Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-07-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOKS: Best of 2012
Extended for the online edition of Windy City Times
by Terri Schlichenmeyer
2012-12-31

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Drivel, dreck and what the heck.

That kind of sums up the books that were released in 2012. There were some good things, some downright awful things, and some things that, well, they weren't bad but they weren't the best books you've ever read, either.

And then there were the gems.

I read just more than 270 books this year, and (fortunate me!) it was hard to decide on just 5 picks in the three categories below. But here they are, in no certain order, my personal "best of" from 2012….

Adult fiction

For me, the world totally ceased to exist while I was reading The Absolutist, by John Boyne. Set in the years after World War I, it's the story of a former soldier who decides to return some letters to the sister of the friend who wrote them. Years ago, he knew the woman's brother—had a crush on him, in fact—but the man is now dead, and when the sister asks what happened, the narrator tells her. What happens left me absolutely breathless.

I have to admit: I'm not a major Eric Jerome Dickey reader. Some of his books leave me cold but An Accidental Affair chilled me with the action and double-crossing that happens to the book's narrator, who catches his beloved wife sleeping with another man. What he has to do to get her out of trouble will make you turn the pages so fast, you'll practically rip them.

Here's another end-of-the-war novel I loved: Freeman, by Leonard Pitts Jr. It's the story of a former slave who decides to find his wife at the end of the Civil War. He was free in Philadelphia, she was enslaved in Mississippi and there's also a parallel story that moves theirs along. The three tales together make this a novel that'll keep you in your chair for a good long time.

The Midwife of Hope River, by Patricia Harman, tells the story of a woman who becomes a midwife in the years before the Depression. In order to escape her past, she moves to the foot of the Appalachian Mountains to work, but her ways are not like the old ways. This book sings with beauty, love, and appreciation for life and for women. You know you've got a good book when you forget that it's fiction, which pretty much sums up this novel.

No, I wasn't only hooked on historical novels this year. The Trial of Fallen Angels, by James Kimmel Jr., is my last pick in this category because it's one of those novels that asks you to suspend what you don't know because, well, you really don't know it. It's the story of a woman who wakes up in a train station, dead. She was a lawyer in life, and she'll be a lawyer in death, but the court system in this purgatory isn't what she's used to at all. This is a novel of six degrees of separation and of forgiveness, and that's why it's on this Best of 2012 list.

Honorable mention in this category: The Dog Who Danced by Susan Wilson

Adult nonfiction

Concussions and Our Kids, by Robert Cantu, M.D. and Mark Hyman, might seem like an odd pick for this list, but here it is. I put this book on here because what Cantu has to say is chilling, horrifying and cautionary. If you're a parent, an athlete or a sports fan, this may be mandatory reading for this coming year.

The sad fact is that God's Hotel, by Victoria Sweet, won't be on any best-seller's lists. That's too bad, because it's a Zen-like memoir of the author's years spent as a doctor in a California almshouse. As she was working, she began to study the works of a medieval nun who was also a healer, and that—medieval times coupled with stories of modern medicine—make this a wonderful, strangely calming book to find.

Like just about everybody in the country, I had my fill of politics, which is why I was surprised to love Indomitable Will: LBJ and the Presidency, by Mark K. Updegrove, so much. This book, consisting of snippets of interviews of those who worked with, lived with, and knew Lyndon Baines Johnson, is a quick but very fascinating look at a (perhaps unfairly) much-maligned man in office. It taught me a lot, and it sets a lot of records straight. This is a nice antidote to politics-as-usual, which is why it's on this list.

The Undead, by Dick Teresi, absolutely scared the daylights out of me! This is a book that explores death; specifically when it occurs which, as it turns out, we don't fully know. Teresi then turns his attention to the issue of organ donation and … oh, my, if I tell you anything more, I won't sleep tonight. Just go read the book.

And with out further ado, the last book on this list is Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, by Frank Partnoy, which is a scientific book about procrastination and why it's good for business, health and sports. Partnoy also explains why you should teach your kids to delay gratification, why snap decisions are often wrong, and why employers should embrace slower workers.

Honorable mentions in this category: Sweet Hell on Fire, by Sara Lunsford, and Gypsy Boy, by Mikey Walsh

Happy reading!


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

BOOK REVIEW Love Changes 1.0 2015-07-01
BOOK REVIEW Course Correction 2015-07-01
BOOKS 'Crossword' a study of gay Mexican identity 2015-06-24
Barbara Gittings: Gay Pioneer 2015-06-24
Book examines the great gay riot 2015-06-24
BOOK REVIEW Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial 2015-06-24
Gerber/Hart begins new director search 2015-06-21
Biography of gay pioneer Barbara Gittings out in time for Pride 2015-06-18
Engineer Jill Tietjen on recording women's history 2015-06-16
BOOKS 'Harold and Maude,' revisited 2015-06-10
BOOK REVIEW All I Love and Know 2015-06-10
BOOK REVIEW Bettyville: A Memoir 2015-06-03
Lambda Literary winners named; Rita Mae Brown, John Waters honored 2015-06-02
BOOK REVIEWS How Long Will I Cry?; Anatomy of a Girl Gang 2015-05-27
Five Worth Finding 2015-05-26
American Library Association designated June GLBT Book Month 2015-05-26
Chicago Public Library observes LGBT Pride Month 2015-05-20
Kenny Porpora writes emotionally wrenching memoir 2015-05-20
LGBT cabaret focus of upcoming Guild Literary Complex benefit 2015-05-13
PASSAGES Author Nikki Rashan dies 2015-05-13
2015 'Out at CHM' series ends with story of StoryCorps 2015-05-13
Upcoming: Pride 5K; Comics; Brave Face; Lambda Literary awards; HER app 2015-05-12
26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards honorees named 2015-05-10
Windy City Times reporter wins Lisagor Award 2015-05-09
MBC to exhibit icons of advertising 2015-05-08
New gay manga anthology gives art form legitimacy 2015-05-06
BOOK REVIEW A Matter of Breeding 2015-05-06
Book details Iowa's marriage path prior to Supreme Court arguments 2015-04-29
BOOK REVIEW This Book Is Gay 2015-04-29
BOOKS Actress Maria Bello talks 'Love Is Love' 2015-04-29
Heroes assemble at comics convention 2015-04-28
Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith visits W&CF 2015-04-28
Anne Balay, Daisy Hernandez Lambda Literary's Emerging Writer Award Winners 2015-04-28
Indie LGBTQ graphic novel series to release release "Flutter" 2015-04-25
World news: Turing notebook; South African runner; Malawi law 2015-04-22
Michelangelo Signorile reminds us why 'It's Not Over' 2015-04-22
BOOK REVIEW The Old Deep and Dark 2015-04-21
Gerber/Hart celebrates Sandfield Exhibition Gallery 2015-04-20
VIEWS: MOMBIAN New edition enlivens 'Two Mommies' for families today 2015-04-15
THEATER Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson talk 'The Good Book' 2015-04-15
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.