I just wouldn’t feel good about myself as a blogger-librarian if I didn’t write a post summing up the best books I’ve read over the past year. Here are my top 5:
- An Object of Beauty – If you’re at all a fan of art or New York City, read this book. Also, if you like excellent writing and characters you love to hate, read this book. Who knew actor Steve Martin was such a gifted and talented writer?
- Why We Broke Up – I’m no longer in high school, but I still found myself relating with this angst-ridden novel about how it feels to have your first broken heart. It’s a luminous, totally engaging and engrossing read.
- Flight Behavior – I love Barbara Kingsolver. I have loved her writing ever since I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She reminds me of Ann Patchett in her ability to create a world and characters that will occupy your thoughts and dreams as you immerse yourself in her story. Her current novel is about a bored houswife who leaves her house to have an affair, has a life-changing experience with nature instead, and returns home a changed woman.
- No Easy Day – I know this might be a somewhat controversial pick because it’s been such a controversial book. But it was a great reminder to me of what the men and women who serve in our armed forces do on a daily basis to keep us safe. Plus, unlike some other books from SEAL team members, there was no arrogance or braggadocio. The author relates the story of the raid that resulted in the ending of Osama Bin Laden’s life.
- Shepherds Abiding – I love the Mitford series. If you’ve not read it, I’m jealous because you really should, and the first time picking up a new series like this is always the best. Jan Karon, the author of this gentle Christian series, is a superb writer who manages to capture the full range of human emotions without ever sounding schmaltzy or preachy. Father Tim, the main character, is an Episcopalian priest in the picturesque town of Mitford. And like every other book in the series, Father Tim deals with hundreds of big and small daily triumphs and problems, along with Karon’s usual stock of charming, quirky, small-town characters who always manage to steal my heart.
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette? – I loved this quirky novel, and you can find my full review of it here.
- Escape from Camp 14 – I hestitate to say I loved this because how can you say you love a book that systematically details the horrible abuses North Korean prisoners of the state suffer on a daily basis? But it opened my eyes to a terrible problem and filled me with outrage. Anyone who cares about what’s going on in our world should read this book.
Er, wait, did I say my 5 favorite books? I really meant 7!
We want to wish everyone the happiest of new years, filled with lots of great books. Stay tuned for what we can’t wait to read in 2013 here at the Azle Memorial Library!