Flag of Canada in a love heart

When Amazon announced their list of the “Best Books of 2012″, they also issued a second press release with an entirely different list chosen by the book editors at the Canadian version of Amazon.com. “From new books by beloved Canadian authors like ‘Dear Stories,’ to memoirs like ‘Waging Heavy Peace’…” announced the “country manager” for Amazon.ca, “there is something for everyone on this year’s list.” But in just the top 10, their editor’s independently picked five of the same books that were chosen by Amazon’s American editors!

Click here to browse the special Canadian version of Amazon’s “Best Books of 2012″ list. Of their five other choices, four of them were written by Canadian authors, and they haven’t been released in the U.S. There’s Carnival, a literary novel by Rawi Hage about a city cab driver during the chaotic Carnival. And Amazon Canada also selected the novel Above All Things by Tanis Rideout as one of the 10 best books of 2012. (It’s the story of the first man to climb Mt. Everest…and his wife.)

Their third Canadian-author choice was 419 by Will Ferguson, a crime novel based on those Nigerian e-mail scams. And their fourth Canadian-author choice was a mystery in the “Chief Inspector Gamache” series — The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny. But their fifth unique choice for their top-10 list of the bests book of 2012 was The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver. The American blogger predicted the outcome of two U.S. presidential elections with uncanny accuracy, and he’s turned his attention to the larger question of predictions in general — and why so many of them turn out wrong! Amazon’s American editors also selected the same book, but didn’t place it in their top 10.

Here’s the five books that Amazon’s American editors chose instead for their top 10 (which didn’t make it onto the Canadian top 10 list.)

     Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: A Novel by Ben Fountain
     A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
     The Middlesteins: A Novel by Jami Attenberg
     Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
     The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

But even when the same books were selected by the editors of both the American and Canadian versions of Amazon, the Canadian editors ranked those books in an entirely different order. Here’s their list of the 10 best books of 2012, along with the ranks from the Amazon’s American editors (shown in parentheses).

     1. (3) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
     2. Above All Things by Tanis Rideout
     3. (1) The Round House by Louise Erdrich
     4. (2) The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
     5. (4) The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
     6. 419 by Will Ferguson
     7. (6) Behind the Beautiful Forevers:
             Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
by Katherine Boo
     8. Carnival by Rawi Hage
     9. The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
     10. The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver


I really enjoy these lists, because there’s always something new on them that I’d never even thought about reading — so I’m delighted to discover this second list with even more titles from Amazon Canada. The idea is that no matter who you are, there should be something intriguing among all of the new choices, according to the announcement from Amazon’s country manager for Canada.

“From new books by beloved Canadian authors like Dear Stories, to memoirs like Waging Heavy Peace, and thrillers like our top pick, Gone Girl – there is something for everyone on this year’s list.”


Click here to browse the special Canadian version of
Amazon’s “Best Books of 2012″ list.

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