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 Jacob by William Landay
An edge-of-your-seat legal thriller with a spine-chilling twist at the end!
Chris – Main Library
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
Women 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
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
The 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 Library
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
Brave 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.
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
The African Queen by C. S. Forester
Great visual description, character development and interaction. Was touching yet funny at times.
Lisa – Westminster Square Branch Library
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.
Kendra – 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 Library
The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes by Marcus Sakey
A fast-paced thriller with a good hook.
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 Wright
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
The 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 Wright
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
The 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 Hoffman
Intriguing story of the siege of Masada filled with interesting relationships between all of the female characters.
Robyn – Main Library
The 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. Stagg
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 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 Bryant
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
Hypnotist Love Story by Liane Moriarty
Moriarty has combined a serious psychological thriller with an enjoyable easy read.
Cheryl – Main Library
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
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
Room 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 Corona
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