Free Samples of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalists

By Maryann Yin Comment

The finalists for the 33rd annual Los Angeles Times Book Prize have been revealed, and we’ve collected free samples of all their books below–some of the best books released in 2012. Here’s more about the awards:

“The winners of the L.A. Times book prizes will be announced at an awards ceremony April 19, the evening before the L.A. Times Festival of Books, April 20-21. Held on USC’s campus in Bovard Auditorium, the awards are open to the public; tickets will be made available in late March.”


L.A. Times Book Prize Finalists for 2012 (to be awarded in 2013)


The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace by H.W. Brands
The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro
A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman by Alice Kessler-Harris
The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy by David Nasaw
The One: The Life and Music of James Brown by R.J. Smith


Current Interest

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll
On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines — and Future by Karen Elliot House
Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards Into Battlegrounds by Jim Sterba
The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor by Jake Tapper



The Middlesteins: A Novel by Jami Attenberg
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
Magnificence  by Lydia Millet


Graphic Novel/Comics

Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel
Unterzakhn by Leela Corman
Everything Together: Collected Stories by Sammy Harkham
Cruisin’ With the Hound: The Life and Times of Fred Toote  by Spain Rodriguez
Building Stories by Chris Ware



Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty by John Barry
Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone by George Black
America’s Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise That Preserved the Union by Fergus M. Bordewich
A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico by Amy S. Greenberg
Rule & Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party From Eisenhower to the Tea Party by Richard Kabaservice



Broken Harbor by Tana French
Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura
The Expats by Chris Pavone
The Twenty-Year Death by Ariel S. Winter



Poems: 1962-2012 by Louise Glück
The Ground: Poems by Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys: Poems by D. A. Powell
Aerial by Bin Ramke
Gravesend (New California Poetry) by Cole Swensen


Science & Technology

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe by George Dyson
The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don’t by Nate Silver
Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams


The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Fobbit by David Abrams
The Natural Order of Things by Kevin P. Keating
Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store: A Novel by Robin Sloan


Young Adult Literature

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt
Boy 21 by Matthew Quick
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Innovator’s AwardMargaret Atwood

Kirsch AwardKevin Starr

The award organizers has given special recognition to The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood and California Dream series author Kevin Starr. Atwood has won the Times’ Innovator’s Award and Starr has received the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement.