You see book lists everywhere at this time of year, and our new catalog has hundreds of lists created by our customers, so you may not need another one, but here it is - the biggest novels of 2012, not necessarily for their length, but for their ideas and astonishing prose. They are all by established authors who have many more titles for you to read. These books are for you to check out of the library, and then if you like one, give it it to someone for the holidays.
Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe is another sprawling panorama of American life set in Miami, where passions about immigration run high.
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler offers a dose of fictional solace and sustenance that few contemporary writers can provide.
Bring Up the Bodies is the second part of Hilary Mantle's trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to Henry VIII.
In Richard Ford's Canada, a teacher looks back on his past, trying to make some kind sense of what happened when his family imploded.
The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey employs a large mechanical bird to link the stories of two unhappy people – the 19th-century father of a sickly boy, who is constantly searching for distractions to keep his son alive, and a modern museum curator mourning the sudden death of her lover.
For Dear Life Alice Munro wrote 10 stories and four quasi- autobiographical pieces as deep and unsparing as any that she has written.
In the brave and magestic Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, an Appalachian woman becomes involved in an effort to save monarch butterflies.
In Home by Toni Morrison, a black Korean War veteran, discharged from an integrated Army into a segregated homeland, makes a reluctant journey back to Georgia in a novel engaged with themes that have long haunted Morrison.
In One Person by John Irving is about a bisexual writer who looks back on his life in a tragicomedy about love, difference and AIDS.
Louise Edrich's Round House sets a Native American boy’s coming of age against the brutal backdrop of racism and violence in North Dakota.
TC Boyle's San Miguel is an absorbing work of historical fiction based on the lives of two real families who resided on San Miguel island in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Michael Chabon’s richly comic Telegraph Avenue about fathers and sons in Berkeley and Oakland, California juggles multiple plots and mounds of pop culture references.
Junot Díaz's This is How You Lose Her contains infectiously exuberant stories about love and infidelity among the Dominican-American community in New Jersey.