Must Read Books 2012: JK Rowling, Toni Morrison Round Out the Top 15

Looking for the best books of 2012? Here are the must-reads in non-fiction and fiction:

Best Non-Fiction Books of 2012

Why it’s a must-read: In her first book in 12 years, Robinson writes more politically charged than ever. She ties current events to her subtle understanding of our social, cultural, and intellectual inheritance.

Why it’s a must-read: Already receiving high praise in early reviews, this book is the most highly anticipated political book this year. Maraniss draws on letters, journals, diaries, other documents, and hundreds of interviews with his closest relations to paint a personal, yet factual and comprehensive narrative.

Why it’s a must-read: Caro navigates through decades-long research to spin an ambitious, compelling 600-page narrative. He’s known for making political biography read like novels.

Why it’s a must-read: The best-selling science writer Sean Kean has draw on our evolutionary history and genetic code not only to explain past and current phenomena, but also to explain what DNA says about our future.

Why it’s a must-read: The story may seem like a hippie artifact, but critics have praised Groff for resurrecting the utopian ideals in a complex, beautifully told way.

What it’s about: 21 short stories on everything from an American journalist in Paris to Arturo Belano, the author’s alter-ego.

Why it’s a must-read: In her first novel since 2005, (when she wrote "On Beauty"), Smith explores the interplay of private and public life in modern London. As her last novel generated major buzz, and is slated for HBO series adaptation in the near future, her forthcoming tragicomedy is expected to deliver laughs and twists at the pace of a city itself.