Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Books of 2012 - Staff Picks, Part II

Welcome back! Last week we gave you some of our favorite books of 2012, and since we're all such voracious readers, we have even more!

Allison, Adult Services:
Code Name: Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Of all the great books I read this year, Code Name: Verity stands out as the most engrossing, well written and moving of them. Taking place during World War II, the story is told in two parts each from the perspective of the two main characters. One is an undercover Scottish (not British, mind you) spy for the Allied Forces, the other, a pilot. On a mission over Nazi-occupied France, their plane crashes and what follows is a gripping story of friendship, loyalty and war. The novel, especially the ending, stayed with me for days afterwards. While it's not for the faint of heart, it is an amazing read.

Kristen, Circulation:
American Nations: a History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, by Colin Woodard. As a lover of history and a family genealogist, this book really helped me to imagine what the lives of my early American ancestors were like and what was important to them. It also gave me some insight as to why different areas of the country have such differing social, economic, and political views to this day.

Michelle, Circulation:
My most favorite book of the year was The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman. I think I liked it more than most of my “bookie” friends, but again, I loved the writing and got totally caught up in the story of these interwoven lives and really wanted to find out how they were all connected and how it all turned out. The descriptions of the concentration camps were very hard to read, but in the end I was not disappointed.  (Michelle also enjoyed Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art by Christopher Moore and Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver.)

Michelle, Adult Services:
My two favorites for 2012 are Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child and Louise Erdrich’s The Round House. I listened to the audio versions, and the narrators are splendid. I haven’t finished Erdrich’s book yet; I have 3 disks to go. Gary Farmer is the reader, and he is Wolf Clan Iroquois which adds to the authenticity of the story. He is also an actor. I want to go back and re-watch Smoke Signals and figure out which character he portrays. His narration has a mesmerizing cadence.

Mary, Youth Services:
I enjoyed reading Sandra Dallas’ books True Sisters and Alice’s Tulips. Both are historical fiction. I also enjoyed Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee; it’s humorous chick lit.

Sharon, Youth Services:
I absolutely loved An Unquenchable Thirst: Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love by Mary Johnson – I thought it was wonderful and really enjoyed meeting her when she was at the library. One book I didn’t want to put down.

Brian, Information Technology:
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. From the jacket: "Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegé of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold."

 Angie, Circulation:
A few books I read and enjoyed this year were: A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness. Audio book read by Jennifer Ikeda - fabulous listen, great narrator. Literary, but easy to read. The Passage, by Justin Cronin. Both the book and and the audio (narrated by Scott Brick) were great. The end of the world as we know it, scary and disturbing, yet Cronin doesn't forget to show us some humanity in the midst of the chaos. Big read, but epic in a good way. The Mark of Athena, by Rick Riordan - Exciting, clever, fun, dramatic. Great third book in Heroes of Olympus series, Riordan seems to get better with each book.

Laura, Circulation:
Hannibal, by Thomas Harris - Yes, as in Hannibal Lector. A lot like the movie, only much, much better. The first time you see him "on-screen," it's like you're right there. Also, An Echo in the Bone, by Diana Gabaldon - The latest in a series about a woman thrown back in time 200 years to the Scottish highlands, where everything is an adventure and she tries hard not to fall in love. With wonderful characters and lots of action, the latest book describes one family's reluctant involvement in the American Revolution. Don't expect the story to be resolved, though; you'll be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.

Barb, Circulation:
I just finished Make Believe: an Edna Ferber Mystery, by Edward Ifkovic. I thoroughly enjoyed it not only for the historical fiction aspect about Hollywood but also because it was extremely eloquent.

So what was your favorite read of 2012? Tell us in the comments below, or on Facebook, G+ or Pinterest, and happy reading!

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