(alphabetically by author)
- By the Iowa Sea: A Memoir of Disaster and Love – Joe Blair
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity – Katherine Boo
- A Land More Kind Than Home – Wiley Cash
- Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Ben Fountain
- Crusoe: Daniel Defoe, Robert Knox, and the Creation of a Myth – Katherine Frank
- Some Kind of Fairy Tale – Graham Joyce
- The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
- The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer – Anne-Marie O’Connor
- NW – Zadie Smith
- Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from “Dear Sugar” – Cheryl Strayed
The Underwater Welder transports you to another world--the deep watery world of emotions and memories, past and present, birth and death. The welder is Jack, a man who lost his father at a young age and is now expecting his first child. As Jack dives deeper, he is pulled further away from his wife and their unborn son and back to his past and his despair over his father's tragic death. This haunting and gripping story is about the relationships between parent and child, growing up, overcoming grief, and looking toward the future to start again.
There are many things to love about Tim Kreider's collection of essays; they are beautifully crafted, insightful, and laugh-out-loud funny. But, best of all, they are wonderfully original. Kreider, known for his satirical cartoons, writes about his life in such a way that enables us to see the absurdity and sublimity of our own lives and of humanity in general. I recommend reading even just a few of these essays; they will give you a fresh prospective on life and make you laugh.
A patron of the Library recently shared this site with me, and I like it so much that I thought I would share it with you. If you're one of those people who never tire of reading about the humanities--particularly literary criticism and book reviews--you will adore the Arts & Letters Daily website. The site features links to a diverse array of literary and cultural news stories and reviews.
With teasers like:"Shakespeare endured syphilis, Jack London ulcers, the Brontës and Orwell tuberculosis. Only the cures were worse than the diseases...", how can you not be drawn in to read more?
If you now want to read the book about Shakespeare's syphilis and other famous authors' ailments, well, it's in the library, of course! You can reserve a copy below.
Brain on Fire is one of those books that will be hard for you to put down. This engrossing memoir, by a young New York Post reporter, is about her experience in the grips of a rare autoimmune disease. While the doctors try to figure out what is wrong with her, the author suffers violent seizures, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and eventually near death. Not only is this a gripping story full of suspense, it is also a reflection on the thin line between sanity and insanity, the fragility of our health, and what makes us human. In addition, this book gives us a fascinating glimpse into the world of cutting-edge neuroscience.
Set in a future world where television and computers are connected directly into people's brains when they are young, Feed is a thought-provoking novel that will make you reexamine our present-day consumer society. In this future society, which is dominated by corporations and the media, teens--due to the feeds in their heads and the constant stream to their brains to consume--are empty-headed kids who are driven by shopping and the pursuit of mindless entertainment. However, there is one girl unlike the others who, because of receiving her feed much later than the others, has the will to fight the feed. This is a terrific satire, and a book that you will not forget.
This historical novel, about America's most successful bank robber, is a great read. It is full of suspense, romance, and comedy, and it transported me back to New York City in the early twentieth century during the time of depressions, soaring unemployment, and bank panics. Born in the Irish slums of Brooklyn, Willie Sutton's early years were formed by extreme poverty, abusive older brothers, and distant parents. During his teenage years, Sutton met the love of his life and subsequently began his life of crime. Moehinger, the author of The Tender Bar, is a beautiful writer, and he created a book that transcends its subject and time. Highly recommended.
Well, it’s 2013, amazing as that may seem, and most people are looking ahead to the new year, making their resolutions…and resolving not to break them this time. But before we move forward, let’s take a moment to look back over the last year and remember some of the great novelists and writers who passed away. Though they themselves are gone, here’s to hoping their great works of fiction and nonfiction survive for many years to come!
- Jeffrey Zaslow, February 10
- Maurice Sendak, May 8
- Carlos Fuentes, May 15
- Ray Bradbury, June 5
- Maeve Binchy, July 30
- Gore Vidal, July 31
- Harry Harrison, August 15
2012 has seen a lot of wonderful novels, many of them by well-established authors. But there have also been quite a few break-through successes for brand-new authors. Many of the most popular and well-reviewed books of the year have been debut novels from first-time authors or authors who had only published short stories or memoirs previous to their novelistic success. Here’s hoping the years to come bring more great novels from these rising stars!
Torres, Justin. We the Animals
Klaussmann, Liza. Tigers in Red Weather
Ivey, Eowyn. The Snow Child
Coplin, Amanda. The Orchardist
Harbach, Chad. The Art of Fielding
Rogan, Charlotte. The Lifeboat
Pavone, Chris. The Expats
Stedman, M. L. The Light Between Oceans
Powers, Kevin. The Yellow Birds