Multcolib My Librarian Alison: A dozen years, a dozen favorites
Annotation:2014: Okay, the year is pretty new, but this haunting novel about a mother and son tormented by guilt, who do all the wrong things to find redemption is my favorite so far. Reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy and Michael Ondaatje.
Annotation:2013: Though Watson has been writing for decades, I just discovered him. This story of our perceptions of right and wrong and how painfully skewed they can be stuck with me for a long time.
Annotation:2012: This story of a clock repairman who stumbles across an infinity machine and thereby comes under the scrutiny of some very bad people is chock full of steampunk-y and fantastical goodness.
Annotation:2011: I couldn't stop talking with friends about this book - the story of the rediscovery of a poem by Lucretius, and with it, ideas considered dangerous - that everything we see is made up of particles, that universe functions without the aid of the gods, and that our goal should be the Epicurean ideal - a life of pleasure over pain. Makes an intriguing non-fiction parallel to The Name of the Rose.
Annotation:2010: All the men have left Nayeli's small town in Mexico and criminals and 'banditos' are moving in. After seeing The Magnificent Seven, she decides to travel north with a group of 7 men to recruit more men to come back and repopulate her village. The adventures of the 7 made me feel how I felt when I watched Saturday morning cartoons as a kid.
Annotation:2009: This amazing work of science fiction brought together the old world and the future world in an ingenious way - Russell speculates about what would happen in a future where the Jesuits continue to bring the word of God to new worlds - this time, literally.
Annotation:2008: I've always loved stories about the west; this one concerns a self-sufficient woman more comfortable with horses than humans, and is set in Eastern Oregon during WWI.
Annotation:2006: I took this book to the Oregon coast with me on the recommendation of a friend. Thinking of this story of a book conservator who goes to Venice after the flood of 1959 takes me right back to the place where I read it.
Annotation:2004: At several points in this book about a hostage-taking, I went looking for someone to read aloud to - the language was that beautiful. This is one of my favorites from Patchett, though Run and State of Wonder are up there too.
Annotation:2002: Brooks knows how to write characters who feel real, and in this story she creates a woman who struggles to survive the plague in a small village in 1666.
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My favorites over a dozen years, but it was oh so hard to choose! (And yes, it is a baker's dozen.) Disclaimer - it took me a couple of years to discover some of these, so reading dates is often later than the publication date.