What We Read In 2012

Our Favorite Books From This Past Year


Whenever a new year starts I look back on the books I’ve read and try and think about what I liked the most, and what I’m most looking forward to in the upcoming year. Working in publishing is great for many reasons, but being able to talk with coworkers just as passionate and knowledgeable about the world of literature is perhaps the best part. I decided to poll some of these coworkers to see what they read in 2012 and find out what they liked best, and what they’re looking forward to tackling in 2013.


Michelle Montague, Executive Director, Adult Marketing & Publicity

Best Thing I Read in 2012
A tie between Infinity Net: The Authobiography of Yayoi Kusama and Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. Both fascinating and quick reads. I was amazed at how well Kusama’s voice comes through in the writing, and her persistence and dedication to her artwork is inspiring. Kingsolver continues to be one of my favorite writers and this newest book does not disappoint! I highly recommend them both.

Looking forward to in 2013
Still on my carryover list from last year: The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling and Quiet by Susan Cain. The pile is quite high, those just happen to be at the top.



Lindy Humphreys, Director, Digital Assets & Publishing Technology

Best Thing I Read in 2012
A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Madeleine L’Engle and Hope Larson. I’ve read the original approximately one gazillion times, so was excited and pleased to see how this author interpreted the story with images.

Looking Forward to in 2013
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. This has been on my shelf for a while, and I want to finish it before seeing the movie, Lincoln. Because of its heft, this may be what I’m most looking forward to reading in 2014….

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. This is about a researcher who explores the Amazon jungle in search of a colleague who died under mysterious circumstances. Ann Patchett is a great favorite, so I’m looking forward to more of her lovely writing.

The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. It’s travel! It’s Mark Twain! Aren’t you interested too??



Jason Wells, Executive Director, Children’s Marketing & Publicity

Best Thing I Read in 2012
I was late to reading it compared to most, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky was definitely a highlight of my 2012 pleasure reading.  I felt like I WAS the main character in many (not all) of the situations.

Looking Forward to in 2013
I was fortunate to work at Hyperion in 1999 when Louise Erdich won the National Book Award for young people for The Birchbark House. She I am so eager to read her National Book Award winner The Round House in 2013.



Maya Bradford, Marketing & Publicity Assistant

Best Thing I Read in 2012
The Voyeurs by Gabrielle Bell and Aaron Cometbus. This was an amazing book that sort of reminded me of a graphic novel version of How Should a Person Be? By Sheila Heti, another book I really enjoyed in 2012. My favorite part is when the author announces at a party she’s going to create a graphic novel version of a famous feminist text, The S.C.U.M. Manifesto. She immediately regrets the decision and spends months having a one long anxiety attack about how to get out of writing it, all while her fans/the media wait expectantly for her to finish. It’s a really good story about writer’s block and, weirdly, mothers.

Looking Forward to in 2013
George Saunders’ new collection, Tenth of December.

I think CivilWarLand in Bad Decline is one of my favorite short story collections, and I’ve heard nothing but insanely high praise for this new collection, so I’m pretty excited!



Maggie Maggio, Junior National Account Manager

Best Thing I Read in 2012
The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont. I read quite a bit on 2012 and I have 12 books that are on my “best of 2012” list, but I’ve picked this one because it’s one that surprised me and is probably the least obvious. I don’t even remember why I picked this up, I must have read a review of it somewhere, and it actually sat around for a while before I finally decided to read it. The story focuses on a somewhat troubled high school sailor in the 1980s. He recently had to switch boarding schools because of an incident at his old school and he doesn’t find his new school to be much better. He has to come to terms with his role in a terrible tragedy, the actions of his fellow classmates and family, and his feelings about a mysterious girl.

Looking Forward to in 2013
I haven’t spent much time exploring what comes out in 2013 so for now I’ll go with Just One Day by Gayle Forman. I started reading a considerable amount of YA in 2012 and I really enjoyed Forman’s first book, If I Stay, and I loved the follow-up, Where She Went so I’m excited to read Forman’s next book, which, lucky for me, came out this week!



Laura Mihalick, Assistant Manager, Children’s Marketing & Publicity

Best Thing I Read in 2012:
The most interesting (but not sure it was best) thing I read was GONE GIRL. For me, I don’t read many adult books or mystery, so this was a bit of a change for me. But I enjoyed it—even if **SPOILERISH** Amy was/is a crazy lady.

Looking Forward to in 2013:
I’m most excited to read THE BITTER KINGDOM by Rae Carson in 2013. It’s the third in the Fire and Thorns Trilogy.



Matthew Dinda, Sales Assistant (me!)

Best Thing I Read in 2012
Both the first book I read in 2012 and my favorite of the year is the classic brick, Gone with the Wind. If you have not read this book you must get on it. I don’t think I’ve ever read a 1,050-page novel that was riveting throughout.

Looking Forward to in 2013
I’m looking forward to going back and reading many books I’ve neglected by my favorite author, Ian McEwan. I’ve read his newest and his most renowned, but I want to go tackle the deep cuts. I also got the beautiful boxed-set paperback edition of Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 for Christmas and can’t stop staring at it. His novels are always fun / insane / fresh / brilliant and I look forward to falling down that rabbit hole.


Matthew Dinda is a Sales Assistant for ABRAMS. 


on Monday, January 14th, 2013
in Around the Office
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