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Notable 2012 Books, From the Holmdel Librarian

Librarian Karen Nealis loves a good story. Here's a list of books she recommends for gift-giving.

 

 

Fiction Titles

 

Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis 

“Cutting, emotional…pure heartbreak…though Mathis has inherited some of Toni Morrison’s poetic intonation, her own prose is appealingly earthbound and plainspoken, and the book’s structure is ingenious…an excellent debut.”
            —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

“The miraculous arrival of a child in the life of a barren couple delivers profound love but also the seeds of destruction. Moral dilemmas don’t come more exquisite than the one around which Australian novelist Stedman constructs her debut.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

 (National Book Award Finalist)

"A first novel as compact and powerful as a footlocker full of ammo....Kevin Powers has something to say, something deeply moving about the frailty of man and the brutality of war, and we should all lean closer and listen." (Benjamin Percy, New York Times Book Review )

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

(National Book Award Winner)

“Erdrich skillfully makes Joe’s coming-of-age both universal and specific…the story is also ripe with detail about reservation life, and with her rich cast of characters, Erdrich provides flavor, humor and depth. Joe’s relationship with his father, Bazil, a judge, has echoes of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.” (Library Journal, Starred Review of THE ROUND HOUSE )

 

NON-FICTION TITLES

 

Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O’Reilly

Immersively written . . .  Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Dugard succeed in investing a familiar national tragedy with fresh anguish. . . A powerful historical précis." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

(National Book Award Winner)

“[An] exquisitely accomplished first book. Novelists dream of defining characters this swiftly and beautifully, but Ms. Boo is not a novelist. She is one of those rare, deep-digging journalists who can make truth surpass fiction, a documentarian with a superb sense of human drama. She makes it very easy to forget that this book is the work of a reporter. …. Comparison to Dickens is not unwarranted.”

—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

 The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwallbe

“A wonderful book about wonderful books and mothers and sons and the enduring braid between them. Like the printed volumes it celebrates, this story will stay with you long after the last page.”

--Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Time Keeper

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham  

“This terrific book allows us to see the political genius of Thomas Jefferson better than we have ever seen it before. In these endlessly fascinating pages, Jefferson emerges with such vitality that it seems as if he might still be alive today.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed

“[A] vivid, touching and ultimately inspiring account of a life unraveling, and of the journey that put it back together. . . . The darkness is relieved by self-deprecating humor as [Strayed] chronicles her hiking expedition and the rebirth it helped to inspire. . . . Wild easily transcends the hiking genre.  Michael J. Ybarra, The Wall Street Journal 

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