10 books we’ve loved this year

June 5, 2012

ARCADIA , by Lauren Groff (Voice, $25.99). A poignant and gorgeously written novel about a young man raised on a failed commune in Upstate New York.

BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL
FOREVERS
, by Katherine Boo. (Random House, $27). The lives of residents of a Mumbai slum are chronicled in this astonishing and deeply reported account.

BRING UP THE BODIES , by Hilary Mantel (Henry Holt, $28). Mantel follows up her Booker-winning “Wolf Hall” with another tale of Thomas Cromwell, who plots to end the failing marriage between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

CANADA , by Richard Ford (Ecco, $27.99). A magnificent novel about the young son of two inept bank robbers.

HOUSE OF STONE: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East , by Anthony Shadid (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26). The late American foreign correspondent rebuilds a house his great-grandfather owned in Lebanon.


‘House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East’ by Anthony Shadid (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

MARIGOLD: The Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnam , by James G. Hershberg (Stanford Univ., $39.50). U.S. policymakers missed an opportunity to end the Vietnam War in 1966, instead opting for a bombing campaign that led to seven more years of war and domestic upheaval.

MANHUNT: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden — From 9/11 to Abbottabad , by Peter L. Bergen (Crown, $26). Even with the media saturation of these events, Bergen manages to make the story of Osama bin Laden’s end into a real-life thriller.

THE PRESIDENTS CLUB: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity, by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy (Simon & Schuster, $32.50). The special relationships among America’s post-World War II presidents.

THE SONG OF ACHILLES , by Madeline Miller (Ecco, $25.99). A moving retelling of Homer’s “Iliad,” about love and war — and the roots of revenge.

THE
STONECUTTER
, by Camilla Lackberg (Pegasus, $25.95) Lackberg may be the heir to Agatha Christie, and her richly textured mystery of a spate of murders in a fishing village adds to that claim.

More on summer reading:

Beach reading: Sojourns gone sour

Which e-reader is best on the beach?

Summertime reading for D.C. area leaders

Looking for romance? Find it in an e-book

10 books to anticipate this fall

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