Hey Book Keepers! I’m Ali Fisher, Library Marketing Coordinator at Macmillan, and I’m here to offer a little more love to a few of my reading highlights from 2012.
Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy
For years, Sookie had me convinced that werewolves were all mega-ripped, mildly-tortured misunderstood monsters with sexy stubble. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% on board with that kind of wolf-man, but this year Brian McGreevy introduced me to a much more human werewolf just trying to be a normal guy in a strange town full of unsentimental characters. McGreevy is not only excellent at writing about the subtleties of day-to-day interactions, but he includes great supernatural details, like how when Peter transforms he not only bursts through and sheds his human flesh, he then eats it. Brutal! Awesome! I’m really excited to see Eli Roth’s version of this Twin Peaks meets Ginger Snaps drama on Netflix.
The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay
I hope it’s not cheating to include a book that was first published in 1956 on this list because I’m doing it anyway! This charming, witty, and delightfully British travelogue is a treasure box of absurd and enchanting gems. If aunt Dot popped into my room right now and asked if I was up for a fashionable excursion to—oh, anywhere—this post would end mid-sentence and you would all be so, so jealous. Also, I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover and blah, blah, blah, but holy crap! The drawing on the cover of this reissued paperback is the finest cover illustration I’ve seen all year.
Threats by Amelia Gray
Oh, how my boss and I loved e-mailing each other the deeply disturbing threats from this book followed shortly thereafter by palate-cleansing LOLcat pictures. I’m a big fan of the way Amelia Gray celebrates the bizarre in both her short fiction and in this strange and sinister mystery debut. She totally creeped me out and I was very much into it. I can’t wait to see what we get from her next!
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Of course, Robin Sloan’s modern literary adventure story is a shoo-in for this list because of the ecstatic reception it’s received from so many of our librarian friends. We saw it popping up again and again during the librarians’ year-end favorites chat on Twitter (#libfavs2012). The appeal is easy to understand: that same romantic book-magic hiding in the dark corners of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore can be found lurking deep in the stacks of your local library branch.
Rookie Yearbook One edited by Tavi Gevinson
Finally, Drawn & Quarterly has bound up a collection of articles, art, fiction, fashion shoot photos, and other highlights from Rookie, a blog dedicated to the culture and empowerment of teenage women. The end result? A killer must-read experience. It’s the magical yearbook/scrapbook/guidebook you didn’t know you always needed with silly and insightful content from teens and celebrities. It’s playful, it’s enlightening, and there are cut-out paper crowns.