Jan. 23

Jack Gantos wins the Newbery Medal for “Dead End in Norvelt,” about his boyhood town in Pennsylvania.

March 13

After 244 years, the Encyclopedia Britannica announces it will go all-digital and stop printing bound volumes.

April 16

Pulitzer Prize board declines to award a prize for fiction this year.

May 1

Robert Caro releases the fourth volume of his biography of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

May 2

A celebration is held at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London to mark the 350th anniversary of the Anglican “Book of Common Prayer.”

Natasha Trethewey becomes the 19th U.S. Poet Laureate in June 2012. (Nancy Crampton/Nancy Crampton)
June 5

Ray Bradbury, author of “Fahrenheit 451” and many other science fiction classics, dies at 91.

June 7

Mississippi poet Natasha Trethewey becomes the 19th poet laureate of the United States.

June 25

The Folger Shakespeare Library releases the Bard’s canon in e-book format.

June 26

Nora Ephron, the essayist and screenwriter, dies at 71.

July 10

Scribner releases a version of Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” that includes that author’s 47 alternative endings.

July 31

Gore Vidal, novelist, essayist and intellectual pugilist, dies at 86.

Aug. 2

After New Yorker staff writer Jonah Lehrer is caught self-plagiarizing and fabricating quotes, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt begins recalling his book “Imagine” from shelves.


In a particularly robust month, Michael Chabon, Junot Diaz, Ken Follett and Zadie Smith release novels.

Sept. 4

A Navy SEAL who participated in the raid that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden releases his account of events under the pseudonym Mark Owen. The Pentagon threatens legal action.

Sept. 20

Wal-Mart stops selling Amazon Kindles.

Sept. 27

J.K. Rowling follows up on the Harry Potter series by publishing an adult novel, “The Casual Vacancy,” about a political dispute in a British hamlet. The book sells 375,000 copies across all formats in its first six days on the U.S. market.

Oct. 3

Marjorie Scardino announces she will step down as chief executive of Pearson, which owns Penguin. Her departure puts the large publishing house’s future in doubt.

Oct. 11

Chinese novelist Mo Yan receives the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Oct. 16

With “Bring Up the Bodies,” Hilary Mantelbecomes the first woman to win the Man Booker Prize twice.

Oct. 29

Book publishers Random House and Penguin announce plans to explore a merger that would form the largest consumer book publishing house in the world.

Nov. 14

The National Book Foundation gives its outstanding service award to Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., chairman and publisher of the New York Times, for his book section’s contributions to American literature.


PHOTOS | Best books of 2012

Top fiction, nonfiction of 2012

Best graphic novels of 2012

Best audiobooks of 2012