Even More “Best Books of 2012” – from Amazon Canada!

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.

Amazon Announces “Best Books of 2012”

Amazon's List of the Best Books of 2012

The editors at Amazon have just announced their list of the very best books of 2012. They’ve also chosen their Best Book of the Year — and created 24 more “top 10” lists for different categories, including fiction, romance, mystery, and this year’s 10 best Kindle Singles. They’ve even got a list where Stephen King chooses his Top 10 favorite books of the year, along with other famous authors like Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald. Plus, each individual category also has its own a “best book of the year.”

Visit Amazon’s “Best Books of 2012” page at tinyurl.com/BestBooksOf2012

“We are confident that we’ve chosen a list that customers will be excited about,” announced Amazon’s Editorial Director for the Kindle and Books at Amazon.com, Sara Nelson. And on a special web page, Amazon explains that “All year, the Amazon Books editorial team reads voraciously, tracking down and sharing the most fascinating, compelling, enlightening, and entertaining books…” Their pick for the best book of the year was The Round House, about a teenager’s investigation into a family tragedy on a reservation in North Dakota. Here’s Amazon’s complete list of the Top 10 Books of 2012 — and what they had to say about them.


1. The Round House by Louise Erdric
“Likely to be dubbed the Native American To Kill a Mockingbird, Erdrich’s moving, complex and surprisingly uplifting new novel tells of a boy’s coming of age in the wake of a brutal, racist attack on his mother.”

2. The Yellow Birds: A Novel by Kevin Powers
“With this compact and emotional debut novel, Iraq War veteran Powers eyes the casual violence of war with a poet’s precision, moving confidently between scenes of blunt atrocity and almost hallucinatory detachment.”

3. Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
“Masterfully plotted from start to finish, the suspense doesn’t waver for one page. It’s one of those books you will feel the need to discuss immediately after finishing. The ending punches you in the gut.”

4. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
“As much an homage to literature as to the mother who shared it with him, Schwalbe’s chronicling of his mother’s death to cancer—they wait, they talk, they read together—is nothing less than captivating.”

5. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: A Novel by Ben Fountain
“Debut novelist Fountain follows a squad of marines as they engage in a ‘victory tour’ in the States. Set mostly during halftime at a Dallas Cowboy’s football game, Fountain skillfully illustrates what it’s like to go to war, and how bizarre and disconcerting it can be for these grunts to return from combat to the country they love.”

6. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
“This searing portrait of life in a Mumbai slum reads like a novel, but it’s all-too-true. Pulitzer Prize-winner Boo’s writing is superb, and the depth and courage of her reporting from this hidden world is astonishing.”

7. A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
“Both disturbing and funny, this novel from onetime wunderkind Eggers shows surprising depth. A man’s wayward attempt to find himself and retake his life delivers him to Saudi Arabia but the journey abroad is also internal, and it ends up saying as much about life in America as in the Middle East.”

8. The Middlesteins: A Novel by Jami Attenberg
“A quick read that’s more complex than it seems at first, this story about a Midwestern Jewish family is both recognizable (sometimes uncomfortably so) and entertainingly idiosyncratic.”

9. Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
“Like the late author himself, this book is funny, smart, entertaining and unflinching to the end. Mortality has the power to change ideas that you might have held immutable—which is one of the best things you can say about a book.”

10. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
“This soulful novel originally written for teenagers tackles big subjects – life, death, love – with the perfect blend of levity and heart-swelling emotion.”



There’s a humorous note on the web page where Amazon’s announcing their final list. “Picking the best of anything is always difficult, but this year Sara Nelson and the gang had a different kind of difficulty: an embarrassment of riches. All year long we read and loved so many books that the usually spirited Best of the Year meetings were, well, especially spirited.” I can only imagine what that discussion must’ve looked like, but in the end, Amazon explains, we arrived at a list that we’re proud of, offering something for everyone.

“Enjoy!”

Visit Amazon’s “Best Books of 2012” page at tinyurl.com/BestBooksOf2012