Take time for notable 2012 books 

For those who haven’t gone completely digital yet, here are recommendations for readers and book lovers, including notable volumes published this year, and last-minute gift ideas, too.

FICTION

Sweet Tooth
By Ian McEwan ($26.95)
The author of “Atonement” returns with a tale of love, espionage and word play, complete with dazzling dialogue and astute narrative observation.

Flight Behavior
By Barbara Kingsolver ($28.99)
Set in rural Tennessee where an unusual display of monarch butterflies occurs, the acclaimed novelist’s 14th book takes on climate change and other environmental issues.

Broken Harbor
By Tana French ($27.95)
The latest by the bestselling Irish author of “In the Woods” is a psychologically compelling thriller about the investigation of a husband and his two children found dead in their home in a deserted development outside Dublin.

ART AND DESIGN

Graphic Design Before Graphic Designers
By David Jury  ($60)
“Graphic designer” wasn’t always a job title. For some 500 years, books and posters were largely designed by printers, typesetters and painters. This book, a fascinating history, is a resource for designers and book geeks.

 Our True Intent is All For Your Delight
By John Hinde ($29.95)
Kitsch-cultists, “Mad Men” fans and photographers will enjoy this book of images of promotional postcards for Butlin’s, a British resort chain popular in the 1950s-’60s. The pictures are richly saturated, humorous shots of holiday-goers bathing and dancing.

Space Race
By Tom Clohosy Cole ($16.95)
The accordion-folding, double-sided, vividly colored concertina  delightfully and artfully depicts the history of space travel. The similarly beautiful “High Times” is a timeline covering aviation, starting with Icarus.

POETRY

Mayakovsky’s Revolver
By Matthew Dickman ($25.95)
Poems in the acclaimed, award-winning writer’s sophomore volume are unique, accessible, pensive, featuring notes of Whitman, Ginsberg and O’Hara. 

The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton: 1965-2010
By Lucille Clifton ($35)
The late, lucid, heartfelt African-American writer’s career was  jumpstarted by Langston Hughes. She became a revered voice in American poetry, known for grace, sensuality and honesty.

FOOD

Ripe
By Nigel Slater ($40)
The sumptuous follow-up to the British chef’s “Tender” is passionate and conversational. Subtitled “A Cook in the Orchard,” the book includes recipes, gorgeous photography and lifestyle essays.

 Vietnamese Home Cooking
By Charles Phan ($35)
Despite the generic title, the book contains recipe secrets from none other than the famed Slanted Door chef, who shares insights for home cooks. 

MISCELLANOUS NON-FICTION

Hallucinations
By Oliver Sacks ($26.95)
The physician, best-selling author and professor of neurology explains the wiring that makes the human brain hallucinate, and why hallucinations aren’t solely experienced by the insane. 

Detroit City Is the Place to Be
By Mark Binelli ($28)
The author, a Detroit native, looks at his city’s decline and rebirth telling stories of entrepreneurs, artists, and complex, often controversial, city planning iniatiatives.

Reinventing Bach
By Paul Elie ($30)
Taking into account virtuoso musicians, recordings and technology, the Georgetown University scholar examines how Bach’s music, from the Baroque era to Gould and Casals, has evolved and remains relevant.

One for the Books
By Joe Queenan ($24.95)
The bestselling author of “Closing Time” who grew up in the projects outside Philadelphia elucidates on his own bibliophilic obsessions in conversational essays.

Joseph Anton: A Memoir
By Salman Rushdie ($30)
The revered author discusses the death warrant fatwa issued against him in 1989 in Iran and how he lived through years in hiding.
 
KIDS BOOKS – YOUNGEST READERS

Dragons Love Tacos
By Adam Rubin ($16.99)
Friendship, snacktime, dragons and tacos are the main topics covered in this hilarious picture book with artwork by Daniel Salmieri.

Extra Yarn
By Mac Bennett ($16.99)
A little girl’s magic ball of yarn is under threat in this warm tale with adorable illustrations by Jon Klassen.

Moominvalley Turns Jungle
By Tove Jansson ($8.95)
Moomins, the famed Finnish-Swedish cartoon characters, have to figure out how to deal with a verdant takeover when a heat wave coincides with exotic seeds being uncovered at sea in this new paperback version of a children’s classic.  

KIDS BOOKS – MIDDLE GRADES

Drama
By Raina Telgemeier ($10.99)
The graphic novel revolves around Callie – a theater geek with a tone-deaf voice – during trials and tribulations of middle-school life.

Who Could That Be at This Hour
By Lemony Snicket ($15.99)
In this prequel to “An Unfortunate Series of Events,” kiddie investigator Snicket begins his career, asking all the wrong questions at all the wrong times.

 

 

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Lauren Gallagher

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