Best Books of 2012: 50 Shades of Grey, America Again, No Easy Day

Vintage, Grand Central Publishing, Harper

Depending on where you sit on the literary spectrum, 2012 was either an amazing year for books or a horrible one.

On the one hand, Fifty Shades of Grey, a book that uses the phrases "inner goddess" and "holy crap" ad nauseam, topped the charts while celebrity memoirs tanked one after another. On the other hand, amidst the fall of print, the nation came together around the product of a critically ignored genre—fan fiction—and proved that a self-published book can make an unknown author rich as a Romney. Isn't that the American Dream?

Whether you loved or hated whatever passed through your sexy new e-reader this year, there's no arguing that it wasn't an epic year for books in pop culture.

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