Two weeks ago in Inside Report, we asked readers to send in their “Great reads” of the past year. Here are the responses we’ve received thus far:

The book Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly should definitely be on your “Great read” list. It chronicles the life of the author’s great-great-great-grandmother from the early 1800s in Ireland through the potato famine and the cruel treatment of the Irish by the English to the emigration of her family to “Amerikay.” It continues with the early history of Chicago as her family ends up here via New Orleans.

The 500-plus pages fly by, making the reader looking for more.

-Cathy Rennau

Here are my top books of the year:

Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom. If Mitch wasn’t already so famous for Tuesdays with Morrie, this book would catapult him from obscurity to fame, the same way TWM did.

Born to Run by Chris McDougall. I’m not a runner and this book about ultra-marathoners and the shoe industry and McDougall’s personal story was still exciting. It made me fantasize about running.

South of Broad by Pat Conroy. Another story about people in Charleston, S.C., from the master.

-Rosetta Kessler

I read 52 books this year, one a week, mostly literary fiction. I very much liked 15 of them, but my book of the year is a tie between Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz and Jamesland by Michelle Huneven. (3, 4 and 5 are Rhino Ranch by Larry McMurtry, Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje, and Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem.)

-Edward Nelson

I’m glad you asked. I tell everyone about this great new author and his first book: The Exception by Christian Jungersen (

I loved this book because it is a well-organized and well-written mystery that I could not put down. I also loved it because if its candid representation of social bullying. Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the heroines, and they often relate the same event from each unique perspective.

It shows the emotional destructiveness of bullying, the internal conflict of those caught in the middle and the rationalization of the instigator. Additionally, the book is interspersed with genocide articles that draw subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, parallels between genocide and the bullying we see around us every day.

-Aimee Schuster

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