGER: “Der alte König in seinem Exil” (Austrian) Alzheimer Memoir, 2011.
Der alte König in seinem Exil

10: SARAH LEAVITT: “Tangles. A Story about Alzheimer’s, my Mother and me”, Graphic Novel, 2010.
Tangles : a story about Alzheimer's, my mother, and me

09: ARNE BELLSTORF: “Baby’s in Black”, Graphic Novel (German), 2010.
Baby's in Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and The Beatles in Hamburg

08: SCOTT SNYDER: “Batman: The Court of Owls”, Graphic Novel (and good start for new “Batman” readers):
Batman, Vol. 1: The Court of Owls

07: STEWART O’NAN: “The Odds. A Love Story”, Novel, 2012.
The Odds: A Love Story

06: JOACHIM HELFER, RASHID al-DAIF: “Die Verschwulung der Welt”, Essay (German / Persian), 2006.
Die Verschwulung der Welt.

05: ALEXIS M. SMITH: “Glaciers”, Novel, 2012.
Glaciers

04: JOE HILL: “Locke & Key” series, Graphic Novels, 2008 to 2013.
Locke and Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft

03: MARLEN HAUSHOFER: “The Wall / Die Wand”, Austian novel, 1962.
Die Wand

02: GERBRAND BAKKER: “The Detour / Der Umweg”, Dutch novel, 2010.
Der Umweg

01: RUTH KLÜGER: “Still alive. A Holocaust Girlhood remembered”, Memoir / Essay, 1992.
Weiter leben. Eine Jugend.

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For a complete list of books I’ve read in 2012, please go here [Link].

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In comics, I’ve also enjoyed Guy Delisle’s travelogues / non-fiction graphic novels “Burma Chronicles” [Link], “Pyongyang” [Link] and “Jerusalem” [Link], the “New 52” DC comic books featuring “Wonder Woman” [Link], “Green Lantern” [Link], “Swamp Thing” [Link] and the “Birds of Prey” [Link] – and large parts of Naoki Urasawa’s “Pluto” [Link]

…and “Honey & Clover” [Link], a “Scott Pilgrim”-like, bittersweet / comedic coming-of-age manga series about five friends at an art school.

Here’s a collage of my notable graphic novel discoveries in 2012:

Wordpress Graphic Novels Best-of 2012.

Have a good 2013! More to come!

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Underdog Literature, June 2012: 15 fresh or notable, off-the-wall titles

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Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:

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01: JONATHAN EVISON, “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving”, 290 pages, 2012.

02: MICHAEL CHABON, “Telegraph Avenue”, 480 pages, 2012.

03: MICHEL TURNIER, “The Ogre”, 373 pages, 1970. [France]

04: ELIZABETH WEIN, “Code Name Verity”, 452 pages, 2012. [Young Adult / History]

05: NEIL ABRAMSON, “Unsaid”, 368 pages, 2011.

06: ALEXIS M. SMITH, “Glaciers”, 174 pages, 2012.

07: GRAHAM JOYCE, “Some Kind of Fairy Tale”, 320 pages, 2012. [Urban Fantasy]

08: SERGEJ DOVLATOV, “A Foreign Woman”, 113 pages, 1991.

09: SASHA SOKOLOV, “A School for Fools”, 232 pages, 1976. [Russian]

10: LIZA KLAUSSMANN, “Tigers in Red Weather”, 368 pages, 2012.

11: SARAH MANGUSO, “The Guardians: An Elegy”, 128 pages, 2012. [Portrait / Memoir]

12: CLAIRE LEGRAND, “The Cavandish Home for Boys and Girls”, 352 pages, 2012. [Young Adult, Horror]

13: PATRICK FLANERY, “Absolution”, 400 pages, 2012. [Thriller, South Africa]

14: DAVID VAN REYBROUCK, “Kongo – eine Geschichte”, 783 pages, 2010. [Dutch, History]

15: RUTH KLÜGER, “Weiter leben: Eine Jugend”, 283 pages, 1992. [German, Memoir]

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Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: SUZETTE MAYR, “Monoceros”, 272 pages, 2011. [Young Adult]

02: A.F. Th. VAN DER HEIJDEN, “Tonio”, 640 pages, 2011. [Dutch, Memoir]

03: EOWYN IVEY, “The Snow Child”, 389 pages, 2012.

04: ISMET PRCIC, “Shards”, 400 pages, 2011.

05: DIETMAR DATH, “Für immer in Honig”, 1035 pages, 2005.

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…and finally, here is one book that I read – and that was really good:

4 of 5 stars: GUY DELISLE, “Jerusalem”, 334 pages, 2012. [Graphic Novel / Journalism]

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Summer Reading List – 29 good… and 29 *great* books

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My reading list, this summer?

Here are 29 books… that I suspect to be pretty good.

And another 29 books… that I suspect to be great.

Update, spring 2013: I managed to read a good number of the books. See the orange text for my ratings!

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Good books…

01: JAMES FREY, “Bright shiny Morning”, 501 pages, 2008.

02: ALICIA ERIAN, “Towelhead”, 336 pages, 2006.

03: LYNN COADY, “The Antagonist”, 352 pages, 2001.

04: SAPPHIRE, “Push”, 179 pages, 1996.

05: HOWARD ZINN, “You can’t be neutral on a moving Train”, 224 pages, 1994.

07: CHRISTIE HODGEN, ‘Elegies for the Brokenhearted’, 256 pages, 2010.

08: DODIE SMITH, ‘I capture the Castle’, 352 pages, 1948. [Coming of Age]

09: JOHN B. THOMPSON, ‘Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the 21st Century’, 440 pages, 2010. [Cultural Studies / Nonfiction]

10: JERRY MANDER, ‘Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television’, 376 pages, 1978 [Essay]

11: RUSSELL BANKS, ‘Affliction’, 368 pages, 1989.

12: LAWRENCE DURRELL: ‘The Alexandria Quartet’, 884 pages, 1957.

13: SUZETTE MAYR, ‘Monoceros’, 280 pages, 2011.

14: AMY KROUSE ROSENTHAL, “Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life”, 240 pages, 2005.

15: JOHAN HARSTAD, “Buzz Aldrin, what happened to you in all the Confusion?”, 478 pages, 2005. [Young Adult, Norway] 4 of 5 stars. Recommended.

16: CATHERINE CHUNG, “Forgotten Country”, 304 pages, 2012.

17: CHARLOTTE ROGAN, “The Lifeboat”, 275 pages, 2012.

18: EDMUND WHITE, “Jack Holmes and his Friend”, 392 pages, 2012.

19: MARK OLIVER EVERETT, “Things the Grandchildren should know”, 256 pages, 2007. 4 of 5 stars. Recommended.

20: NICK ANTOSCA, “Fires”, 194 pages, 2006.

21: AMY WALDMAN, “The Submission”, 300 pages, 2011. 3 of 5 stars. Not recommended.

22: ARMISTEAD MAUPIN, “Tales of the City”, 296 pages, 1978.

23: MICHAEL MARSHALL SMITH, “Only Forward”, 310 pages, 1994.

24: KIRSTEN D. RANDLE, “The only Alien on the Planet”, 228 pages, 1995. 4 of 5 stars. Recommended.

25: TONY EARLEY, “The Blue Star”, 304 pages, 2008.

26: JOSE MANUEL PRIETO, “Rex”, 336 pages, 2009.

27: GARTH STEIN, “The Art of Racing in the Rain”, 321 pages, 2008.

28: DIETMAR DATH, “Für immer in Honig”, 1035 pages, 2005 [German].

28: WALTER TEVIS, “The Queen’s Gambit”, 183 pages, 1983.

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Great books…!

01: JESSE BROWNER, “Everything happens today”, 224 pages, 2011.

02: SLOAN WILSON, “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit”, 288 pages, 1954.

03: CLAIRE BIDWELL SMITH, “The Rules of Inheritance”, 304 pages, 2012.

04: LIZ MOORE, “Heft”, 352 pages, 2012. 2 of 5 stars. Not recommended.

05: EOWYN IVEY, “The Snow Child”, 352 pages, 2012.

06: ANDERS NILSEN, “Don’t go where I can’t follow”, 244, 2007. 3 of 5 stars. Not recommended.

07: ADAM LEVIN, ‘The Instructions’, 1030 pages, 2010

08: JAMES SALTER, ‘Light Years’, 308 pages, 1975.

09: DAVID MARKSON, ‘The Last Novel’, 220 pages, 2007. 4 of 5 stars. Recommended.

10: DOROTHY BAKER, ‘Cassandra at the Wedding’, 256 pages, 1962.

11: TIM WISE, “White like me. Reflections on Race from a privileged Son”, 250 pages, 2004.

12: JOACHIM MEYERHOFF, “Alle Toten fliegen hoch”, 319 pages, 2011.

13: JEANETTE WINTERSON, “Why be happy when you could be normal?”, 256 pages, 2011. [Memoir]

14: ISMET PRCIC, “Shards”, 400 pages, 2011. 3 of 5 stars. Not recommended.

15: GUY DELISLE, “Jerusalem”, 334 pages, 2011. [Graphic Novel; nonfiction] 4 of 5 stars. Recommended.

16: WILLIAM MAXWELL, “The Folded Leaf”, 289 pages, 1945.

17: ERIC WALTERS, “Safe as Houses”, 160 pages, 2007. [Young Adult] 4 of 5 stars. Recommended for younger readers.

18: SHARON M. DRAPER, “Out of my Mind”, 295 pages, 2010. [Young Adult] 4 of 5 stars. Recommended.

19: ALISON BECHDEL, “Are you my Mother?”, 224 pages, 2012. [Graphic Novel / Memoir]

20: PATRICK DeWITT, “The Sisters Brothers”, 352 pages, 2011.

21: DOROTHY CANFIELD-FISHER, “The Home-Maker”, 320 pages, 1924.

22: C.D. PAYNE, “Youth in Revolt”, 499 pages, 1995. [Young Adult]

23: KAUI HART HEMMINGS, “The Descendants”, 283 pages, 2007.

24: E.L. DOCTOROW, “The Book of Daniel”, 320 pages, 1971.

25: ROBERT BOSWELL, “Century’s Son”, 320 pages, 2002.

26: ANDRE DUBUS, “Selected Stories”, 496 pages, 1988.

27: TOVE JANSSON, “Fair Play”, 179 pages, 1989. 4 of 5 stars. Recommended. But her “Summer Book” is even better.

28: FRANCIS SPUFFORD, “Red Plenty”, 448 pages, 2007.

29: JUNICHIRO TANIZAKI, “The Makiota Sisters”, 544 pages, 1946.

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related posts:

Underdog Literature, March 2012: 15 fresh or overlooked, off-the-wall titles

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Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:

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01: CLAIRE BIDWELL SMITH, “The Rules of Inheritance”, 298 pages, 2012.C

02: ISMET PRCIC, “Shards”, 400 pages, 2011.

03: JEFF MARTIN, “The late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books”, 165 pages, 2011.

04: GUY DELISLE, “Jerusalem”, 334 pages, 2011. [Graphic Novel; nonfiction]

05: LIZ MOORE, “Heft”, 352 pages, 2012.

06: EOWYN IVEY, “The Snow Child”, 389 pages, 2011.

07: AMY KROUSE ROSENTHAL, “Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life”, 240 pages, 2005.

08: ERIC WALTERS, “Safe as Houses”, 160 pages, 2007. [Young Adult]

09: SHARON M. DRAPER, “Out of my Mind”, 295 pages, 2010. [Young Adult]

10: RYAN KNIGHTON, “C’mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark”, 272 pages, 2010. [Memoir]

11: ALISON BECHDEL, “Are you my Mother?”, 224 pages, 2012. [Graphic Novel / Memoir]

12: HAVEN KIMMEL, “She got off the Couch; and other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana”, 320 pages, 2005. [Humor]

13: JULIE ANNE PETERS, “Between Mom and Jo”, 240 pages, 2007. [Young Adult]

14: MILLEN BRAND, “The Outward Room”, 240 pages, 1937.

15: STEPHANIE COONTZ, “The Way we never were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap”, 432 pages, 1992.

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Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: WOLFGANG HERRNDORF, “Tschick”, 253 pages, 2010 [Young Adult, German].

02: SARAH OCKLER, “Twenty Boy Summer”, 290 pages, 2009 [Young Adult].

03: PATRICK DeWITT, “The Sisters Brothers”, 352 pages, 2011.

04: ROHINTON MISTRY, “A Fine Balance”, 603 pages, 1995.

05: REBECCA SKLOOT, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, 370 pages, 2010.

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…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

1: 5 of 5 stars: STEWART O’NAN, “The Odds”, 179 pages, 2012.

2: 4 of 5 stars: BRIAN FRANCIS, “Natural Order”, 384 pages, 2011.

3: 4 of 5 stars: OCTAVIA E. BUTLER, “Kindred”, 288 pages, 1983.

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