It's time once again for staff of Halifax Public Libraries to share their favourite books published in 2013. As always I'm impressed by the diversity of their reading interests and the fact that the same book is never nominated twice.
The Humans (M)
by Matt Haig
"Body-snatching has never been so heartwarming . . .
"The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable novel about alien
abduction, mathematics and that most interesting subject of all:
ourselves. Combine Douglas Adams’ irreverent take on life, the universe
and everything with a genuinely moving love story, and you have some
idea of the humour, originality and poignancy of Matt Haig’s latest
The Cuckoo's Calling (M)
by Robert Galbraith
"After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man."
Hour of the Rat (M)
by Lisa Brackmann
"Iraq War vet Ellie McEnroe has a pretty good life in Beijing, representing the work of controversial dissident Chinese artist Zhang Jianli. Even though Zhang's mysterious disappearance of over a year ago has her in the sights of the Chinese authorities. Even though her Born-Again mother has come for a visit and shows no signs of leaving. But things really get complicated when Ellie's search for an Army buddy's missing brother entangles her in a conspiracy that may or may not involve a sinister biotech company, eco-terrorists, an art-obsessed Chinese billionaire and lots of cats-- a conspiracy that will take her on a wild chase through some of China's most beautiful and most surreal places"
We Need New Names (M)
by NoViolet Bulawayo
"Darling is only ten years old, and yet she must navigate a fragile and
violent world. In Zimbabwe, Darling and her friends steal guavas, try to
get the baby out of young Chipo's belly, and grasp at memories of
Before. Before their homes were destroyed by paramilitary policemen,
before the school closed, before the fathers left for dangerous jobs
abroad. But Darling has a
chance to escape: she has an aunt in America. She travels to this new
land in search of America's famous abundance only to find that her
options as an immigrant are perilously few. NoViolet Bulawayo's debut
calls to mind the great storytellers of displacement and arrival who
have come before her-from Junot Diaz to Zadie Smith to J.M.
Coetzee-while she tells a vivid, raw story all her own."
Man in the Empty Suit (M)
by Sean Ferrell
Mona Lisa Sacrifice (M)
by Peter Roman
"For thousands of years, Cross has wandered the earth, a mortal soul trapped in the undying body left behind by Christ. He''s been a thief, a con man, a soldier, and a drunkard. He''s fought as a slave in the Colosseum and as a knight at King Arthur''s side. But now he must play the part of reluctant hero, as an angel comes to him for help finding the Mona Lisa - the real Mona Lisa that inspired the painting. Cross''s quest takes him into a secret world within our own, populated by characters just as strange and wondrous as he is: gorgons and dead gods hidden away in museums; faeries that live in countryside pubs, trapping and enslaving unwary travellers; and super-rich collectors who trade magical artifacts among themselves..."
by Kelley Armstrong
"Olivia Taylor Jones, 24, seems to have the perfect life. The only
daughter of a wealthy Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education
and is engaged to a handsome young tech-firm CEO with political
ambitions. But Olivia's world is shattered when she finds out that she's
adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial
killers, each still serving a life sentence."
How the Light Gets In (M)
by Louise Penny
"In Three Pines Chief Inspector Armand Gamache investigates the
disappearance of a woman who was once one of the most famous people in
the world and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the
mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo."