I’m an avid, voracious reader, and I’ve read a lot of books this year, but scouring everyone else’s best books of 2012 lists, I wasn’t satisfied that all the books I loved most were fairly represented. No, none of the Fifty Shades of Grey books made my list, but fans of that series may enjoy Gone Girl, which did make my list. Which gems might you have missed this year, while you were in a Christian Grey-induced stupor? What other literary treats are waiting to be discovered? Keep reading. Here are my picks for the best books of 2012.
1. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
I have a thing for non-fiction, but that’s not why this book tops my list of the best books of 2012. It reads like a novel, epic, touching, and poignant — there are so many times I had to remind myself that the people on the pages were real, not mere characters, eking out a living in one of the bleakest, most impoverished places in the world, a Mumbai slum.