, Gloucester, MA


January 3, 2013

Library picks best books of year

The Sawyer Free Library staff has complied a Best Books of 2012 list for those inveterate readers who enjoy the organization these lists can bring to the task of wading through masses of titles published each year.

The staff said this “unofficial” list is of the year’s most popular titles.

“Admittedly, this list is incomplete as 2012 was a great publishing year. But it does include just a few of what many consider the ‘must-reads’ of 2012 and some of the library’s most popular check-outs,” the staff said.

The list covers five categories, including a short summary of each book as well as its availability for check out from the North of Boston Library Exchange.


“The Round House,” by Louise Erdrich. This book won 2012’s National Book Award for fiction. It combines a crime novel with a coming-of-age saga. Availability: 96 holds on 46 copies.

“Canada,” by Richard Ford. Money woes and magical thinking are the dominant notes in Canada, an epic of family dissolution. Set in 1960 in Montana and Saskatchewan, the story is narrated by 15-year-old Dell Parsons, whose parents hatch the idea of robbing a bank to pay bills. Availability: 11 holds on 33 copies.

“The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce. Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about his past as he tries to find peace and acceptance. Availability: 6 of 17 copies available.

“Beautiful Ruins” by Jess Walter. A novel about an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962, and is rekindled in Hollywood 50 years later. Availability: 3 holds on 27 copies.


“Defending Jacob” by William Landay. A suspenseful, character-driven mystery about an embattled family in crisis. Availability: 8 holds on 82 copies.

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