Round of the Best of 2012 Books Roundup

Guest Post by Dell Smith

It’s mid-December already? Back the truck up! You know what that means. End of year book lists. The year’s best, worst, and in between books. We here at Beyond the Margins don’t go in for such pandering. I mean, who are we to judge a great book from a not so great book? Still, we’re not above linking to those who do. So let’s get to it:

Over at Pub Rants, Agent Kristin answers What Are The Big YA Debut Break Outs in 2012?

At the Daily Beast, Newsweek/Daily Beast books editor Lucas Wittmann lists the 10 books that wowed him this year. Elsewhere on the Beast, The 2012 Books You Missed But Shouldn’t Have and best coffee table books.

At Good Reads, it’s you, the book buying public, casting votes for most awesomest books of the year. Don’t listen to elitist media outlets for your zeitgeist-worthy choices. The people have spoken. And the people are readers! And the readers are you!!

NPR jumps into the fray with categories like best eye-catching gift booksbest historical fiction, and the most outstanding backseat reads for kids 9 to 14.

At Bloomberg and Business Week the name Nate Silver brings all the economists to the yard.

Spirituality Practice lists the best books of the year on spirituality (so far).

Poetry Magazine gets all busy with the best poetry books of 2012.

Retro Chick lists her favorite unique books of the year.

Brain Pickings has their take on the best history books.

For an overview of the best book covers of the year, check out The Atlantic.

I’m most fond of Book Riot’s list, which includes many choices not included in other lists, such as unheralded novels like What Happened to Sophie Wilder by Christopher Beha, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple, Glaciers by Alexis Smith, the English translation of Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s Satantango, and perhaps most intriguing is their nomination for one of the best graphic novels of the year, Tale of Sand by Ramon Perez based on the screenplay by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl. Huh? A graphic novel based on an experimental, unproduced screenplay Henson wrote with his soon-to-be creative partner on Sesame Street, Jerry Juhl? I’m in.

If you don’t care to scroll through all these lists, head on over to largehearted boy where he is aggregating every best of 2012 book list, adding to it every day. Don’t forget Pinterest and Tumblr, also getting into the best-of aggregation game.

For you completests looking for more best-of literary lists, then you’re in luck since almost all literary news outlets trumpet their versions, including:


Daily Candy

The Guardian

Library Journal




Publisher’s Weekly

New York Times

Washington Post

Huffington Post


Don’t care to look back? Join those looking ahead. Over at Writer Unboxed, Keith Cronin doles out 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers, which include reading more, expanding your horizons to try something new, and figuring out where the gaps are in your skills and building up that skill.

That’s about it for this year. Makes you wonder what lays ahead in the new year....Oh, well, since you asked, head on over to Book Page for their early 2013 fiction forecast.

(originally posted on Beyond The Margins)

Dell Smith is a fiction writer. He grew up on Cape Cod and left town to study filmmaking. He writes stories and novels, and works as a technical writer at a software company northwest of Boston. He has also worked as a videotape editor, cook, music video lackey, TelePrompTer operator, accounts receivable clerk, assistant film editor, caterer, roadie, flea market vendor, videotape duplicator, and wedding videographer. He has lived in Worcester, Bridgeport, Van Nuys, Billerica, Ithaca, Florham Park, Fairfield, and Simi Valley. He brings his life experience to bear in his fiction. His writing has appeared in Fiction, J. Journal, Lynx Eye Quarterly, and Grub Street’s 10th anniversary anthology Hacks. He is a regular contributor to The Review Review and maintains a blog, Unreliable Narrator at, featuring essays on movies, writing, and the publishing biz, along with book reviews and author interviews. He is currently writing a novel.

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