University of Illinois Press – Best of 2012

Annually since 2007 we have posted our favorites of the year. The University of Illinois Press Best of 2012 list is in alphabetical order by staff member’s last name.  Feel free to post your list in the Comments section.

Kathleen Anderson, Rights & Permissions/Awards Manager
Favorite Book:
The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg
Books I wish I had read in 2012: The Twelve by Justin Cronin and May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes
Favorite CDs: Transcendental Youth by the Mountain Goats, Celebration Rock by Japandroids
Favorite movies: Moonrise Kingdom, Safety Not Guaranteed, The Dark Knight Rises
Favorite TV Show: Girls
Best breakfast sandwich:
Best website:
Favorite Live Performance: Metric live at The Pageant in St. Louis

(see live Metric footage in the new video for “Breathing Underwater”)

Margo Chaney, Exhibits Manager
Favorite Book:
  The Invisible Bridge, by Julie Orringer
Favorite CD:  Stephen Wade – Banjo Diary
Favorite Movie:  Lincoln
Favorite TV Show(s): it’s a 3-way tie for me— Call the Midwife, Parenthood, Scandal
Favorite Live Performance: Crosby, Stills, & Nash at Ravinia
Website:  don’t go to any one website everyday (apart from work)

Lisa Connery, Desktop Publisher/Coordinator

Favorite Book: Locke & Key (Graphic novel by Joe Hill)
Favorite CD: fun. Some Nights
Favorite Movie:
Wreck It Ralph
Favorite TV Show: Game of Thrones, New Girl
Favorite live performance: Carnivale Debauche or Polkaholics @ Porkapalooza
Website I visit every day:, (weekly web comic)

Dawn Durante, Assistant Acquisitions Editor
Favorite Book:
Veronica Roth – Insurgent (the second book in the Divergent Trilogy)Favorite CD: Gary Clark Jr. – Black and Blu
Favorite Movie: The Hunger Games
Favorite TV Show: The Mindy Project
Website I visit every day: (boring but true)

Heather Munson, Journals Production Editor
Favorite Book:
Tell Everyone I Said Hi by Chad Simpson
Favorite CDs: From the Ground Up by John Fullbright, The Carpenter by the Avett Brothers
Favorite TV Shows: Call the Midwife, Parks and Recreation, Up All Night
Favorite live music performances: John Hiatt at the Castle Theater in Bloomington, Peter Cooper and Eric Brace at Sandwich Life House Concerts, Bottle Rockets at Sandwich Life House Concerts
Favorite web comic: Lunar Baboon

Joe Peeples, Catalog and Copywriting Coordinator
Favorite book:
Walter Isaacson – Steve Jobs (actually from 2011; I’m always a year or two behind)
Favorite albums: Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror
Favorite movies: Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Moonrise Kingdom, and The
(which as of this writing hasn’t opened yet but of course it will be
Favorite Ebertfest movie: Take Shelter — beautiful and deeply unsettling
Favorite TV shows: New Girl, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad
Favorite live performances: Metric at the Pageant in St. Louis; The Lemonheads at the Bijou in Knoxville, TN (playing It’s A Shame About Ray in its entirety, plus much more)
Favorite anticipated live performance that was cancelled because the guitarist broke his hand in a skateboarding accident, for crying out loud: Sleigh Bells at the Canopy Club, Pygmalion Festival
Website I visit every day: The A.V. Club
Favorite way to take an arrow in the knee: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Favorite donut: Glazed Old Fashioned at Carmella’s Creme Donuts in Champaign
Favorite cocktail: The Godfather at Big Grove Tavern (or, as I make it at home, The War-Time Consigliere)

Jim R. Proefrock, Desktop Publisher
Favorite Book:
Chad Harbach – The Art of Fielding
Favorite Long-Playing Vinyl Record Album: Police Teeth – Awesomer than the Devil
Favorite Movie: Wreck It Ralph
Favorite TV Show: The Regular Show
Favorite Live Performance: Police Teeth – Hexagon Bar, Minneapolis
Website I Visit Every Day: Electrical Audio Forums

Willis Regier, Director
Favorite Book: I’ve spent much of the year reading through volumes in the Collected
Works of Erasmus, preferring (as many do) the volumes of his correspondence.  For a refreshing detour, I was steered to Lucius Shepherd’s A Handbook of American Prayer by Professor Jad Smith, a trusted source for recommendations for science fiction.  For graphic novels, nothing surpassed Chris Ware’s Building Stories. The title applies to a box and its assorted contents that a reader can build into a book, or not, as if it were both a construction and a demolition site.  Ware’s irony is like that.  As always, his drawings are meticulous.
Favorite CD:  Once again I’m debt to Michael Roux for his recommendations, including Marina and the Diamonds’ Electra Heart.  I replayed it more often than anything else I
bought this year.
Favorite Movie: Spielberg’s Lincoln.
Favorite TV Show:  Carol Baxter was astonished I hadn’t seen Big Bang Theory.  Now I know why.  Its characters are charming and funny and weird. Still, I again have to rank Justified #1, and will have to bow to friends’ recommendations next year and try Homeland.
Favorite live performance: Thanks to Carol, I saw The Book of Mormon at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago.  I was surprised to see the the Church of Latter Day Saints had purchased multiple advertisements in the program.  That surprise deepened as the show proceeded, though surprise was submerged by admiration for the creative energy of the performance.  A great cast, great production, and superb satire.
Website I visit every day: Huffington Post, DailyKosTalkingPointsMemo

Tad Ringo, Senior Editor

Favorite CD: California 37 – Train
Favorite Movies: Lincoln, Argo
Favorite TV Show: Elementary
Favorite live performance, sports: Game 3, NBA Playoffs, 2nd round (May 17, 2012): Pacers 94, Heat 75
Best restaurant: Maury’s Tiny Cove, Cincinnati, OH
Best beach: Pass-A-Grille, St. Petersburg, FL

Michael Roux, Marketing Manager

Favorite Books: Kurt Andersen – True Believers (Every year I take home a handful of forthcoming books from Book Expo. True Believers was my favorite from this year’s crop. For some reason I picked up and then put back down Kevin Powers’s Yellow Birds, which has appeared on many end of the year best of lists. Oops.), John Taylor – In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran (Admit it. You want to read about the making of the Hungry Like the Wolf video in Sri Lanka.)
Favorite CD: Electric Guest – Mondo (I first heard Electric Guest when the band performed on Jimmy Fallon.  The vocals had a Smokey Robinson vibe and I played that DVRd clip over and over.  Danger Mouse produced the album. Check out This Head I Hold.

Favorite Movie: Argo
Favorite TV Shows: Homeland, The Hunted
Favorite live performance: Buddy Mondlock at Music Folk in St. Louis – The older kid next door who used to play acoustic guitar in his front yard grew up to write songs with and for Janis Ian, Art Garfunkel, Garth Brooks, and others.  I hadn’t seen him for 30+ years.
Website I visit every day: Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish, (during fantasy football season)

Vijay Shah, Assistant Acquisitions Editor
Favorite Book:
Tom McCarthy-C
Favorite CD: The Head and the Heart-self titled album
Favorite Movie: A Separation
Favorite TV Show: The Big C, Enlightened
Favorite live performance: Impromptu jamboree by Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello at a peace rally in Chicago
Website I visit every day: Common Dreams/Glenn Greenwald


Previous years’ Best Of lists: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007.

About michael

Marketing & Sales Manager since 2012