The Reader Survey

Believer Readers Vote for Their Favorites

Heroically mailed to San Francisco on non-prepaid postcards
Tamara Faith Berger’s Maidenhead and Samuel Amadon’s The Hartford Book were chosen from our short lists of books of fiction and poetry (published in the March/April issue and accessible online) selected by the editors of the Believer. We also asked our readers to fill out a survey card indicating which they thought were the three strongest works of fiction and poetry published in 2012. The top twenty most represented titles in each category follow. Three spots on the following list, for books whose authors work on this magazine, have been intentionally left blank because it would look creepy to include them.

Readers’ Favorite Works of Fiction in 2012

  1. 1.                                                              
  2. 2.                                                              
  3. 3. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk—Ben Fountain
  4. 4. Building Stories—Chris Ware
  5. 5. Beautiful Ruins—Jess Walter
  6. 6. Autoportrait—Edouard Levé
  7. 7. NW—Zadie Smith
  8. 8. Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty—Diane Williams
  9. 9.                                                              
  10. 10. Where’d You Go, Bernadette—Maria Semple
  11. 11. Bring Up the Bodies—Hilary Mantel
  12. 12. The Flame Alphabet—Ben Marcus
  13. 13. Dare Me—Megan Abbott
  14. 14. Animal Collection—Colin Winnette
  15. 15. Dear Life—Alice Munro
  16. 16. Telegraph Avenue—Michael Chabon
  17. 17. This Is How You Lose Her—Junot Díaz
  18. 18. Prosperous Friends—Christine Schutt
  19. 19. Office Girl—Joe Meno
  20. 20. Kind One—Laird Hunt

Readers’ Favorite Works of Poetry in 2012

  1. 1. Alien vs. Predator—Michael Robbins
  2. 2. Love, an Index—Rebecca Lindenberg
  3. 3. Slow Lightning—Eduardo C. Corral
  4. 4. Our Andromeda—Brenda Shaughnessy
  5. 5. Fragile Acts—Allan Peterson
  6. 6. Collected Poems—Jack Gilbert
  7. 7. Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys—D. A. Powell
  8. 8. Quick Question—John Ashbery
  9. 9. City of Rivers—Zubair Ahmed
  10. 10. What Is Amazing—Heather Christle
  11. 11. Fjords Vol. 1—Zachary Schomburg
  12. 12. Transfer Fat—Aase Berg
  13. 13. The Eternal Ones of the Dream—James Tate
  14. 14. Mayakovsky’s Revolver—Matthew Dickman
  15. 15. The Ground—Rowan Ricardo Phillips
  16. 16. Almost Invisible—Mark Strand
  17. 17. After Urgency—Rusty Morrison
  18. 18. Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast—Hannah Gamble
  19. 19. The Game of Boxes—Catherine Barnett
  20. 20. I Live in a Hut—S. E. Smith

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