What To Read Awards: Ron Charles

Topics: Books, What To Read Awards, Best of 2012,

What To Read Awards: Ron Charles

Ron Charles is the fiction editor of the Washington Post.

The Washington Post’s best books package and top 10 list can be found here.

1. Explain why your No. 1 book was your favorite title of the year: “Canada,” by Richard Ford. In the quiet, simply written sentences of this profound novel, Ford lays out a tale of one unexceptional family’s disintegration. He sacrifices suspense and all the pyrotechnics of modern fiction for wisdom and raw, natural elegance.

2. What was the strongest debut book of 2012? “The Yellow Birds,” by Kevin Powers.

3. What book sits outside your list, but has either been overlooked or deserves more attention? “Seating Arrangements,” by Maggie Shipstead (Knopf) — a smart, delightful comic novel.

4. Was there one book, either on your list or off your list, fiction or nonfiction, that seems to best encapsulate America in 2012? Lauren Groff’s “Arcadia” captures our painful nostalgia for an idyllic past we never really had.



5. What was the single most memorable character from a 2012 book? Alice Longworth, the sharp-tongued daughter of Teddy Roosevelt, in Thomas Mallon’s “Watergate.”

6. What is the book from 2012, either from your list or not, fiction or nonfiction, that is most likely to join the canon, or still be discussed 20 years from now? (This is a fool’s game!, but I’ll say) “Canada” by Richard Ford.

Back to the What To Read Awards

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>