Our Favorite Books of 2012: Tina Brown, Andrew Sullivan, and Others’ Picks

December 11, 2012

From Tina Brown to Andrew Sullivan to Michael Tomasky, our writers and editors pick the favorite books they read this year.

The Orphan Master’s Son
By Adam Johnson

Into the sinister, bizarre kingdom of North Korea Johnson leads us with flair.

On Saudi Arabia
By Karen Eliot House

One of the most revealing and impressively reported books I read this year. Karen Elliot House’s 30-plus years’ experience in one of the least accessible countries makes us see, hear, and experience Saudi Arabia like a local.

Sweet Tooth
By Ian McEwan

My old friend has delivered another stylish, immensely readable novel that captures gray, grimy 1970s England so perfectly you feel despair just cracking the spine.

The Man Without a Face
By Masha Gessen

Thanks to her fearless reporting and acute psychological insights, Masha Gessen has done the impossible in writing a highly readable, compelling life of Russia’s mysterious president-for-life.

Hitlerland
By Andrew Nagorski

As the cloud descended on Europe, some of America’s brightest journalistic and diplomatic stars were there to dine with Hitler and be chased by Nazi thugs. Nagorski tells their story vividly.

Prague Winter
By Madeleine Albright

We knew her as one of the great diplomats of our time, but now Albright has proven herself a serious historian, too. She brilliantly places her own life against the collapse of Europe and the fall of her native Czechoslovakia. History at its most personal.

Kill or Capture
By Daniel Klaidman

From one of our crack correspondents, a meticulous and revealing account of how Obama grew a pair and learned how to out-macho Bush.