2012 has already been a rich year for books, with new novels from Toni Morrison, Richard Ford, and Hilary Mantel and essay collections from Marilynn Robinson and Jonathan Franzen, to name just a fraction of what we’ve featured, raved about, chewed on, and puzzled over so far. But the remainder of this year (and the hazy beginning of next year) is shaping up to be a jackpot of literary riches. In just a few short months, we’ll be seeing new titles from some of the most beloved and critically lauded authors working today, including Martin Amis, Zadie Smith, Michael Chabon, Junot Díaz, Alice Munro, Ian McEwan, George Saunders, and David Foster Wallace. Incredibly, there’s much more than that to get excited about, but, were we to delve into it further up here, we would risk this introduction consuming the many previews that are meant to follow.
The list that follows isn’t exhaustive – no book preview could be – but, at 8,700 words strong and encompassing 76 titles, this is the only second-half 2012 book preview you will ever need. Enjoy.
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In hardcover, the usual suspects, and more
By Daisy Maryles
What’s new in the hardcover fiction bestsellers of 2010? Very little. Almost every author in the fiction top 30 has been on these charts in previous years—most several times. The sole exception is the #1 fiction bestseller, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, with sales of 1.9 million. Stieg Larsson enjoyed a quadruple play, heading fiction, mass market, trade paper, and an e-book list of bestsellers.
Still, a number of veteran bestselling novelists dominate. Chief among them is James Patterson. With his stable of coauthors, he managed to rack up six of the top 25 fiction bestsellers, with combined sales of 3,332,263. Clive Cussler had four bestsellers in 2010, with combined sales of 1,006,132; Nora Roberts had three, with combined sales of 900,000 copies. And the bestselling female author last year was Janet Evanovich; she had two of the top 15 bestsellers, with sales of more than 1.5 million.
The only novel to make a second appearance in the top 15 is Kathryn Stockett’s The Help. A debut fiction hitting the one million–plus sales mark for the second year in a row, it is also the only hardcover that did not miss a single showing on the 2010 weekly charts.
Call it escapism or merely a fondness for good stories, but in the midst of a recession at home and wars abroad, fiction seized a record-high share of the best sellers of 2010.The year’s most popular author: Stieg Larsson, the late Swedish novelist, whose Millennium trilogy of crime thrillers captured the top three spots on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list for 2010, based on data collected all year….read more
Jonathan Derbyshire looks forward to the new year in books.
Two subgenres did more than most to keep the market in serious non-fiction buoyant during 2010: politicians’ memoirs (especially those by erstwhile Labour premiers and cabinet ministers) and books about the financial crisis of autumn 2008 and its aftermath…read more
Henning Mankell wraps up the detective’s final case, plus new work from Ali Smith, Graham Swift, Joyce Carol Oates and a host of others looks set to make this a thrilling year for readers.
Tour de force: Kenneth Branagh as Wallander in the BBC's adaptation of the Swedish novels
Could 2011 be the year in which digital books finally take off? Waterstone’s MD Dominic Myers thinks it might be: in December, after blaming the weather for a worrying drop in pre-Christmas sales of what we must now call “paper books”, he unveiled, apparently without irony, the retailer’s new “cloud-based” solution, which will enable e-books to be accessed across different devices. He expected a spike in digital-book sales from Christmas morning, when eager young futurists opened the e-readers in their stockings. Rumours that Father Christmas is backing digital-book technology (thousands of pages in a device the weight of a reindeer sneeze) are unconfirmed….read more
From Donald Rumsfeld’s memoir to David Foster Wallace’s posthumous novel, here are the 21 books that you won’t want to miss in 2011.
The mistletoe has been put away, the presents unwrapped, the New Year’s Champagne uncorked, and you still haven’t quite finished Franzen’s Freedom. But new books on how to run the world, turn around Starbucks, deal with a famous father, and even join a club are all coming out in the next few months. So get ready for the new literary season.
Here is The Daily Beast’s picks of the most controversial, intriguing, and just best reads for the first few months of 2011….read more