Fall 2012 Must Reads!by Jo W. on Sep, 08 2012
As an aspiring novelist, it’s important to me to keep up with the publication world and see what’s becoming the latest bestseller. You might be thinking, “No one has the time to read in their spare time, Dangnabit!” Well, reading for pleasure can provide an escape from the harsh realities that include that tenth decimal in your GPA, the many ways you can kill yourself in an organic chem lab, and feeling as though everyone, save for you, understand the jargon professors speak in.
Here’s a short list of books published in Fall 2012.
The Time Keeper, by Mitch Albom
This tells the story of the man who became Father Time. When he invents the world’s first clock, he is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift by being banished to a cave for centuries. When Father Time is freed, he is given a magical hourglass and a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time. These two individuals are a teenage girl who is about to give up on life and a wealthy old businessman who wishes for immortality. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.
Anyone fascinated with stories in which time plays a large part.
The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller
Hig survived the flu that killed his wife, his friends, and everyone else he ever knew. He lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog. When a random transmission somehow beams through the radio of his 1956 Cessna, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life—something like his old life—exists beyond the airport. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return—not enough fuel to get him home—following the trail of the static-broken voice on the radio. But what he encounters and what he must face—in the people he meets, and in himself—is both better and worse than anything he could have hoped for.
Stories that speak of hope. And for dog lovers too, judging from the title and the protagonist’s four-legged companion.
One evening, journalist David K. Randall began sleepwalking. A midnight crash into a wall prompted him to explore the strange science of sleep, the dark, esoteric hours that take up approximately a third of our lives.
Researching places from military battlefields to children’s bedrooms, sleep is not as simple as it seems. Do women sleep differently from men? If you happen to kill someone while you are sleepwalking, does that count as murder? This book is a tour of the odd, sometimes disturbing, and always fascinating things that go on in dreamland.
Anyone who suffers sleep deprivation (Hello, entire Cal student population!). Also for anyone who can watch Inception over and over again without getting sick of it.
The Guardian of All Things: The Epic Story of Human Memory, by Michael S. Malone
Ah, memory. Yes, it is your best friend when reminiscing on the blissful simplicity of childhood, your first kiss, how it felt to be a freshie at Cal…and when you need to remember what formula you need on that friggin calc midterm, dangit!
The Guardian of All Things follows the scientific history of how humans have pursued new ways to preserve and manage memory, both within the human brain and as a series of inventions external to it. The story of memory’s relationship with humans is a fascinating journey that has started from the beginning of time all the way to the present day.
Anyone fascinated with how memory works.
The Spindlers, by Lauren Oliver
One night when Liza went to bed, the Spindlers, spider-like people, stole the soul of her younger brother, Patrick.
To rescue Patrick, Liza must go Below, armed with little more than her wits and a broom. There, at the spindlers’ nests, she faces the evil queen and must pass a series of deadly tests—or else her soul, too, will remain Below forever.
Readers who are kids at heart and love dark fantasy, adventures, and exploring sibling relationships.
Splendors and Gloom, by Laura Amy Schlitz
Genre: Middle-grade fantasy
Fans of Victorian gothic, fantasy, and stories set in Dickens’ London and features creepy puppets.
January First: A Child’s Descent into Madness and Her Father’s Struggle to Save Her, by Michael Schofield
Michael Schofield’s daughter January has imaginary friends from a world called Calalini. However, they are no mere imaginary friends – they are hallucinations. Some of them, like “24 Hours,” are friendly, while others, like “400 the Cat” and “Wednesday the Rat,” bite and scratch her until she does what they want. They often tell her to scream at strangers, jump out of buildings, and attack her baby brother.
At six years old, January Schofield was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which is 20 to 30 times more severe in children than in adults. Doctors say that January is hallucinating 95 percent of the time that she is awake. Potent psychiatric drugs that would level most adults barely faze her.
Michael Schofield and his family’s battle with his daughter’s schizophrenia has included a two-year search for answers, countless medications and hospitalizations, allegations of abuse, despair that almost broke their family apart and, finally, victories against the illness and a new faith that they can create a happy life for January.
Anyone who even has a shred of humanity.
12.21: A Novel, by Dustin Thomason
Two weeks before December 21, 2012, the predicted date of the impending apocalypse, Dr. Gabriel Stanton receives a call from a hospital resident who has an urgent case for him. Stanton, an expert on some of the rarest infections in the world, is grappling with a patient whose every symptom confounds him.
Meanwhile, Chel Manu, a Guatemalan American researcher at the Getty Museum, and the brightest young star in the field of Maya studies, possesses a priceless codex that seems to hold the answer to her life’s work and to one of history’s great riddles: why the Maya kingdoms vanished overnight. Suddenly it seems that our own civilization might suffer this same fate.
And time is running out.
Readers who enjoy good thrillers, and are interested in seeing another take on what awaits for us at the end of the world.