I had a great reading year: 91 books, 25536 pages (You bet, there’s a spreadsheet somewhere in the background.) 64 keepers. How on earth to distill them down to the best of 2012.

I have deliberated and deliberated and then, I deliberated some more. Finally I asked myself this question, which baker’s dozen would you take with you if you ever had to downsize? Suddenly, it became easy.

Best Debut Novel : The Lighthouse – Alison Moore

Best Hommage: Tom All-Alone’s – Lynn Shepherd

Best Non-Fiction: Reading the Pre-Raphaelites – Tim Barringer

Best Novella: The Brothers – Asko Sahlberg

Best Poetry Collection: The Musicians of Edinburgh – Ron Butlin

Best Short Story Collection: Drifting House – Krys Lee

Best Suspense Novel: Alone in Berlin: Hans Fallada

Favourite Anglophone Literary Novel: The Garden of Evening Mists – Tan Twan Eng

Favourite Translated Novel: The Scent of Lemon Leaves – Clara Sánchez

The Most Charming: Sydney Chalmers and The Shadows of Death – James Runcie

The Most Technically Accomplished Novel: Bring Up the Bodies – Hilary Mantel

The Most Irreverent: Reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets – Don Paterson

The One I Should Have Read Sooner: Oscar and Lucinda – Peter Carey

To pick my book of the year, I asked, if you had room for only one book, which would it be? My answer is (and really, how could it be otherwise given my nom-de-net…).

What would your answer be?