November 24, 2014

LJ’s Best Books and Media of 2012

december 2012 cover LJs Best Books and Media of 2012The LJ Reviews staff has been busily considering and compiling their selections for the top titles of 2012 (the cover of our December 2012 issue at right lists the first line of each of our top ten picks—do you recognize them?).

Below you’ll find the Best of 2012 lists that have already debuted, while the Top Ten of 2012 and the are coming on December 20. In the meantime, let us know your favorite picks of the year in the comments or in comments on the individual posts below. Enjoy!



Coming December 20:

  • The Top 10 of 2012

  • More of the Best

  • Best Media

Nonfiction:

Fiction and Genre:

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Comments

  1. Karam’s The 9/11 Backlash — The Most Important Non-Fiction / Reference Acquisition for Libraries and Book Clubs 2012 – 2013
    Karam, Nicoletta. (2012) The 9/11 Backlash: A Decade of U.S. Hate Crimes Targeting the Innocent, Beatitude Press, Berkeley, CA, 429 pp.
    The targeting of “anyone who looked ‘different;’” often perpetrated, denied and minimized by American police, government officials and agents and the media was fueled by fear, ignorance and hatred. It has caused huge damage to individuals, the nation, our own and the global faith in our American Experiment in self-government coming out of 1776 and our heroism during World War II. What wasn’t heroic was our ethnic cleansing of Native Americans as well as harassment of British sympathizers and the confiscation of property and internment of Japanese Americans during these earlier wars and afterwards. We seem not to have learned from the deep injustices of these mistakes.
    Karam’s extremely well-documented history of the victimization of thousands of innocents in the past decade runs nearly 250 pages, followed by an eye-opening section of 35 pages of “Why Backlash Hate Crimes are Undercounted,” and 50 hopeful and helpful pages of “75 steps to Curb Backlash Bigotry.” Swarthmore College Honors grad, New York Times correspondent and Brandeis PhD in History Nicoletta Karam offers us both a scholarly examination and readable chronicle of this period in The 9/11 Backlash: A Decade of U.S. Hate Crimes Targeting the Innocent. Let’s improve the next decade with her well-supported and usable documentation and suggestions in hand on the library and community level.

    World Cat listing: (8 December, 2012) http://www.worldcat.org/title/911-backlash-a-decade-of-us-hate-crimes-targeting-the-innocent/oclc/812508959&referer=brief_results ()

  2. My favorite book of this year is The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch.

    Summary: At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, What the … is wrong with my husband?! In the author’s case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five years after he married Kristen, the love of his life, they learn that he has Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis explains his ever-growing list of quirks and compulsions, his lifelong propensity to quack and otherwise melt down in social exchanges, and his clinical-strength inflexibility. But it doesn’t make him any easier to live with. Determined to change, he sets out to understand Asperger syndrome and learn to be a better husband, no easy task for a guy whose inability to express himself rivals his two-year-old daughter’s, who thinks his responsibility for laundry extends no further than throwing things in (or at) the hamper, and whose autism-spectrum condition makes seeing his wife’s point of view a near impossibility. Nevertheless, he devotes himself to improving his marriage with an endearing yet hilarious zeal that involves excessive note-taking, performance reviews, and most of all, this book: a collection of hundreds of maxims and hard-won epiphanies that result from self-reflection both comic and painful. They include “Don’t change the radio station when she’s singing along,” “Apologies do not count when you shout them,” and “Be her friend, first and always.” Guided by the journal, he transforms himself over the course of two years from the world’s most trying husband to the husband who tries the hardest, the husband he’d always meant to be. Filled with humor and surprising wisdom, this book is a candid story of ruthless self-improvement, a unique window into living with an autism-spectrum condition, and proof that a true heart can conquer all.