Best Fiction of 2012
Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies
Part 2 of Mantel's trilogy about Thomas Cromwell is a masterful imagining of the events leading up to Anne Boleyn's demise.
Adam Johnson, The Orphan Master's Son
A strange, scary, and sometimes funny novel about the endless mysteries of North Korea.
Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins
Set in '60s Italy and contemporary L.A., this irresistible Hollywood novel features lost love, thwarted dreams, and Richard Burton.
Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Penned by a former Arrested Development writer, it's part hilarious Seattle send-up, part rich portrait of an eccentric family and its troubled matriarch.
Nell Freudenberger, The Newlyweds
What happens when an innocent young Bangladeshi woman marries some dude from Rochester after they meet on a website? Freudenberger expertly explores their odd relationship in this continent-hopping novel.
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
The most fun you'll ever have reading a YA cancer-teen love story. Also: deeply sad.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
This twisty, can't-stop-reading mystery features a divisive ending and real insight into human relationships.
Chris Ware, Building Stories
Ware's astonishing deconstructed graphic novel comes in a box that looks like a Monopoly set — which consists of 14 interchangeable parts — and captures the lonely lives of people living on top of each other in a Chicago apartment building.
Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her
A linked series of flawless short stories that train Díaz's sharp ear on narrator Yunior's wandering eye.