Quill and Quire

Books of the Year

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Books of the year: Q&Q review editor Steven Beattie makes his picks

It would be tempting to suggest that 2012 was a disappointing year for CanLit. Highly touted books failed to live up to their hype, social media was generally an echo chamber for word-of-mouth about the same half-dozen or so titles, and this year’s prestige awards lists were (for the most part) less than inspiring.

This impression, however, would be largely mistaken. Readers willing to tune out the omnipresent white noise would have found any number of strong books (many of them collections of short fiction) released in the past 12 months.

When asked to choose five of my favourites, I actually had a terrifically difficult time narrowing down the list. The five I chose could easily have shared space with worthy titles by Andrew Hood, Anne Fleming, Roo Borson, John Lent, Corey Redekop, Spencer Gordon, Jeanette Lynes, Nina Bunjevac, and any number of others.

But, five it is. The usual caveats apply: I haven’t read everything published in 2012, so this is not a list of the year’s best books, so much as a highly subjective crop of titles that made an impact on me as a reader. They are works that, in my opinion, deserve a second look (or, in many cases, a first).