I should also point out that these are books I read in 2012, but they were not necessarily published in that year.
1. Bill Bryson At Home – a typical Bryson book – non fiction, well written, well researched, easy and enjoyable reading, and one where every page reveals a nugget of information that is both fascinating and new, and you want to tell someone about.
2. S.C. Gwynne Empire Of The Summer Moon – a fascinating non fiction read detailing the final years of the powerful Commanche nation, as well as the true story of pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches.
3. Mary Doria Russell Doc– a fictionalized account of the life and death of Doc Holliday. Not one of those glamorized shootemups, this book gives real depth to the characters and the times.
4. Sylvia Tyson Joyners Dream – The story uses a secret journal between 1788 and 2006 following the lives lived and the music played by the fiddlers of the family. A fascinating tale of multi generations, using the language of each age, and a cast of believable and roguish characters. Who knew Sylvia was more than a pretty singer?
5. Dave Barry/Alan Zweibel Lunatics – Just plain hilarious escapism – a quick amusing and satisfying read.
6. Elmer Kelton Lone Star Rising - A Trilogy about the beginnings of the Texas Rangers –same era as #2 above (Empire of the Summer Moon)
7. Eowyn Ivey Snow Child - A whimsical magical tale with wonderful detail of homesteading life in 1920’s Alaska
8. Barbara Wood The Blessing Stone – using a story about a unique stone, the reader gets glimpses into the lives and customs of various ages and cultures.
9. Sybil C. Lynde Stirling – To A House In Whitby – a beautifully written true account of the Lynde family (and associated families) as they make their way from the US to upper Canada. Very informative about York (Toronto) and what is now Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, etc. I should tell you that to my knowledge this book is not available in the library - it was loaned to me by the author.
10. Peter May – The Black House – a murder mystery in the Outer Hebrides, but it would still be a wonderful read even without the murder angle, just for the insight into the island culture, and the story of one person as both child and man.
11. Louise Erdrich – The Round House – His mother’s violent rape changes life for a 13 year old indian boy on a reservation. Despite the circumstances this is still in many ways a delightful story and worth the read.