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2012 Best Books of the Year: Recommendations by Authors (Part Two)

Last week, we posted 2012 book recommendations from popular authors. Since we've received recommendations from so many authors, we decided to do a two-part post. If you'd like to see what the Amazon editors' favorites of the year were, check out the 2012 Best Books of the Year store.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Gillian Flynn:

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Best book you read that was published in 2012?

    "Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. Mantel’s brilliant fictional account of the deadly war of wills between Thomas Cromwell and Anne Boleyn is so present, so precise that she actually tricks you into thinking you don’t know the ending.”

Two other great books you read this year?

    Gods of Gotham by Lyndsey Faye. One of the most unnerving, entertaining, involving period mysteries I’ve read in years (and I read a lot of period mysteries)."

    "Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream. Ream’s novel—about a manic-depressive artist who is planning her own suicide—is poignant and insightful and also surprisingly funny, thanks to its nasty, charming narrator.”

Stephen King:

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Best book you read that was published in 2012?

    Say You're Sorry by Michael Robotham. 'The Bingham Girls' disappeared three years ago, but their story is far from over. Their fate is gruesome, their courage ennobling. Never-lets-up suspense and beautiful writing."

Two other great books you read this year?

    And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman. Heloise Lane is a single suburban mother who also happens to run a high-priced escort service. When the barrier between her two lives starts to crumble, the results are mesmerizing. Lippman writes with clarity and power.”

    The Good Son by Michael Gruber. Sonia Bailey is part of a 'peace symposium' that is taken prisoner by Muslim extremists in Pakistan. This is a thriller, but also a novel of the mind--I learned more about the radical mindset in these 320 pages than in all the political punditry I've read or watched in the last five years. Highly recommended.”

Mollie Ringwald:

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Best book you read that was published in 2012?

    The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg. The Middlesteins evokes Leo Tolstoy’s first line of Anna Karenina: 'Every family is unhappy in its own way.' Jami Attenberg's portrait of a family whose matriarch struggles with food addiction is as original as it is heartfelt and accessible. Attenberg’s characters are richly drawn, full of love and despair at the helplessness of keeping a family together when one of their own chooses to literally eat herself to death. The author takes no prisoners and yet she also wisely portrays no villains. These characters stay with you for a long time. I was so enamored with this book, I chose to lend my voice to the audio version.”

Two other great books you read this year?

    "Arcadia by Lauren Groff. Lauren Groff’s sumptuous novel chronicles the life of Bit, a boy raised in a commune who witnesses the disintegration of his parents’ generation's utopian dreams. As we follow Bit into adulthood, we experience the extraordinary gifts and scars that such an unconventional childhood leaves. I was so taken with Groff’s extraordinary eye for detail into this strange and dreamy world that I was sure that the author was raised in a commune herself; Turns out she just writes great fiction!."

    "Just My Type by Simon Garfield. I have often wondered about the geniuses behind the iconic fonts that the majority of the world takes for granted. Simon Garfield brilliantly anthropomorphizes the fonts and gives us a glimpse into the lives of the artists who created them. My unadulterated fascination with this book is sure to out me as a nerd. I’m okay with that."

John Green:

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Best book you read that was published in 2012?

    "The best book I read this year published this year was Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, the story of several families in a Mumbai slum. It’s a thrilling page-turner that also captures the complex results of globalization and the spread of industrial capitalism."

Two other great books you read this year?

Cameron Diaz:

(Note: Cameron Diaz will be publishing a book in late 2013. It is not yet available on Amazon for preorders.)

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Best book you read that was published in 2012?

    "We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy by Yael Kohen. This anecdotal history of the women who crack us up and push boundaries is told by the trailblazers themselves as well as TV execs, comedy club owners and everyone who continues that tradition today. You'll learn as much as you laugh."

Two other great books you read this year?

    "Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. What an amazing gift Jobs gave the world when he allowed Walter Isaacson to tell the story of his life. This book could almost serve as an instruction manual on how to change the world."

    "Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. Only through Cormac McCarthy's staggering words can you truly understand the importance of knowing the savageness that man is capable of."

Chad Harbach:

(Note: The Amazon editors selected Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding as the 2011 Best Book of the Year.)

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Best book you read that was published in 2012?

    "The best book I read this year was Marco Roth's The Scientists, a riveting, soul-baring memoir about the author's relationship with his father, who died of AIDS in the early '90s. It's part mystery, part tragedy, part spiritual and intellectual autobiography. It's beautifully written and as honest as a book can be."

Two other great books you read this year?

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