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Best Fiction of 2012


Jami Attenberg, The Middlesteins.

A Chicago suburban family faces a crisis when the husband leaves his obese, diabetic wife of 40 years as her health fails, leaving their two grown children to cope with their mother’s obsession with food.


Carol Rifka Brunt, Tell the Wolves I’m Home.

In 1987, after her beloved uncle dies of AIDS, a girl secretly befriends his grieving boyfriend whom her family blame for infecting him.


Amanda Coplin, The Orchardist.

A man who has lived alone since his sister disappeared finds his life changed when two pregnant runaway girls seek refuge in his orchard.


Junot Diaz, This Is How You Lose Her.

A collection of nine stories about different kinds of love—romantic, physical and familial—linked by Yunior, a macho Dominican-American man who yearns to be loved.


Louise Erdrich, The Round House.

An adolescent Native American boy deals with the aftermath of a brutal attack on his mother.
National Book Award winner.


Ken Follett, Winter of the World.

Five interrelated families from different countries struggle with the political and economic turmoil of the mid-20th century as they witness the rise of Nazi Germany, the Spanish Civil War, and the horrors of World War II. Sequel to Fall of Giants.


Richard Ford, Canada.

After their parents are imprisoned for committing an ill-conceived bank robbery, a teenage boy’s twin sister runs away while he is sent to live on the desolate prairies of Saskatchewan, where he is taken in by a man hiding a dark, violent nature.


David Gillham, City of Women.

In wartime Berlin, a German soldier’s wife gets involved in a risky affair with a Jewish man and an underground operation to hide Jews.


Lauren Groff, Arcadia.

A boy who grows up in a back-to-nature commune in 1970s New York State must come to grips with
the outside world when the commune eventually fails.


Peter Heller, The Dog Stars.

After an epidemic wipes out most the population, a man flies sorties in a small plane from a
remote Colorado airport where he took refuge with his dog and another survivor.


Eowyn Ivey, The Snow Child.

A childless couple on a homestead in Alaska build a snowchild that disappears overnight,
and the next day they find a mysterious girl who apparently lives on her own in the wild.


Jonas Jonasson, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out a Window and Disappeared.

To avoid his 100th birthday party, an elderly man sneaks out of the Old Folks’ Home and ends
up on the run with a stolen suitcase full of money belonging to a gang of hapless criminals.


Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

Upon receiving a letter from an old friend who is dying in a hospice, a man burdened with many
regrets sets out on foot across England to visit her.


Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies.

Having helped Henry VIII annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Thomas Cromwell must now
rid the King of his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Sequel to Wolf Hall; Booker Prize winner.


Anouk Markovits, I Am Forbidden.

Two girls raised as sisters by a rabbi in an Eastern European Hasidic community take different
paths when one rebels against the strict rules and rituals of her culture and the other finds comfort and stability within her faith.


Laura Moriarty, The Chaperone.

A dissatisfied married woman accompanies budding silent movie star Louise Brooks to a dance
school in New York in hopes of discovering the truth about her own mysterious past.


Toni Morrison, Home.

A black man returns home after serving his country in the Korean War only to be confronted
by racism and the news that his sister has suffered at the hands of a doctor conducting eugenics experiments.


Kate Morton, The Secret Keeper.

A visit with her dying mother prompts an aging actress to seek the truth about a shocking,
violent scene she witnessed as a teenager between her mother and a stranger.


Alice Munro, Dear Life.

A collection of stories that illuminate the moment when a life is altered by a chance encounter or an action not taken or a twist of fate that turns a person from their accustomed path to a new way of thinking.


Tim Powers, The Yellow Birds.

A soldier in Iraq rashly promises a comrade’s mother that he’ll look out for her son, but he is unable to control the effect that their combat experiences have on the younger man.


Vaddey Ratner, In the Shadow of the Banyan.

A seven-year-old princess in the Cambodian royal family finds her sheltered life shattered when the Khmer Rouge take over and force her family from their home into the countryside, where they suffer four years of loss, starvation and forced labor.


Charlotte Rogan, The Lifeboat.

Aboard a sinking ocean liner in 1914, a newlywed woman is put on a lifeboat by her husband, who remains behind, and finds herself in a struggle for survival that results in her being charged with murder.


Maria Semple, Where’d You Go Bernadette?

After relocating to Seattle, a once-famous architect becomes a recluse, relying on a virtual assistant in India to run her errands, but an upcoming cruise to Alaska to celebrate her daughter’s grades initiates a crisis that causes her to disappear.


Maggie Shipstead, Seating Arrangements.

Tensions and complications arise as a WASP family and their friends gather at an island summer home for a wedding.


Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

A man who lost his tech job in the Great Recession goes to work at a San Francisco bookstore that’s really a front for a secret society trying to translate an ancient codex to learn the
secret of immortality.


M.L. Stedman, The Light Between the Oceans.

After suffering three failed pregnancies, an Australian lighthouse keeper and his wife make a fateful decision to pretend that an infant who washes ashore in a boat is their own.


Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists.

A woman who survived a Japanese internment camp in Malaysia and became a judge looks back on the time after the war when she worked as an apprentice to a Japanese gardener in hopes of creating a memorial garden for her sister who died in the camp.


Adriana Trigiani, The Shoemaker’s Wife.

A boy and girl meet in a village in the Italian Alps and the connection between them remains as they each emigrate to America separately to find work.


Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins.

An Italian man contacts a Hollywood producer hoping to find an actress who came to his village 50 years ago during the filming of Cleopatra.


Hilma Wolitzer, An Available Man.

A widower deals with well-meaning attempts to set him up on dates while struggling with feelings of loss and loneliness.


Book Events You Won't Want to Miss:

Adult Summer Reading Club ends

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Poetry Discussion

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 10:00am

Book Discussion: Sister Carrie

Monday, September 8, 2014 - 10:00am

Book Discussion: King Lear

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 10:00am

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