Maureen of the Reference Department selects her 5 favorite books from 2012:
1. NW by Zadie Smith
No one writes about class struggles with the accuracy of Zadie Smith.
“This is the story of a city. The northwest corner of a city. Here you’ll find guests and hosts, those with power and those without it, people who live somewhere special and others who live nowhere at all. And many people in between.” -Hamish Hamilton
2. Instant Light: Tarkovsky Polaroids by Andrei Tarkovsky
This book was reissued this year, but was originally published in 2006. It was rare for a long time, so I consider it new again because it’s finally available.
“This beautifully produced book comprises sixty Polaroid photographs of Andrei Tarkovsky’s, taken in his native Russia and in Italy, where he spent time in political exile.The size of the Polaroids is exactly as presented in the book, including the frame.” -Thurman & Hudson
3. Gloriana by Kevin Huizenga
My favorite story in this collection regards an atheist explaining a solar eclipse to his agnostic neighbors.
“Huizenga’s much-lauded work is finely detailed, and in its innovative use of form, it explores the boundaries of the comic medium, deconstructing and reconstructing panels to express temporality and lived experience more fully.” -D&Q
4. How Music Works by David Byrne
Byrne explores how profoundly music is shaped by its time and place, and he explains how the advent of recording technology in the twentieth century forever changed our relationship to playing, performing, and listening to music.
5. Farther Away by Jonathan Franzen
Franzen returns with renewed vigor to the themes that have long preoccupied him. Whether recounting his violent encounter with bird poachers in Cyprus, examining his friendship with David Foster Wallace, or offering a moving and witty take on how technology has changed how people express their love, these pieces deliver on Franzen’s implicit promise to conceal nothing.
Librarians list their favorite books of the year on my library’s goofy Tumblr. Here’s my list.