- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn—The story of a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. Just when you think you have it figured out, there’s another twist or turn. Coming soon to a theatre near you!
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple—This book skewers political correctness, Microsoft, and Seattle, and much more as it hilariously recounts a daughter’s quest to find out what happened to her agoraphobic architect mother.
- The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny—Louise Penny writes beautiful books that happen to be mysteries, and this is one of her best. It takes place in a remote monastery in Quebec, and features her wonderful detective, Inspector Gamache. You can read the other books in the series first, but it also stands alone. You will want to visit the moment you close the book.
- The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman—Thought-provoking and discussion-worthy, this is the story of a young couple who keep a remote lighthouse on an island off the Australian coast, and their moral dilemma when a baby and a dead body wash up on shore.
- Redshirts by John Scalzi—Another laugh-out-loud book. Think Star Trek come to life, with all the funky science, space creatures, and hammy main characters.
- Honorable Mention: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton—Kate Morton never disappoints and this tale of entertwined characters and romance set during World War II and the present day is classic Morton. Great characters, beautiful prose, a lot of mystery, and an ending that brings it all together is her signature style.
- Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain—Exploring beyond the stereotypes of the shy introvert and the outgoing extravert, Cain looks at Introverts in the context of science, relationships, children, and breaks those outdated perceptions once and for all.
- In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson—in 1933, William E. Dodd became the US Ambassador to Germany, and witnessed its takeover by the Nazi Party. This book reads like fiction as it details Dodd’s growing apprehension about the situation in Germany, and the prelude to World War II.
- Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly—A pageturner that puts you right into the action during the last days of the Civil War, through Lincoln’s assassination, and into the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth.
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot—OK, even though this was published in 2011, I didn’t get around to reading it until 2012. What a fabulous book! Skloot does a tremendous job of explaining cellular science in a way that keeps you turning pages. All while interweaving the science with the story of the Lacks family, and their remarkable mother.
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business by Charles Duhigg—the title pretty much sums up the subject of the book, but the case studies that illustrate the power of habit—and what happens when you break some habits—are inspiring. Another book where science, psychology, and darn good writing come together into a really excellent book.
- Honorable Mention: The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes and Julian Fellowes—not particularly scholarly, but a whole lot of fun! This book goes behind the scenes of the hit PBS/Masterpiece Theatre drama Downton Abbey to discuss the history of the time, the fashions, the politics, and the real-life upstairs-downstairs worlds of the great English manor homes.
Happy Reading! Please come visit me at the Troy Library in 2013, and let me know what you’ve been reading—I am always looking for my next great book.
Many thanks for your support of the Troy Public Library in 2012! I wish you the very best this holiday season, and a very Happy New Year!