It was such fun to look back on what I’ve read this past year and pick my favorites! Below you’ll find mostly adult fiction titles, including some standout graphic novels, as well as a stellar young adult novel (Wilder Girls!). 2019 was also the year I dabbled in reading outside my comfort zone of generally weird and spooky, venturing into the land of romantic fiction and true crime. Much to my surprise, I was so utterly charmed by a romance novel that it ended up on this list (I’m looking at you Chloe Brown). I hope that if you haven’t read one of these titles you will be inspired to stop by and check it out this winter. Maybe you will also find yourself pleasantly surprised by broadening your reading horizons *wink*. Wishing you a joyful holiday season and happy reading!
Every year I bemoan the fact that I didn’t read enough, etc, etc., but this year it seems truer than ever! I still, though, found quite a few books to sink into and enjoy; I listened to many through the Libby app. Below is my list, in no particular order.
The Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
Inland by Tea Obrecht
The Other Americans by Laila Lalami
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken
Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
Circe by Madeline Miller
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Cheers to another year of wonderful books. I would love to hear about your top ten for 2019. Stop by the Adult Reference desk and we’ll chat. Happy New Year!
It’s that time of year, again-the time when we reflect on our year of reading (mostly murder) and make a favorites list (so much murder). I have given up all pretense of creating a Top Ten List and have abandoned descriptions (follow the links for book details), which has helped ease some of my anxiety around this task. If you like mysteries, suspense, and thrillers there are quite a few here!
- A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
- The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
- The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
- The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson
- Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali
- With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
- In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
- Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
- Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber
- The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth
- The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
- Recursion by Blake Crouch
- No Exit by Taylor Adams
- Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
- Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
- Toil and Trouble by Augusten Burroughs
- Crisis in the Red Zone by Richard Preston
- The Killer Across the Table by John Douglas
- Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix
- New Kid by Jerry Craft
- Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson
Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts
I loved reading the Wizard of Oz series when I was a kid. The MGM musical is one of my favorite movies. So, this historical fiction novel that traces the life of Maud Gage, later Maud Baum, touches on many themes that I enjoy. We get behind the scenes looks at how the creation of the first book and the classic technicolor movie might have happened. Maud’s mother Matilda Joslyn Gage, the most prolific suffragette writer, has a big influence on Maud and Frank. From the perspective of 2019 when there is a record number of women serving in the U.S. Congress (at 24%) it is fascinating to see the strength of women who fought for early women’s rights. This book really brings the history to life. I enjoyed that the story was told from Maud’s point of view, and I recommend that you check out this book too!
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker
With a lot of examples professor Pinker proceeds to lay out his case that the world and the human condition are in fact getting better. Or at least with the problem solving tools of the Enlightenment we humans are capable of improving the world’s problems.
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
This award winning graphic memoir about a father and daughter’s relationship is captivating. The fusion of visual and verbal language is some of the best out there.
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
A book about Haig’s personal journey with depression. A book that makes sense to those dealing with depression. Short poems, lists, and essays have a refreshing informality.
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Dana is a black woman living in the 1970s who is mysteriously pulled back in time to the early 1800s. The book is a bit more fast paced than the Outlander series with back and forth time travelling.
Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
This is not only a book of essays and archival history about the musician Lead Belly, but a BONUS set of 5 CDs. He was a singer of folk tunes, blues, and an early influencer of rock & roll.
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
A teen frequently gets in trouble at school because his classmates make fun of the neighborhood where he lives, his ill-fitting clothes, the fact that his mother cuts his hair, everything associated with being poor. Can he adapt to the rules at track practice with Coach and find a place among the other young runners?
Hell’s Heart (Star Trek: Prey #1) by John Jackson Miller
The Jackal’s Trick (Star Trek: Prey #2) by John Jackson Miller
The Hall of Heroes (Star Trek: Prey #3) by John Jackson Miller
While waiting for new Star Trek TV content I read this trio of paperbacks. Beloved characters from the existing series and a handful of new well-drawn characters embark on a new adventure involving the Unsung and peril in the Klingon-Federation alliance.
The Public written and directed by Emilio Estevez
Below are some suggestions of movies based on a book to encourage you to check off that box on your Winter Reading Bingo card.
Ready Player One is a science fiction film based on the 2011 dystopian novel of the same title by Ernest Cline.
Beautiful Boy is a biographical drama based on the 2008 memoir Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff and the 2007 memoir Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff
On Chesil Beach is a British drama film based on the 2007 Booker Prize nominated novella of the same title by Ian McEwan.
Juliet Naked is a romantic comedy/drama based on the 2009 novel of the same title by Nick Hornsby.
Crazy Rich Asians is a romantic comedy/drama based on the 2013 best selling novel of the same title by Kevin Kwan.
The Hate U Give is a crime drama based on the 2017 best selling young adult novel of the same title by Angie Thomas (released this month so place a hold or check out as a quick flick for 3 days)
A Wrinkle In Time is a science fantasy adventure film based on the 1962 juvenile novel of the same title by Madeleine L’Engle.
Black Panther is a super hero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name.
Red Sparrow is a spy thriller film based on the 2013 novel of the same title by Jason Matthews.
The Little Stranger is a gothic drama film based on the 2009 novel of the same title by Sarah Waters.
If you would like more suggestions stop by the Adult Reference desk and we are happy to help.
Friday, January 25th, 10:00 – 11:00, Community Room
This month we will be talking about Young Adult novels. Young adult literature typically centers on teenagers. The publishing industry markets these books primarily to young adults, however, that’s not always who reads them. Did you know that approximately 55% of today’s young adult readers are adults? At BookTalk this month we will be discussing YA fiction in fantasy and fiction genres. We will also be talking about best selling YA author John Green, and current best seller novel, Children of Blood and Bone by Tome Adeyemi. Come join us for coffee and good discussion.
Thanks for taking a look at my top reads of 2018. I’ve included titles that moved me in some way. Below you will find memoirs, fiction, children’s books, and pop-up books. These books range considerably. Some of the titles display magnificent examples of paper engineering, while others humanize very real social justice issues. Thanks to my profession and personal responsibilities I have the opportunity to explore a wide array of books. I hope you find something from this list that sparks you.
- Favorite Fiction
- Circe by Madeline Miller
- The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah
- If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
- Favorite Nonfiction
- I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
- Dopesick by Beth Macy
- Calypso by David Sedaris
- The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein
- American Prison by Shane Bauer
- Endurance by Scott Kelly
- Favorite YA
- The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall
- Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
- Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
- Spy School by Stuart Gibbs
- Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
- Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
As much as everyone loves heading back to school, saying goodbye to summer and hello to a new semester can be a drag. But there’s a light at the end of this tunnel: school is also a great opportunity to buy new school supplies, reconnect with friends and finally get the hang of algebra. With that in mind, check out a few movies and books that will definitely get you psyched for school or, if you’re like me and your school days are behind you, give you that hit of nostalgia.