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Gina’s 2016 Top 10 Books! December 16, 2016

Posted by Gina in Biographies, Book List, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Top Ten, Uncategorized.
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I’m still trying to find my reading style. This past year it has been a mix of nonfiction and fiction. I generally enjoy reading books before it is adapted into a movie, that way I can see the differences.

Yes, My Accent Is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You by Kunal Nayyar

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo

Me Before You and After You by Jojo Moyes

Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J.K. Rowling

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

On My Own by Diane Rehm

 

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! Happy Holidays!

-Gina

 

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2016 Favorites – Top 12 Edition December 16, 2016

Posted by Dori in Book Awards, Book List, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Holiday Books, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thrillers, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2016, Uncategorized.
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2016 was a book lover’s dream – I was like a kid in a candy store. Between reading and listening, I managed to finish a lot of literary fiction, and a few science fiction and suspense titles, but I have some catching up to do into 2017. Here are the books that I relished in 2016, in no particular order:

laroseLaRose by Louise Erdrich
Erdrich is a writer that I never miss and this book sums up what I love so much about her writing: devotion to characters, insightful commentary on American culture, family love and exploration of the mystical.

 

undergroundThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Deserved winner of the National Book Award, this book is a wildly creative and harrowing look at slavery and its legacy. A must read.

 

 

beforeBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley
Hawley, a screenwriter, deftly takes us through a horrific plane crash, exploring the survivor’s guilt and the investigation into the cause.

 

 

mynameMy Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
This small book packs a punch – mother/daughter relationships, poverty, marriage – are all addressed powerfully and in Lucy’s voice – lovely and sad.

 

 

vegetarianThe Vegetarian by Han Kang
There’s no doubt that this is a weird book – it’s about a young woman whose choice to become a vegetarian impacts her whole family in tragic ways – but it’s also both mesmerizing and beautiful.

 

 

queenQueen of the Night by Alexander Chee
Chee’s historical epic about a 19th century American who becomes a famous Parisian courtesan and opera singer envelops and transports you.

 

 

commonCommonwealth by Ann Patchett
This is my first Patchett novel and I may have to read her earlier books based on this one – who doesn’t love a book about a dysfunctional family that sucks you in and doesn’t let go?

 

 

multipleMultiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra
Zambra is a Chilean author and his books often deal with memory and choice within the framework of Chile’s recent authoritarian history. This one’s in the form of a multiple choice test

 

 

goldenThe Golden Age by Joan London
Maybe my favorite of all, London’s look at how people deal with displacement in their lives takes place during the polio epidemic in Australia after World War II. It’s surprisingly sweet and tender and you’ll fall in love with the characters.

 

 

moonglowMoonglow by Michael Chabon
History, relationships, life, love, rockets! – all in Chabon’s signature style.

 

 

 

swingSwing Time by Zadie Smith
I haven’t quite finished Smith’s latest about two young brown girls growing up in London and the different paths they take based on family, race, class and culture, but I’m entranced so far.

 

 

darker

 

gathering

A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
I always like to dip into some great science fiction and I really enjoyed these first two in a series that take us to fantastic parallel worlds.  No. 3 is up next year!

 

BONUS CHRISTMAS BOOK:

fieldsThe Fields Where They Lay by Timonthy Hallinan
I chose this book for my Holiday read and I think I’ve found a new mystery series! It’s funny and clever and the mystery unfolded perfectly.

 

 

 

If` I could keep going, I’d throw these in as well: Debuts The Mothers by Brit Bennett and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, The Yid by Paul Goldberg, To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey, A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl, A Great Reckoning by  master of mystery Louise Penney, The Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood and The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.

Lauren’s Top Ten of 2016 December 16, 2016

Posted by Lauren in Book List, Thoughtful Ramblings, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2016, Uncategorized.
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Each year I worry that I won’t know what to come up with for my top ten list–this worrying lasts all of two seconds because as soon as I start to look back over a year’s worth of nose-in-a-book, I realize I read PLENTY of wonderful stuff!  This year my list is a little bit all over the place, just like my reading preferences.  Enjoy! ~Lauren

trespasser

The Trespasser by Tana French

amy-schumer

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

felicia-day

You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day

hamilton

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda

britt-marie

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

american-gods

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

ready-player-one

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

flavia

Thrice the Brinded Cath Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley

gabby-b

The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith by Gabrielle Bernstein

mccullers

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

BONUS SECTION: LATE TO THE PARTY

Here are a couple of extra favorites for me this year that I was inspired to read by my coworkers who picked them for their Top Ten lists last year. So if that initial plug wasn’t enough to motivate you, maybe my two-thumbs-up will help!

fates-and-furiesmount-charoctopus

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff / The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins / The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

MENU December 15, 2016

Posted by Ann in Book List, Fiction, Mystery, Top Ten.
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holiday-border

menu

MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2016

Tasty Appetizers

Descent by Tim Johnston

Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

Cruel, Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Hearty Entrees

The Widow by Fiona Barton

Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore

To Cleanse the Palate

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Dessert (the best for last!)

The Trespasser by Tana French

*With your Christmas Eve Hot Chocolate

Oliver, the Cat Who Saved Christmas by Sheila Norton    >’.'<

 

            ~Enjoy! Ann

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Steve’s Spectacular Top Ten December 13, 2016

Posted by Steve in Book List, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2016.
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I’ve got a few more fiction titles than in previous years, so take your pick, be it fiction or non-fiction, they are all good. Click the links below to go to the Reading Room for more details. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Fiction

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Resolution by Robert B. Parker

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Non-fiction

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist

The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II by Jan Jarboe Russell

House of Nails: a Memoir of Life on the Edge by Lenny Dykstra

Embattled Rebel by James McPherson

Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard

Where Divers Dare: The Hunt for the Last U-Boat by Randall Peffer

Steve

Top Ten of 2016 -if you’re asking me… (aka Stacey’s list) December 12, 2016

Posted by stacey in Book List, Thoughtful Ramblings, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2016.
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How is it already the second week of December? Where did the year go? Well, at least we have the “Best of” end of year lists to look forward to… And so, we continue our tradition of Top Ten books we found memorable here on Read it or Weep! Not all the books will have been published this year -but they were read this year- and you’ll find a good mix of long/short, genres and formats, and written for different ages.

I chose sixteen titles (for Top Ten + Six = Sixteen) -they are in alphabetical order by author (cause I’m a librarian) and include books I listened to, read (with my peepers,) fiction, nonfiction, for adult or teen audience. Feel free to let me know if you’ve enjoyed some of these as much as I did!

existentialist-cafespill-simmer-falter-witherat-the-edge-of-the-orchardthe-alchemist

1) At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell
Oh, please! Do *not* judge this book by it’s cover! -Or even its title really. Charming, easy to read, and thoughtful, you’ll enjoy reading this more than might expect… So, go ahead! Try it! (Don’t forget =Library books are FREE and we offer no hassle returns all year long!)

2) Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume
This one will haunt you a little. The unnamed narrator and his dog are damaged but endearing in ways that leave you hoping for the best, even as the story takes a darker turn.

3) At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier
Starting in the Black Swamp, around the Toledo area, this story takes place during the time of Johnny Appleseed. John Chapman makes a few appearances but it’s the hardscrabble, dysfunctional Goodenough family you’ll get to know best.

4) The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
There are some books I feel like everyone else has already read and I either 1) then stubbornly refuse to read like a big baby or 2) finally cave in and read to discover “everyone” was right to keep suggesting it to me. -I’m glad I caved in on this one!

are-we-smart-enough-to-know-how-smart-animals-arerosalie-lightning

5) Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are by Frans de Waal
After reading this book? I’ll say, “no” with absolute confidence. Read it -we’ll talk!

6) Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart
The author wrote and illustrated a nonfiction graphic novel about how he and his wife grieved the unexpected loss of their little girl. It’s beautiful.

7) To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
This book continues to defy my ability to explain all the amazing things going on inside -this is the best I can do: great details about the natural world, historical facts, folklore, and a feeling of mystical truth. (PS -illustrations included!)

to-the-bright-edge-of-the-worldwhen-breath-becomes-airheartless

8) When Breath Becomes Air by Dr. Paul Kalanithi
At thirty-six Paul Kalanithi was on verge of realizing his dream, to become a neurosurgeon who examined not just the mechanical working of the brain but also its cognitive function as part of our moral being. Diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, his family, his work, and this book are his lasting legacy.

9) Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Ms. Meyer has a gift for retelling fairy tales and making them unique, modern, thoughtful, outstanding, and all the other adjectives I/you can think of! This is her retelling of Alice in Wonderland… and. it’s. great!

10) Approval Junkie by Faith Salie
This collection of essays has humor, honesty, and some pretty good life lessons packed into every page!

darker-shadea-gatheringm-trainscarlet-women11) and 12) A Darker Shade of Magic *and* A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab
Alternate worlds? Magic? Great characters? Drama and Intrigue? =yep! I’m loving this series!

13) M Train by Patti Smith
Wow. Even when Patti Smith isn’t writing about “big ideas” she’ll “wow” you.

14) A Study of Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
If Sherlock Holmes was actually a woman? Well, that’s this book… You’ll recognize all the odd Holmesian quirks and secondary characters you’ve come to love -plus- you’ll find a whole new set of oddities to enjoy! This could have gone so wrong but it turned out just right!

trouble-is-a-friendnatural-way15) Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly
This is one of those rare, laugh-out-loud (repeatedly!) books. Need I say more?

16) The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
A little bit of horror, a little bit of allegory, and a lot to think about. Ten women are abducted and taken to a desolate bunkhouse in the middle of the remote, Australian Outback. With no way to know who’s responsible for their brutal imprisonment, they begin to form a social order to match their dark world.

Now my hard work is done? I get to sit back and enjoy -with you!- as everyone begins to post their selections as the week goes on… (This makes my book nerd heart so happy!)

happy reading!
Stacey

My Top 10 in 2016 December 12, 2016

Posted by Emma in Top Ten, Uncategorized.
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Brit-Marie was Here: A Novel by Backman, Fredrik

Flight of Dreams by Lawhon, Ariel

Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Stewart, Amy

Lilac Girls: A Novel by Kelly, Martha Hall

Lily and the Octopus by Rowley, Steven

My Mrs. Brown: A Novel by Norwick, William

O Great One! A Little Story about the Awesome Power of Recognition

by Novak, David

Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Bivald, Katerina

The Summer before the War: A Novel by Simonson, Helen

Time of Fog and Fire by Bowen, Rhys

Most of my 2016 picks are historical fiction.

I hope you enjoy them!

~ Emma

Top Ten 2015 December 20, 2015

Posted by Chris in Biographies, Book List, Literary Fiction, Non-Fiction, poetry, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2015.
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I hope you enjoy(ed) these as much as I did. Merry Christmas!

 

The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion by Tracy Daugherty

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

See How Small by Scott Blackwood

Erratic Facts by Kay Ryan

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Snobs by Julian Fellowes

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi by Peter M. Wayne, PhD with Mark L. Fuerst

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015 edited by Rebecca Skloot

Unless It Moves the Human Heart by Roger Rosenblatt

 

2015: It’s a Mystery December 18, 2015

Posted by Ann in Book List, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2015.
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“Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end. If it’s a letdown, they won’t buy anymore. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.”                        MICKEY SPILLANE

My 2015 list this year includes Mystery, Suspense, and Thrillers!

Thereby Hangs a Tail by Spencer Quinn. Chet the Dog is so famous he has his own website- http://www.chetthedog.com/

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. The “good girl” runs into a bundle of trouble.

Last Words by Michael Koryta. He didn’t know it at the time, but they were the last words he spoke to her.

Little Black Lies by Sandra Block. Black lies are definitely worse than white lies.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. No doubt this will be on many best lists!

The Night Ferry by Michael Robotham. This ferry will take you on a wild ride.

Orient by Christopher Bollen. Strange things are occuring in the town of Orient on Long Island.

The Wild Inside by Christine Carbo. Some parts of this book are “unbearably grizzly”!

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis. A twisty, psychological thriller debut novel.

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain. Another winner from author Chamberlain.

~Ann

Carol’s Top Ten of 2015! December 18, 2015

Posted by carol in Book List, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2015.
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I read my heart out this year, and as a result, have some must-read titles to share with you.

My favorite ten books published or read in 2015 were:

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

The Whites by Harry Brandt

The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

In Wilderness by Diane Thomas

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Watkins

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

& Because I can, I add the following honorable mentions:

Summerlong by Dean Bakopoulos

Run You Down by Julia Dahl (& its prequel, Invisible City)

This is Your Life Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell

How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas

& Hoping your 2016 is filled with joy (and some excellent reading)!   ~Carol