Here’s our round-up of 4th Estate’s biggest books of 2012. These are the books that made 2012 better, funnier, more entertaining and, in the case of Bad Pharma, angrier. We’re sure you’ll have your favourites and we’d love to hear them too.
The book that needs no introduction, 2012 was truly Hilary Mantel’s year. Bring Up the Bodies is a darker and more violent installment of the Cromwell trilogy; the Spectator described it perfectly as ‘an imaginative achievement to exhaust superlatives’. With this book, Hilary Mantel became the first British author and the first woman to be awarded two Man Booker Prizes, as well as being the first to win with two consecutive novels. But stop reading about Bring Up the Bodies, and just have a read for yourself. There’s no better way to start the year.
I’m dumbstruck by the news that Communion Town has been longlisted for the Man Booker prize. What can you say about such an improbable stroke of good fortune for a first novel, other than repeating words like ‘thrilled’, ‘incredulous’, ‘bamboozled’ and ‘er… what?’ That’s what I’ve been doing since they announced the list. Getting a first book published at all feels like hitting the jackpot, so also catching the eyes of judges in a competition like the Booker is ridiculous, embarrassing bounty – more than any first-time writer could sensibly hope for.
Great news! The Emperor of all Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee has been shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize 2011.
The shortlist is as follows:
The Emperor of all Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Fourth Estate)
Becoming Dickens by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst (Belknap Harvard)
Summer Holiday by Penny Smith is perfect for a good summer read by the pool or on the sand.
Summer Holiday is the riotously funny new book about 43 year old Miranda Blake, a heartbroken divorcee who jets off to Spain to escape it all.