GPL Staff Picks 2012

It’s that time of year when the “best of” lists for 2012 start to pop up everywhere.  Here at GPL, the staff have been busy reading (as per usual) and we’ve compiled our own list of our favourite reads this past year – fiction and nonfiction; printed book, ebook and playaway; adult and teen; we’ve got it covered! Enjoy our diverse list and check out some of the titles for yourself:

defending

Defending Jacob by William Landay
An edge-of-your-seat legal thriller with a spine-chilling twist at the end!
Chris – Main Library

bygrandcentral

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart 
This masterpiece of poetic prose about a love affair is so gorgeously written that I had one of its quotes tattooed on my arm – “can I see the light of a match while burning in the arms of the sun?”
Erika – Main L

womenWomen from the Ankle Down By Rachelle Bergstein
An obscure but fascinating book all about shoes and how history, climate and culture have impacted our footwear from war time wedges to red soled Louboutin pumps.
Kitty – CEO
capecod

Cape Cod by Henry David Thoreau
My family made a pilgrimage there in the spring and visited some of the places Thoreau mentioned in this book. It was great to compare the Cape Cod of Thoreau’s lifetime with mine.
Deb – Westminster Square Branch Library

faunaThe Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll
Finds great hope amidst regrettable circumstances. The chimps went through horrible things and find it difficult, but not impossible, to accept a new, free life.
Ben – Main Librarycarry

Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
A beautifully told story about how one frightful night changed the lives of a car load of friends. I couldn’t put it down and it left me thinking for days after I finished reading.
Tara – Main Library

bravenewBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Makes you realize that eliminating the difficult and unsavoury things in life really doesn’t make life better.  Once you live through these hard things, the good times seem even better.daring
Megan – Main Library

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
It’s about acknowledging when you feel vulnerable and shame yet still boldly stepping into the world to be the best version of yourself. A-mazing.
Jen – Main Library

AfricanQueenThe African Queen by C. S. Forester
Great visual description, character development and interaction.  Was touching yet funny at times.
Lisa – Westminster Square Branch Librarywitches

Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
I fell in love with this book because it has all of my most favorite things: libraries, England, New-England, well-researched history, witches, and vampires.
stepheavenKendra – East Side Branch Library

A Step From Heaven by An Na
A well written, inspirational read about a family’s struggles and journey to America. Makes one appreciate what we often take for granted in a free country.
Lisa – Main Librarytwodeaths

The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes by Marcus Sakey
A fast-paced thriller with a good hook.
gonegirl
April – Main Library

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
It was a real page turner, I just couldn’t put it down!
Barb – West End Branch Library

Mr. Shakespeare’s Bastard by Richard Wrightmrshakespeare
Wright’s knack for developing unforgettable characters and his in depth research of Elizabethan England really made me feel like I was there.
Robin – Scottsdale Branch Library

nightcircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
While the storyline is intriguing, the illusions surrounding the circus leave you with stunning visuals to recall long after you have finished the novel.
Wanda – East Side Branch Library

 A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wrightshorthistory
A very informative and satisfying read about self-destructive patterns exhibited by humanity since as far back as the time of the Stone Age. A wake-up call to each of us.
Adele – Main Library

sistersThe Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
My favourite read this year just because it was so quirky and off the beaten track!
Amy – Bullfrog Mall Branch Library

The Dovekeepers by Alice HoffmanDovekeepers
Intriguing story of the siege of Masada filled with interesting relationships between all of the female characters.
Robyn – Main Library

guernseyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Humourous and heartbreaking at times, rich in little known WW 2 history on the island of Guernsey.
Carolyn – Scottsdale Branch Library

The War of 1812 Conflict for a Continent by J. C. A. Staggwar1812
Despite being a young nation, the United States successfully defeated one of the most powerful nations at that time (Britain). Great chapter on the challenges of a continental army.
Darcy – Main Library

lost boysLost Boys by Orson Scott Card
A regular family moves to North Carolina where their unhappy 8 year old son becomes very withdrawn and starts playing with imaginary friends. A thriller unlike any other with a great twist!
Brigid – Scottsdale Branch Library

Alligator Lake by Lynne Bryantalligator
For someone who enjoyed “The Help” it would be an excellent read – a multigenerational story set in the southern U.S.  Loved it  – as did my sister, friend, and mother!
Gail – Westminster Square Branch Library

HypnotistsHypnotist Love Story by Liane Moriarty
Moriarty has combined a serious psychological thriller with an enjoyable easy read.
Cheryl – Main Library

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collinscatching
Although it’s a young adult book, it contains all the essential elements to appeal to all readers: romance, suspense, action, and fantasy. The best of the trilogy – read it before the movie comes out in 2014!
Glenna – Main Library

roomRoom by Emma Donoghue
Although the circumstances around the main characters’ situation were very
disturbing, I was encouraged by her successes in meeting the social,
psychological, spiritual and physical needs of she and her son.
Margot – Main Library

The Four Seasons by Laurel Coronafour seasons
A heartfelt story about two sisters abandoned as babies who grew up playing music and singing for aristocratic Venetian families in the late 17th century. I loved the history and the story of two very extraordinary women! Fantastic!
Carmela – East Side Branch Library

About gpltara

Hi blog readers! I am an information services librarian at the Guelph Public Library (which essentially means I order materials for the library, help customers, look after the book club services and plan adult programs!). Personally, I love practicing yoga, baking cupcakes late at night, reading (surprise, surprise!), and escaping to the mountains whenever possible. I believe GPL plays such an important role in the Guelph community not only helping to connect people to information and great books, but also to each other through programs and other services.
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2 Responses to GPL Staff Picks 2012

  1. I love the books on your list! Dovekeepers was brilliant. Defending Jacob has left me haunted three weeks after turning the last page. I adore Catching Fire! There’s something for everyone here.

    • gpltara says:

      Thanks for your comment Carole! While compiling the list, I was surprised at the wide range of reading favourites among the GPL staff!

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