Since the world is going to end this year and everything, it’s never been a better time to follow the advice of P.J. O’Rourke, who recommends that you “always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.” Not that anyone will be around to see you, we guess. Luckily, there are a ton of really exciting books coming out this year, including many that we’d be racing to read apocalypse or no, and good looks aside. Since publishing schedules are not often announced super-far in advance, and they’re subject to change based on a million factors, this is really a first half of 2012 list, heavy on spring releases, to be followed by a second-half of the year list in the summer. Click through to check out the books we’re most looking forward to in the first half of this year (boy was it hard to narrow it down to just ten!), and let us know which others you’re having trouble waiting for in the comments.
The Flame Alphabet, Ben Marcus (January)
If we could submerge ourselves in Ben Marcus’s language, we would — although, if we subscribe to the logic of this newest novel, where the words and voices of children begin to rapidly poison the bodies of the adults around them, we should probably be a little more careful about how we interact with the stuff. We can’t help it, though — this affecting, cerebral horror story about love and language is Marcus’s best work yet.