Most of the books on this list are favorites from discussions held at the library between 2007 and 2013. A few of the titles are books we haven’t discussed yet, but will soon and are potential favorites. Not every title will appeal to all readers, but all will promote lively discussions. Brenda
Chevalier, Tracy. The Last Runaway
Coomer, Joe. Pocketful of Names
deWitt, Patrick. The Sisters Brothers
Doig, Ivan. The Whistling Season
Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light
Dunant, Sarah. Sacred Hearts
Erdrich, Louise. The Round House
Follett, Ken. Pillars of the Earth
Ford, Jamie. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Gloss, Molly. The Hearts of Horses
Hill, Lawrence. Someone Knows My Name
James, P.D. Death Comes to Pemberley
Joyce, Rachel. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
King, Laurie. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
Kingsolver, Barbara. Prodigal Summer
Larsson, Stieg. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
McLain, Paula. The Paris Wife
Moon, Elizabeth. The Speed of Dark
O’Nan, Stewart. Last Night at the Lobster
Parkin, Gaile. Baking Cakes in Kigali
See, Lisa. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Shaffer, Mary Ann and Annie Barrows. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Simonson, Helen. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
Stockett, Kathryn. The Help
Trigiani, Adriana. The Shoemaker’s Wife
Vreeland, Susan. Clara and Mr. Tiffany; Luncheon of the Boating Party
Walls, Jeannette. Half Broke Horses
Algeo, Matthew. Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure
Beavan, Colin. No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries he makes about himself and our way of life in the process
Caputo, Philip. The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America from Key West to the Arctic Ocean
Child, Julia. My Life in France
Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun
Goodman, Matthew. Eighty days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World
Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Krist, Gary. City of Scoundrels: The Twelve Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago
Kurson, Robert. Shadow Divers : The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
Millard, Candice. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President
Peacock, Nancy. A Broom of One’s Own: Words on Writing, Housecleaning, and Life
Salisbury, Laney & Aly Sujo. Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art
Several book awards have been announced recently. Here is an up-to-date list of the winners of a wide variety of book awards. More awards will be announced soon; I’ll update this list this summer. Brenda
Award Winning Fiction and Non-Fiction, 2012-2013
Christian Fiction Awards
Christy Awards, 2012
Contemporary: Tatlock, Ann. Promises to Keep.
Contemporary Romance: Kendig, Ronie. Wolfsbane.
Contemporary Series: Clark, Mindy Stars & Leslie Gould. The Amish Midwife.
Historical: Austin, Lynn. Wonderland Creek.
Historical Romance: Klassen, Julie. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall.
Suspense: James, Steven. The Queen.
Visionary: Stengle, Ann Elisabeth. Veiled Rose.
First Novel: Yttrup, Ginny. Words.
Bram Stoker Awards, 2011
Best Novel: McKinney, Joe. Flesh Eaters.
Best First Novel: Bird, Allyson. Isis Unbound.
Carnegie Medal, 2012: Enright, Anne. The Forgotten Waltz.
Man Booker Prize, 2012: Mantel, Hilary. Bring Up the Bodies.
National Book Award for Fiction, 2012: Erdrich, Louise. The Round House.
National Book Award for Non-Fiction, 2012: Boo, Katherine. Behind the Beautiful Forevers.
Nobel Prize for Literature, 2012: Mo Yan
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2013: Johnson, Adam. The Orphan Master’s Son.
Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, 2013: Kings, Gilbert. Devil in the Grove
(for more Pulitzer awards, visit the Pulitzer website.)
Women’s Prize for Fiction, 2012: Miller, Madeline. The Song of Achilles.
Agatha Awards, 2012
Best Novel: Penny, Louise. The Beautiful Mystery.
Best First Novel: Boyer, Susan M. Lowcountry Boil.
Anthony Awards, 2012
Best Novel: Penny, Louise. A Trick of the Light.
Best First Novel: Henry, Sara. Learning to Swim.
Best Paperback Original: Hyzy, Julie. Buffalo West Wing.
Edgar Allan Poe Awards, 2013
Best Novel: Lehane, Dennis. Live by Night.
Best First Novel: Pavone, Chris. The Expats.
Best Paperback Original: Winters, Ben H. The Last Policeman.
Best Fact Crime: French, Paul. Midnight in Peking.
Rita Awards, 2012
Best First Book: Jones, Darynda. First Grave on the Right.
Contemporary Series Romance: Morgan, Sarah. Doukakis’s Apprentice.
Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure: Dees, Cindy. Soldier’s Last Stand.
Contemporary Single Title Romance: Lowe, Fiona. Boomerang Bride.
Historical Romance: Bourne, Joanna. The Black Hawk.
Inspirational Romance: Miller, Serena. The Measure of Katie Calloway.
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements: O’Neal, Barbara. How To Bake a Perfect Life.
Paranormal Romance: Harrison, Thea. Dragon Bound .
Regency Historical Romance: Dare, Tessa. A Night to Surrender.
Romance Novella: Linden, Caroline. I Love the Earl.
Romantic Suspense: Robb, J.D. New York To Dallas.
Science Fiction & Fantasy Awards
Arthur C. Clarke Award, 2013
Beckett, Chris. Dark Eden.
Hugo Awards, 2012
Novel: Walton, Jo. Among Others.
Novella: Johnson, Kij. “The Man Who Bridged the Mist”, in Asimov’s, Sept./Oct. 2011.
Novelette: Anders, Charlie Jane. “Six Months, Three Days”, on Tor.com.
Best Short Story: Liu, Ken. “The Paper Menagerie”, in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2011.
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, 2012: E. Lily Yu.
Nebula Awards, 2011
Novel: Walton, Jo. Among Others.
Novella: Johnson, Kij. “The Man Who Bridged the Mist,” in Asimov’s Science Fiction, October/November 2011.
Novelette: Ryman, Geoff “What We Found,” in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September/October 2011.
World Fantasy Award, 2012
Novel: Tidhar, Lavie. Osama.
Novella: Parker, K.J. “A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong” in Subterranean Press, Winter 2011.
Spur Awards, 2012
Best Western Long Novel. Harrigan, Stephen. Remember Ben Clayton.
Best Original Paperback Novel: Boggs, Johnny. West Texas Kill.
Best Western Short Novel: Boggs, Johnny. Legacy of a Lawman.
Best First Novel: Mims, Meg. Double Crossing.
The Big Read Selection for 2013 is The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani, a novel about Italian American immigrants in the early 1900s. Here are some more novels you might enjoy:
Alcott, Kate. The Dressmaker. Titanic survivor in New York City.
Cohen, Paula. Gramercy Park. Set in the 1890s, famous Italian tenor rents house near Gramercy Park while singing at the Metropolitan Opera, falls in love.
Duenas, Maria. The Time in Between. Spanish fashion designer stranded in 1930s Morocco, opens dress shop.
Forster, E.M. A Room With a View. Written and set in early 1900s, an Italian pensione caters to British tourists.
Gentle, Mary. The Black Opera. Nineteenth century Italy, opera librettist.
Mazzucoo, Melania. Vita. Two children from southern Italy try to survive in New York City’s Little Italy in 1903.
McDonnell, Adrienne. The Doctor and the Diva. Early 1900s opera singer seeks treatment for infertility.
Mignola, Mike and Christopher Golden. Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism. Young priest teaches orphans at a convent during World War II, redesigns old handcrafted puppets to tell Bible stories, but the puppets come to life in this horror novella.
Moser, Nancy. An Unlikely Suitor. Italian American dressmakers in 19th century NYC and Newport, Rhode Island.
Olafsson, Olaf. Restoration. Set in Tuscany in 1944.
Pezzelli, Peter. Home to Italy. Recently widowed Peppi returns to his native Italian village and finds that his old friend and fellow mountain biker Luca now owns a candy factory run by his lovely daughter Lucrezia.
Russell, Mary Doria. A Thread of Grace. Northern Italy in the 1930s and 1940s. Many thousands of Jewish refugees fled here during World War II.
Schoenewaldt, Pamela. When We Were strangers. Italian American immigrant finds work as seamstress in 1880s Cleveland and Chicago.
Trigiani, Adriana. Lucia, Lucia. Italian American seamstress looks back on her life in NYC.
Trigiani, Adriana. Very Valentine. Family owned shoe company in New York City, started in 1903 by Italian American immigrants.
Walters, Jess. Beautiful Ruins. 1960 Italy and modern day United States.
In honor of Black History Month, here is a list of recent African American Fiction. There are lots of young adult titles this year.
Dickey, Eric Jerome. An Accidental Affair.
Jackson, Neta. Come to the Table. on order
Johnson, T. Geronimo. Hold It ‘Til It Hurts.
Monroe, Mary. God Don’t Make Mistakes.
Morrison, Toni. Home.
Perlman, Elliot. The Street Sweeper.
Roby, Kimberla Lawson. The Perfect Marriage.
Weber, Carl. The Family Business; The Man in 3B.
Austin, Lynn. All Things New.
Mathis, Ayana. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.
Wimberley, Darryl. Devil’s Slew
Day, Zuri. Love on the Run.
Evans, Harmony. Lesson in Romance.
Girard, Dara. Secret Paradise.
Hart, Regina. Smooth Play.
Hill, Donna. Everything is You.
Perrin, Kayla. Surrender My Heart.
Rochon, Farrah. A Forever Kind of Love.
Washington, AlTonya. His Texas Touch.
Mosley, Walter. Merge; Disciple.
Morrison, Mary. If I Can’t Have You.
Souljah, Sister. A Deeper Love Inside. on order
Carter, Nikki. On the Flip Side.
Flake, Sharon. Pinned.
Hartman, Brett. Cadillac Chronicles.
Magoon, Kekla. Fire in the Streets.
Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. No Crystal Stair.
Simone, Nin-Ni. Hollywood High.
Volponi, Paul. The Final Four
Walker, Brian. Black Boy/ White School.
We read a wide variety of excellent books this year. I hope you find some memorable reading on this list. We’d love to hear what books were the best you read this year. I’m already adding some of these titles to my list of books to read next year. Brenda
11/22/63 by Stephen King (George)
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (Chris)
Alien Diplomacy by Gini Koch (Denise)
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (Courtney)
Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe (Chris)
Canada by Richard Ford (George)
Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold (Brenda)
Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Chris, Pam)
The Confession by Charles Todd (Brenda)
Dear Life by Alice Munro (Chris)
Divergent by Veronica Roth (Joy)
Doc by Mary Doria Russell (Pam)
Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear (Brenda, Pam)
Every Day, by David Levithan (Chris)
The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein (Courtney)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Brenda, Joy)
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (Brenda, Chris)
Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King (Pam)
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Beth, Chris, Courtney)
Hammered (The Iron Druid Chronicles) by Kevin Hearne (Denise)
Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar (Joy)
The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe (Joy)
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley (Pam)
Illuminations: a Novel of Hildegard von Bingen by Mary Sharratt (Pam)
John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk (Brenda)
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Joy)
The Last Policeman by Ben Winters (Brenda)
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Courtney)
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin (Joel)
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (Courtney)
Room by Emma Donohue (Courtney)
The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Brenda, Chris)
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (Courtney)
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (Joy)
The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes (Joel)
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (Joy)
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Joy)
The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani (Pam)
A Simple Murder by Eleanor Kuhns (Brenda)
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill (Brenda)
Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Chris)
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan (Chris)
Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussman (Joy)
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Courtney)
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (Chris)
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (Chris, George)
Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis (Brenda)
America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t by Stephen Colbert (Joy)
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell (Courtney)
Death at SeaWorld : Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity by David Kirby (Beth)
A History of the World in 100 Objects, by Neil MacGregor (Joel)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (George)
I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship: Hilarious, Heartwarming Tales About Man’s Best Friend from America’s Favorite Humorists by Wade Rouse (Courtney)
Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World by Mark Frauenfelder (Denise)
Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings (Brenda)
No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden by Mark Owen (George)
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (Joy)
Super Freakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Courtney)
The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, by Anne Marie O’Connor (Joel)
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt (Brenda)
This Machine Kills Secrets: how WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World’s Information by Andy Greenberg (Denise)
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham (George)
The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant (George)
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (Brenda, Courtney, Pam)
A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans (Joy)
In compiling this booklist, I was thinking about why I find reading medieval mysteries so appealing. I think it’s the detailed settings and ways of life that are so different than life today, but with characters modern readers can relate to and revisit in further books in the series. Characterization, setting, and plot are all important in medieval mysteries, and all the books listed here are part of a series.
Ash, Maureen. The Alehouse Murders introduces Knight Templar Bascot de Marins, recovering from injuries in Lincoln, England, and his young, mute servant, Gianni.
Clare, Alys. Fortune Like the Moon begins the Hawkenlye series, with Helewise, Abbess of Hawkenlye and Josse d’Acquin, French knight.
Clark, Cassandra. Hangman Blind introduces Abbess Hildegard.
Franklin, Ariana. Mistress of the Art of Death begins the Adelia Aguilar series. Adelia is an Italian-trained medical examiner working for Henry II. Her Muslim bodyguard Mansur pretends to be the physician for Adelia.
Frazer, Margaret. The Novice’s Tale is the first Sister Frevisse mystery, set at St. Frideswide Abbey in England. This is one of my favorite series, with excellent setting, story, and characters. Sister Frevisse gets to travel more than most medieval nuns, so there is also variety in the settings. There are 17 books so far. She has a related series as well. A Play of Isaac is the first book featuring Joliffe, an actor, playwright, and a spy. He travels with a small troupe of actors who are like a family, often struggling to make ends meet, but preferring travel to settling down in one place.
Gellis, Roberta. A Mortal Bane introduces London madam Magdalene la Batarde and Sir Bellamy Itchen.
Gordon, Alan. Thirteenth Night is the first Fool’s Guild mystery, featuring Theophilus or Feste, a jester and secret agent, and Viola, who becomes his wife and apprentice. The pair travel extensively, from Italy to Constantinople.
Grace, C.L. A Shrine of Murders is the first book featuring Kathryn Swinbrooke, Canterbury physician.
McIntosh, Pat. The Harper’s Quine is the first in the Gil Cunningham series. Gil is a young lawyer in Glasgow, who is assisted in his investigations by French mason Master Pierre and his daughter Alys. Strong female characters and vivid portrayal of village life add appeal.
Newman, Sharan. Death Comes as Epiphany introduces Catherine LeVendeur, student of Heloise at the Paraclete in France and Edgar, her betrothed and student of Peter Abelard.
Peters, Ellis. A Morbid Taste for Bones is the first in the classic twenty-one book Brother Cadfael series, set at a Benedictine Abbey in Shrewsbury, England, near the border of Wales. Brother Cadfael is a monk, herbalist, and former man at arms.
Robb, Candace. The Apothecary Rose features soldier turned spy Owen Archer, and his wife Lucie, an apothecary in York.
Roe, Caroline. A Remedy for Treason begins the Isaac of Girona series. Isaac is a blind Jewish physician in Spain.
Sedley, Kate. Death and the Chapman begins the Roger the Chapman Tales. Roger is a peddler, traveling around England, which he enjoys more than life at home in Bristol with his mother-in-law and young child.
Tremayne, Peter. Absolution by Murder is the first in the Sister Fidelma series. Fidelma is a dalaigh, or legal advocate, in 7th century Ireland, and is sister to Colgu, the King of Muman. She is assisted in her investigations by Brother Eadulf of Canterbury.
2012 James Beard Foundation Book Awards
Book Talk tends to feature reviews and booklists of fiction and narrative non-fiction books, so I thought it was time to highlight another big part of our library’s collection: cookbooks. Here is a list of some of the best cookbooks published in 2011:
Cookbook of the Year:
by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet
[We do not own this 6 volume, $625 set, but have ordered the 2 volume Modernist Cuisine at Home, to be published in October, 2012.]
Cookbook Hall of Fame:
Home Cooking and More Home Cooking
by Laurie Colwin
[We don’t own these classic cookbooks from 1988 and 1993, but they are available for interlibrary loan from libraries in our area.]
A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen
by Hugh Acheson
Baking and Dessert:
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home
by Jeni Britton Bauer
Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, & Formulas
by Brad Thomas Parsons
[Available for interlibrary loan]
Cooking from a Professional Point of View:
by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet
by Michael Ruhlman
Focus on Health:
Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen
by Heidi Swanson
The Food of Morocco
by Paula Wolfert
Reference and Scholarship:
Turning the Tables: Restaurants and the Rise of the American Middle Class, 1880-1920
by Andrew P. Haley
[Available for interlibrary loan from several college libraries in Illinois]
All About Roasting
by Molly Stevens
Writing and Literature:
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
by Gabrielle Hamilton
If you’re looking for a good book to read at the beach, pool, cabin, or in your favorite chair, then check out some of the brand new books on this list. Beach books tend to be entertaining, upbeat, contemporary fiction with likeable characters and good storytelling. There’s a wide variety of titles here to pick from. These books are likely to be popular, so you might need to place a hold. Happy reading!
Andrews, Mary Kay. Spring Fever.
Cach, Lisa. Great Aunt Sophia’s Lessons for Bombshells.
Cleave, Chris. Gold.
Cook, Claire. Wallflower in Bloom.
Fales-Hill, Susan. Imperfect Bliss.
Haddon, Mark. Red House.
Harkness, Deborah. Shadow of Night.
Jackson, Lisa and others. Beach Season.
Jones, Sadie. The Uninvited Guests.
Joyce, Rachel. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
Lively, Penelope. How It All Began
McKenzie, Catherine. Arranged.
Monroe, Mary Alice. Beach House Memories.
Moriarty, Laura. The Chaperone.
Moriarty, Liam. The Hypnotist’s Love Story.
Mortimer, Tinsley. Southern Charm.
Noble, Shelly. Beach Colors.
Raichlen, Steven. Island Apart.
Ray, Jeanne. Calling Invisible Women.
Shipstead, Maggie. Seating Arrangements.
Walters, Jess. Beautiful Ruins.
Weiner, Jennifer. The Next Best Thing.
Williams, Beatriz. Overseas.
Wingate, Lisa. Blue Moon Bay.
Books and videos to enjoy while waiting for the next season of Downton Abbey:
Faulks, Sebastian. Birdsong.
Fellowes, Julian. Past Imperfect; Snobs.
Follett, Ken. Fall of Giants.
Forster, E.M. Howards End.
Galsworthy, John. The Forsyte Saga
Goodwin, Daisy. An American Heiress.
Hollinghurst, Alan. The Stranger’s Child.
Ibbotson, Eva. A Countess Below Stairs.
Ishiguro, Kazuo. Remains of the Day.
Jones, Sadie. Uninvited Guests.
Kindl, Patrice. Keeping the Castle.
Morton, Kate. The House at Riverton.
Nicolson, Juliet. Abdication.
Solomons, Natasha. The House at Tyneford.
Todd, Charles. A Duty to the Dead, and other books in the Bess Crawford series.
Waugh, Evelyn. Brideshead Revisited.
Wharton, Edith. The Age of Innocence.
Winspear, Jacqueline. Maisie Dobbs and other books in the Maisie Dobbs series
Carnarvon, Countess of. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey.
Davis, Wade. Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest.
Fellowes, Jessica. The World of Downton Abbey.
Foreman, Amanda. Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.
Harrison, Rosina. Rose: My Life in Service.
Hyams, Jacky. Real Life Downton Abbey.
MacColl, Gail. To Marry an English Lord.
Powell, Margaret. Below Stairs.
The Forsyte Saga
Lark Rise to Candleford
Nancy Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate
Remains of the Day
The Shooting Party
Note: the Woodridge Public Library does not own all of these titles, but they are available for interlibrary loan from other SWAN libraries.