Readers’ picks for best books of 2012

The Globe and Mail

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CANADIAN FICTION

The Beautiful Mystery,

by Louise Penny

I have fallen in love with Penny's series about Inspector Gamache – this book was even better than I could have imagined. The inspector and all of the characters are multi-dimensional, complicated souls, and the lyrical writing is a joy. I wish more Canadian mystery lovers would find this author. – Karen Johnson, Edmonton

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Poison Shy,

by Stacey Madden

A dark and amusing book by a new author, it delves into the depths of human deprivation, with lots of sex and suspense. Not your everyday CanLit. – Rowan DeHaan, Toronto

The Last Hiccup

by Christopher Meades

This book has message and depth. So little satire in this country. We're in desperate need to learn to laugh at ourselves. This book is a great start. – Marjory Glaholm, Vancouver

Husk

by Corey Redekop

Not your average zombie novel. A hillarious and unusually fresh look at rotting flesh. A true Canadian coming-of-ageless story. – Judd Dowhy, Grande Prairie

INTERNATIONAL FICTION

Daughters Who Walk This Path,

by Yejide Kilanko

Kilanko‘s sharp-edged plot drives this novel forward, but the powerful core of the book is the probing insight it offers into the social and political texture of Nigeria. Two women, whose ties over the years draw the reader in, live through their struggles in that trying world. – Steven Langdon, Ottawa

NON-FICTION

Hope and Heartbreak in Toronto,

by Peter Robinson

Funny and well written but also relevant, because the Maple Leafs have never been so bad and the NHL is locked out. The book could be a biography of any hopelessly devoted fan (not just of the Leafs). – Jeff Marchildon, Toronto

Damned Nations,

by Samantha Nutt

The book broadened my perspective and understanding of the way military intervention, humanitarian action and aid work, while proving to be extremely thought provoking. It was both informative and deeply personal, drawing on Dr. Nutt’s lived experience and personal stories, and for me instilled a sense of both urgency and hope. – Meaghan Langille, Hamilton

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking,

by Susan Cain

As an introvert, I have never felt as empowered as I did after reading this. In her thoroughly researched book, Cain dispels the myth of the extrovert ideal by exploring the reasons that quiet, reflective people should be celebrated in a society that values gregariousness. – Sandra McCubbin, Guelph

GRAPHICA

How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You,

by Matthew Inman

Brilliant and absolutely hilarious; it makes the perfect coffee table (or bathroom) book. And after reading it, you will never look at your cat the same way again. – Andrew Cunningham, Calgary

POETRY

Our Gleaming Bones Unrobed,

by Grant Loveys

Loveys hands the reader a map of modern love, documenting the purities and punishment found along the way, and sends us off with a smile. I felt strangely connected – not only to the author, but to myself and everyone who has felt the deep wounds of love and loss and letting go. This is poetry that doesn’t exclude or obscure. This is poetry that listens. – David Sutter, Vernon, B.C.

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