Like little stars.
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.
Like little stars.
World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.
So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).
My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.
High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.
Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.
New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.
Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.
Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.
Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.
Really does taste like pineapple.