One thing I love about this time of year is all of the Best Of lists that come out. What were the top news stories? What movies and TV shows were most popular? Did I watch any of them? (Probably not, unless it was Star Wars or the Great British Baking Show.)
This got me wondering if there was a way I could make a Best Of list of my own. Luckily, I work with some pretty awesome people who have great taste in books, so I asked them: What was your favorite book you read this year (not necessarily published this year), and why did you like it so much? Here’s the list of books that were recommended:
ABOVE THE DREAMLESS DEAD
Edited by Chris Duffy
"I loved this collection of WWI poetry illustrated by some stellar graphic novelists. The artwork was all at once harmonious accompaniment and fresh perspective."
THE BLACK WITCH
by Laurie Forest
"I think it handled a lot of social issues really well and I loved the main character’s personal growth. That doesn't happen a lot in teen literature."
ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE
by Gail Honeyman
"It moved me in a way that few books have ever been able to."
I WILL ALWAYS WRITE BACK
by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda
"This book made me tear up on several occasions and there were multiple times that I sat in my driveway continuing to listen (to the audiobook) because I had to find out what happened next."
A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN
By Sherry Thomas
"I loved the Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas (A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN and the second book CONSPIRACY IN BELGRAVIA). Besides being excellent, page-turning, keep-you-guessing mysteries, the gender-swap concept was so well executed it was like original historical fiction rather than an adaptation on classic characters and stories."
by Robin Sloan
"It was light and charming but it did also make me think about issues that are important to everyone - why do we slave at jobs we don't like? How does a person re-imagine themselves and create a life they can love every day? Though the plot was a little fantastical the book reminds you to open your mind to new habits and interests."
STRANGE THE DREAMER
by Laini Taylor
"Laini Taylor’s world building felt deep and rich with tradition, and I loved how this book is a brand new take on the classic hero’s journey. Also, Lazlo Strange is a librarian with a great imagination, so of course I liked him!"
TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN
by John Green
"I loved its realistic and honest portrayal of living with anxiety and OCD, the realistic characterizations and relationships, and the rather unusual story underneath all of it."
Those were some books we liked this past year. What did you read that you really loved?
Looking for other book recommendations? You can always check out our book review blogs here and here. And if you want the list of books we especially loved, click on the Staff Picks label on the right. You can also fill out a Personalized Reading Recommendation form to get personalized recommendations from one of our librarians.