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Lois’s Best Reads of 2012

December 30th, 2012

Lois’s Best Reads of 2012

*book club ideas


11/22/63, Stephen King. Back to the Future meets Groundhog Day. Time traveler tries to keep JFK from being assassinated. (violence & language)

*600 Hours of Edward, Craig Lancaster. 39-year old with Aspergers journals for 25 days. Excellent on audio.

Defending Jacob, William Landay. DA’s son is accused of murdering a classmate. Akin to Presumed Innocent.

*Fieldwork, Micha Berlinski. American anthropologist is found dead in Thai prison after murdering a missionary. Compelling story, gripping until the last page. State of Wonder meets the Poisonwood Bible.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan. Delightful melding of sharp young techno-geeks with a mysterious old book store.

*The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman. Australian lighthouse keeper faces moral dilemma. Good on audio.

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, Alexander McCall Smith. Further adventures of Mma Ramotswe.

The Lock Artist, Steve Hamilton. Michel hasn’t spoken since he was 8, but he can sure pick locks. Great writing. (language)


The Reading Promise, Alice Ozma. Father & daughter read aloud together every night for 8 years.

Some Assembly Required, Anne Lamott. Humorous journal of her grandson Jax’s first year.

Operating Instructions, Anne Lamott. Journal of her son Sam’s first year & friend’s battle with cancer.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Cheryl Strayed. Year-moir of self-discovery; well written.

The Lord God Made Them All, James Herriott. Book 4 in the classic series. Ch. 30 has great piano recital story.

Every Living Thing, James Herriott. Sequel to 4th book in series. Great stories, lots of humor.


* The Fault in our Stars, John Green. (YA) Teens with cancer find love. Funny, poignant & informative.

Plunked, Michael Northrup. (JA) 6th grade boy hit by a pitch tries to get back in the game. Funny & well written.

The Invention of Hugo Cabre, Brian Selznick. (J) Academy award-winning movie Hugo made from this book.

Wonderstruck, Brian Selznick. (J) By the author of Hugo. Do read the flyleaf on this one first.

A Year Down Yonder, Richard Peck. (JYA) Sequel to A Long Way from Chicago. Funny & old-timey.

Babe, the Gallant Pig, Dick King-Smith (J). Delightful story; basis for the movie Babe.

The Complete Winnie the Pooh & The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne. Simply the best

Other good reads

*Hannah Coulter, Wendell Berry. Tender & wise memories from an old farm woman. Port Williams series.

The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Foster girl learns the language of Victorian flowers.

My Year with Eleanor, Noelle Hancock. Year-moir alternates with biographical tidbits about E. Roosevelt.

V is for Vengeance, Sue Grafton. From the hand of the master.

We Bought a Zoo, Benjamin Mee. The real story behind the movie.

Rules of Civility, Amor Towles. Beautifully written.

Mrs. Tom Thumb, Melanie Benjamin. Historical fictionalization of her life & times with P.T.Barnum.

The Underside of Joy, Sere Prince Halverson.

Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian, John Robison. How to survive & thrive with Aspergers.

The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Love, Kristin Kimball. Memoir. 30+ former NYC girl takes up farming.

The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey. Homesteaders in 1920s Alaska find a magical child.

This Is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper. Family sits shiva for 7 days after father’s death. (sex & language)

Let’s Take the Long Way Home, Gail Caldwell. Memoir of dog-loving women rowers’ friendship.

The Chaperone, Laura Moriarty. Historical fict. 36-year old woman accompanies Louise Brooks to NYC in 1922.

The Bartender’s Tale, Ivan Doig. 12-year old boy comes of age in 1960’s northern Montana.

The Condition, Jennifer Haigh. Family story on the backdrop of being human. Moments of lyrical writing.

* The Lifeboat, Charlotte Rogan. Shipwreck survivors face the elemental & the existential.


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