Sunday, January 6, 2013

Pima County Public Library Ultimate Staff Picks 2012

Library folk love to read, they read terrific books, and they  love to talk about the books they think are terrific. So the Ravenous Readers got to thinking: wouldn't it make a great reading list if we asked library staff from all over the Pima County Public Library system to tell us the name of the single most terrific book they read in 2012?

So that's what we did --  and we gathered the results into the First Annual Pima County Public Library Ultimate Staff Picks List, which we present here, to help you find a good title to start the new year right. Happy New Year, and Happy Reading!


When Charlie McButton Lost Power
Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games), illustrated by Mike Lester (Children’s Picture Book) A great rhyming story with fantastic illustrations about a boy suffering from electronic toy withdrawal during a power outage. After an episode spent in time-out (tackling his sister’s toys for their batteries), Charlie realizes how much fun he can have--without electricity.  
Elizabeth, Collection Development Office


Karen Thompson Walker
An apocalyptic coming-of-age story: when the earth's rotation slows, day and night are thrown off track and crops start to fail...
Cindy, Nanini Library

James S.A. Corey
The sequel to Hugo nominee and Locus Book of the Year Leviathan Wakes.
William, Mission Library

Jim Butcher
The 14th book in a series about Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard.
Tessa, Himmel Park Library

Tom Franklin
Well written, suspenseful, believable, a more complex portrait of Mississippi than we’re used to reading.
Ruth, Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Library 

Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese
Elegantly written story of conjoined twins set in Ethiopia.
Bonny, Library Administration

Anne Fortier
This book, though slow to start, is captivating and leaves the reader grieving its end even after the 444th page. A modern-day retelling of the story of Romeo and Juliet.
Amanda, Oro Valley Library

Jussi Adler-Olsen
A crime novel from Denmark's most popular mystery writer.
Karen, Dewhirst-Catalina Library

Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
I enjoyed this look at what humanity would become if there were unlimited versions of our world to explore. 
Kassy, Joel D. Valdez Main Library

Lev Grossman
Kelli, Woods Memorial Library

Amy Hill Hearth
Reminiscent of Fannie Flagg's books, the story of what happens when a newcomer starts a bookclub in 1960s Florida.
Sue, Kirk-Bear Canyon Library

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Robin Sloan 
Ancient, obscure books, a mysterious bookstore, strange codes: what is going on at Mr. Penumbra's Bookstore? I loved the author's wry sense of humor and the way he builds suspense.
Lisa, Communications & Systems Office

Lee Smith
Written in diary and journal format – mesmerizing story set during the Civil War.
Kelly, Valencia Library

Jeffrey Archer
I’ve recommended it many times and keep hearing from coworkers and patrons how great it is.
Amy, Miller-Golf Links Library

Amor Towles
New York City in the 1930s and a plucky heroine who gets all the good lines – pure heaven in a debut novel.
Helene, Literacy Office

The Sense of an Ending
Julian Barnes
A haunting tale of how one person’s action ripples out over the lives of those all around.
Amber, Joel D. Valdez Main Library
Robert Crais
Another great Elvis Cole mystery. While investigating a border bandit kidnapping, Elvis is himself kidnapped.
Tenecia, Joel D. Valdez Main Library
Helena Maria Viramontes
A gritty portrait of everyday life in East L.A.
Christina, Oro Valley Library


David Graeber.  332 G756d 2011 
Graeber offers a fairly comprehensive history of the role of debt in society that sheds light on current economic conditions by placing them in context.  I recommend this book to nearly all of my friends and co-workers.
David, Martha Cooper Library 

Dewey’s Nine Lives:  The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions Vicki Myron with Bret Witter.  636.8 M997d 2010 
Sue, Himmel Park Library

The Good Food Revolution
Will Allen. 631.5 AL46g 2012
Karen, Joel D. Valdez Main Library

Hosoi: My Life as a Skateboarder, Junkie, Inmate Pastor
Christian Hosoi 92 H7942 2012 
Jeff, Santa Rosa Library

David M. Eagleman  153 Ea36i 2011
Cathie, Librarian Substitute

Just Kids
Patti Smith. 782.42166 Sm634j 2010
A beautifully-written autobiography by a famous punk musician, focusing on her complicated relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
Jenny, Flowing Wells Library

Killing Lincoln
Bill O'Reilly. 973.7092 Or337k 2011
Meg, Geasa-Marana Library

Elizabeth Hess. 636.9885 H4632n 2008 
599.884 P94373 2012 DVD TEEN
I liked the [above] book and DVD because they are sort of companion pieces about the chimpanzee named Nim Chimpsky, who was the subject, or victim if you will, of a failed experiment to try to make a chimpanzee into a human.  Also, this book and movie touch on the complex and controversial topics of whether or not primates, and other animals, can learn to language to communicate with humans, and also the immorality of scientific experimentation and exploitation of highly intelligent animals such as primates.
Deborah, Joel D. Valdez Main Library

Quiet : The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking
Susan Cain. 155.232 C1355q 2012
A passionate argument for the value of introverts in society and the world of ideas.
Patti, Collection Development Office

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
Stephen Greenblatt. 940.21 G8299s 2011
An enlightening book about how “….and the pursuit of happiness” came to be in our Constitution, and why it matters.
Liz, Mission Library

Nina Sankovitch. 028.8 Sa586t 2011 
A true story about the healing power of reading.
Julie, Nanini Library

Transition: the Story of How I Became a Man
Chaz Bono, with Billie Fitzpatrick. 306.768 B64411t 2011
Brandon, Valencia Library

David Crist. 327.73055 C8688t 2012 
Eugene, Sam Lena-South Tucson Library

The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
Susan Casey. 551.463 C2686w 2010
Jenn, Literacy Office

Augusten Burroughs. 306.8742 B945w 2008 
Dawn, Literacy Office


Jasper Fforde
Similarly to the Percy Jackson series, Fforde keeps the story fast-paced and funny while slipping in some mythical info (Dragonology, anyone?).  And his vocabulary will gain the approval of any YA reader’s teacher.
Beth, Miller-Golf Links Library
Every Day
David Levithan (YA)
Christine, Joel D. Valdez Main Library

Kristin Cashore
Jusdina, Dewhirst-Catalina Library

Toby, Joel D. Valdez Main Library

Honorable Mentions
We also loved these books, but due to a long reserve list or few remaining copies, you may need to wait a while for your turn with them, or you might wish to seek them out from your favorite bookseller.

The Bartender's Tale
Ivan Doig
Deborah, Joyner-Green Valley Library

The Book of Jonas
Stephen Dau
Amazing debut novel that tackles war, memory and survival through the eyes of Younis, a 15 year old orphan who becomes Jonas in his new life. 
Leila, Joel D. Valdez Main Library

The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure
James Redfield 291.63 R247c 1993 
If you allow it, it can change your life.
Ryan, Joel D. Valdez Main Library

The Dog Stars
Peter Heller
Sarah, Woods Memorial Library

Flame of Sevenwaters
Juliet Marillier
Susan, Joel D. Valdez Main Library

Gone Girl 
Gillian Flynn
Karen, Murphy-Wilmot Library

Here There Be Dragons
James A Owen (YA)
Amy, Kirk-Bear Canyon Library

Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips
National Geographic
Linda, Oro Valley Library

Lady of the English
Elizabeth Chadwick
Well researched and beautifully written historical fiction on the life of Mathilda, daughter of King Henry I of England, who had to fight for her right to the crown.
Kim, ReadStrong tutor, Woods Memorial Library

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir
Jenny Lawson 92 L4254l 2012
William, Juvenile Detention Center                    

Matrons and Maids: Regulating Indian Domestic Service in Tucson, 1914-1934
Victoria K. Haskins 979.1776 H2739m 2012
Sharon, Job Help Hub Coordinator

Proof of Heaven: a Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife
Eben Alexander 133.9013 AL266p 2012
“A near death experience written by a doctor who previously didn’t believe they were real.”
Diane, Technical Services Dept.

Rogue’s Gallery: the Secret History of the Moguls and the Money That Made the Metropolitan Museum
Michel Gross 708.1471 G8783r 2009 
Meg, Dusenberry-River Library

The Round House
Louise Erdrich
Susannah, Seed Library & Dusenberry-River Library

Samuel Adams, a Life
Ira Stoll 92 Ad194s 2008
Adams was a very interesting and impressive figure for the fight for American independence that not many people know of---mostly people know him because of the beer---he is really worth reading about.
Danielle, Mission Library

Kathleen Woodiwiss                                      
Harry, Technical Services Department

Snobs and Past Imperfect
Julian Fellowes
Melanie, Nanini Library

Lois Lowry
Ann, Collection Development Office

Gail Carriger
A comedic romance set in steampunk England with vampires and werewolves.
Mira, Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Library

Stone Arabia
Dana Spiotta
Mary/Librarian Substitute

J. R. Moehringer
Rona, Kirk-Bear Canyon and Stacey, Joel D. Valdez Main Library

Tiny Beautiful Things
Cheryl Strayed. 070.444 St829t 2012 
Amy, Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Library

Unconditional Parenting: Moving From Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
Alfie Kohn 649.1 K827u 2005 
Much of the disciplining that we do with our children sends them the message that they have to do certain things and behave a certain way in order for us to love them. This book shows how to discipline so that children really feel that we love them no matter what.
Debbie, Eckstrom-Columbus Library

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