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Your Call's best books of 2012


See the full list of recommendations from our bookworld specialists, and from other listeners!

  On today's Your Call, we’ll make a list of the best books of the past year, new and classics. What were your favorite books of this year?  Do you have friends or family you’d love to give a book to if only you had a recommendation? We’ll also get recommendations from independent bookstore owners.  Join us at 10am Pacific Time or post a comment here with your book ideas.  What are you reading now?  It's Your Call with Holly Kernan, and you.


Rosie Levy Merlin, program outreach librarian at San Francisco Public Library

Sharon Levin, founder of Bay Area Children’s Literature List

Kevin Hunsanger, co-owner of Green Apple Books and Music in San Francisco


Green Apple Books

San Francisco Public Library

SFPL Pinterest Page

For information about the Bay Area Children's Literature List, email Sharon Levin



Your Call Book List - Best of 2012!


Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Behind the Beautiful Forever by Kathyrn Boo

Buddha in the Attic by Julie Osaka

Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snickett

Martian Summer by Andrew Kessler

Ending the Culture of Violence by Penny Hess

Fall of Giants by Ken Follets

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Dreaming in French by Alice Kaplan

Black Fire by Robert Graysmith  

Season of the Witch by David Talbot

Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

God’s Hotel by Victoria Sweet

How Should A Person Be? by Sheila Heti

10 1/2 Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said by Charles Wheelan

The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker

The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker

Monstress by Lesley Tenorio

Peppermint Twist by John Johnson Jr., Joel Selvin, and Dick Cami

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon

Distractors by Malik Sompura (sp?)

In the Sunlight, In the Shadow by Mark Halprin

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Watch for me from the Mountain by Forrest Carter

Lucking Out by James Wilcox

Life After Murder by Nancy Mullane

We’re With Nobody by Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian

Subversives by Seth Rosenfeld

A Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan 

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Building Stories by Chris Ware

Girl with a Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Sisters Brothers Patrick Dewitt

All Natural by Nathanael Johnson

Krampus: the Yule Lord by Brom


Children and Young Adult Books:

The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood

Dreaming Up by Christy Hale

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama

The Littlest Angel by Charles Caswell

The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

First Girl Scout by Ginger Wadsworth

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

Except If and Oh No, Little Dragon by Jim Averbeck  

First Mothers by Beverly Gherman and Julie Downing

Dangerously Ever After by Dashka Slater, illustrated by Valeria Docampo

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex and Hank Blowfeather

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Love, Amalia by Alma Flor Ada 

In the Land of Milk and Honey by Joyce Carol Thomas

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara