A list, eclectic and subjective

I enjoyed many more books this year than I can possibly list, but the following – as with all lists – is selective and subjective. Books on the list are not necessarily ones that were published in 2012; rather, they are books I enjoyed reading this year.

Zadie Smith, NW: Her most formally inventive novel yet. Superb.

Howard Jacobson: Zoo time: Self referential, very funny, awfully good.

Jeet Thayill: Narcopolis: Opium-hazed, long-sentenced, Booker-shortlsited, lyrical, precise, poetic. Read it. Of course, Indian reviews were negative.

Simon Kuper: The Football Men: Without rival in how you can take footballers, not to them, and still say more than in a so-called interview.

Julian Barnes: Through the Window: Essays and a story. Read them, especially the one about bereavement, and wonder how good writing can be.

John le Carre: Oh, the post Cold War novels. And some before those. I came to them late.

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