December 11, 2017

Best Books 2017

You may not be surprised to learn that the library staff loves to read! We all read a lot in 2017 and now bring you some recommendations. These are not all new, but rather new-to-us (some are very old!) and worth a recommendation. We hope you enjoy these books as much as we did!

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Jenne:

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman– Eleanor is a loner with very little interest in changing that status, until a her solitary existence collides with Raymond, the big-hearted IT guy from her office. This story was weird and unique, as is Eleanor herself, and I absolutely loved it.

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham– Any Gilmore Girls fan needs to feed this memoir about the making of Gilmore Girls and the life of Lauren Graham aka Lorelai Gilmore. She is hilarious and heartfelt, which makes for a great read.

Valerie:
Something I’ve meant to read for years and finally did: Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth. Beautifully written and extraordinarily relevant for today’s gender, socio-economic, personal freedoms discussion.

Tess:
My Absolute Darling, by Gabriel Tallent is an intense and evocative story of a father’s obsessive and abusive behavior toward his 12-year-old daughter.  Her growing maturity toward the situation makes the book terrifying and tremendous at the same time. 

Janine:
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the most fun non-fiction reads of 2017. Concepts and questions are beautifully explained in simple, yet profound ways, with humor and humility mixed in for good measure. A must-read for anyone and everyone (especially if science has never been “your thing”)!

David:
The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney
The lives – and deaths – of three physically similar women are linked to a minimalist  masterpiece by an enigmatic architect. A suspenseful page-turner in which nothing is as it first appears.

Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson by Gordon S. Wood
A dual portrait of two of America’s most important Founders — by turns associates, compatriots, friends, rivals, bitter enemies, reconciled elder statesment – closely connected with the Declaration of Independence (both of them dying on the 50th anniversary of its signing, July 4, 1826). Clear historical writing that illuminates both men and provides new insights into their respective characters and accomplishments.

Matt W:
Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry by Marcus Thompson
For the basketball fan out there. Written by a Bay Area sports journalist that has followed the rise of Curry and the Warriors, this book expounds not only on the player but on the man himself. This book’s pages go by as fast as the Warriors score points.

Josh:
The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball by Tom Verducci
I’m a big Phillies fan, but it was hard not to cheer for the Cubs in 2016 and celebrate when they broke the curse and won it all. Excellent sportswriter Tom Verducci provided a blow-by-blow of the historic season and painted a fascinating portrait of master manager Joe Maddon in The Cubs Way.

Catherine:
Finding Mighty by Sheela Chari
Graffiti art, parkour, missing diamonds, and a missing brother intersect in this suspenseful mystery. Middle-schoolers Peter and Myla, and teenager Randall draw you into their world as they tell the story in alternating chapters.

The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barkley Moore
Lolly builds massive LEGO cityscapes as a creative way to deal with his brother’s gang-related death and his tough day-to-day life. The author captures both the grim realities and the positive people in Lolly’s life.

City Moon by Rachel Cole — As a mom and her son walk in the neighborhood, they look for the moon as they go. A quiet picture book, perfect for bedtime.

Sara:
I loved reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling.  A “pre-quel” to the Harry Potter Books, the reader learns more about the magical world of the United States. Plus, it’s fine to read if you have read all the other books yet, nothing is spoiled for the future!
Rayah:

Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It by Charlamagne Tha God and Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance

Juxtaposing these two books shines a light on how the human psyche works despite environmental similarity. Both authors’ worlds are so alike when it comes to poverty, dysfunctional families, crime, and drugs. Their similarities do not, however, mean that their community can empathize with each other. In actuality, it’s quite the opposite if we were to scrutinize their community further. What separates them culturally and mentally? The color of their skin! The world in which they were born into created and fashioned their thought process when it comes to race and identity. However, the authors proved that there is a possibility of hope. One does not necessarily have to be stuck but rather one much be willing to emancipate their minds from the poison of their environment and dare to make a difference despite societal obstacles or stains.

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