Multcolib My Librarian Alison: A dozen years, a dozen favorites

The Kept
The Kept A Novel By Scott, James Book - 2014 FICTION SCOTT 2014 Available in some locations

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.

Let Him Go
Let Him Go A Novel By Watson, Larry Book - 2013 FICTION WATSON 2013 Available in some locations

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.

Angelmaker By Harkaway, Nick Book - 2012 FICTION HARKAWAY 2012 Available in some locations

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.

The Swerve
The Swerve How the World Became Modern By Greenblatt, Stephen Book - 2011 940.21 G7989s 2011 Available in some locations

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.

Into the Beautiful North
Into the Beautiful North A Novel By Urrea, Luis Alberto Book - 2009 FICTION URREA 2009 Available in some locations

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.

The Sparrow
The Sparrow By Russell, Mary Doria Book - 2008 SF RUSSELL 2008 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 2 on 11 copies

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.

The Hearts of Horses
The Hearts of Horses By Gloss, Molly Book - 2007 FICTION GLOSS Available in some locations Holds: 4 on 12 copies

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.

Out Stealing Horses
Out Stealing Horses By Petterson, Per Book - 2007 FICTION PETTERSO Available in some locations

Annotation:2007: Petterson has an amazing ability to mess with time and place through his writing - at least that's what it felt like when I read this story of an isolated man looking back on his life.

The Sixteen Pleasures
The Sixteen Pleasures By Hellenga, Robert Book - 1995 FICTION HELLENGA 1995 Available in some locations

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.

Field Notes on the Compassionate Life
Field Notes on the Compassionate Life A Search for the Soul of Kindness By Barasch, Marc Book - 2005 177.7 B225f 2005 Available in some locations

Annotation:2005: I was impressed with this study of the genetic roots of compassion and what we can learn from naturally empathetic individuals.

Bel Canto
Bel Canto A Novel By Patchett, Ann Book - 2001 FICTION PATCHETT All copies in use Availability details Holds: 1 on 3 copies

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.

Y, the Last Man
Y, the Last Man Vol. 1, Unmanned By Vaughan, Brian K. Book - 2003 GN VAUGHAN Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 9 copies

Annotation:2003: I devoured this comic book series about a post-apocalyptic world where all the men are dead - all that is, except one.

Year of Wonders
Year of Wonders A Novel of the Plague By Brooks, Geraldine Book - 2001 FICTION BROOKS Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 15 copies

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.

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