Best ‘New to Us’ Books in 2012: Dan B.’s Picks

Now that we’ve shared some of our favorite new books from 2012, we’ll also tell you about some of our favorite “New to Us” (older) books that we each discovered this year. Again, different library staff will take turns blogging about 5 of our favorite “New to Us” books from this year. Here are mine:

Somewhere in Heaven by Christopher Andersen
This is the fascinating story of Christopher and Dana Reeve’s lives in front of, and away from, the cameras. Chris, a graduate of Julliard and a huge star after Superman, returned to Williamstown, MA  each summer for their theater festival, and it was there that he met Dana, a singer and actress, who became the love of his life. The story continues with their touching courtship, eventual marriage, blending families, and Chris’ horrible paralyzing accident. Through it all, Dana’s devotion to Chris never wavered for an instant, and she helped him with his physical therapy, their profuse charity work, and raising their son. Read my full review.

Dauntless by Jack Campbell
John Geary was a soldier in the first battle of a war that has been raging for the last century. He’s also the sole survivor who held off the Syndicate forces and escaped into a hibernation pod that was just now rescued from oblivion by the flagship of the Alliance fleet. Now “Black Jack” Geary, a man returned from the dead who became a legendary hero, must find a way to lead the Alliance after they lost the latest battle very badly. He must also deal with the culture shock of being thrown a century into the future. Read my full review.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Eighteen year old Wade Watts escapes his life in this dystopian future by plugging into the OASIS, a virtual world where anyone can be anything – given enough credits. The reclusive inventor of OASIS, James Halliday, has died and left a video will in which he states that whoever can solve his 1980’s themed riddles to find three keys and unlock three hidden gates to find his “easter egg” will gain his fortune and control of OASIS. Wade is one of millions of hunters looking for the egg, including several friends, but so is the evil mega-corporation IOI – and they’re using every cheat code they can. Read my full review.

Among Others by Jo Walton
I usually need a lot of action in a story to get me hooked and to really enjoy it. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate character development and ideas. But, that’s why I’ve had a hard time trying to describe this Hugo & Nebula Award winning novel and explain why I really liked it. It’s about Mori Phelps, a 15-year-old girl who ran away from her insane mother in Wales and is now in boarding school in England thanks to her estranged father’s family. There’s also magic, faeries, libraries, and books – oh so many wonderful science fiction & fantasy books!

Blackout & All Clear by Connie Willis
These two novels form one award winning story from Willis. Time traveling historians from Oxford suddenly have their schedules altered and trips to the past cancelled for no known reason. Three such travelers, Michael, Polly and Merope, mysteriously become trapped in the past while observing the events of World War II. Willis does a fabulous job of putting the reader in the midst of history and letting us know what daily life was really like for Londoners during the Blitz, or the Dover area fishermen during the Battle of Dunkirk. A wonderful mix of time travel and history with plenty of suspense.

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