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Best Books of 2016       View List as Printable PDF

Hand Selected by SCPL Staff


Adulthood is a Myth: A Sarah's Scribbles Collection

Adulthood is a Myth: A Sarah's Scribbles Collection
by Andersen, Sarah
741.56973 AND
A collection of hilarious comics about the "the horrors and awkwardness of young modern life".

And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East

And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East
by Engel, Richard
956.05 ENG
After living in the Middle East for 20+ years, NBC's chief foreign correspondent wrote his account of the Middle East revolutions, the Arab Spring, war, and terrorism. After reading this, I was saddened as I read his thought that "after months of traveling and reporting I came to believe that Washington was trying to put out the fires of terrorism with gasoline."

A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows
Series Title: Darker Shade of Magic
by Schwab, Victoria
SCIENCE FICTION SCH
Kell has the unique ability to travel between the three different parallel Londons, and when forces start appearing that resemble magic from the fourth London, thought to have been distroyed long ago, it is up to him, and a seemingly ordinary street thief named Delilah Bard, to stop them. Sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic.

The Hanging Girl

The Hanging Girl
Series Title: Department Q
by Adler-Olsen, Jussi
MYSTERY ADL
Department Q doesn't deal with prevailing cold cases as we have seen on TV or crime novels. It deals with the innermost thoughts of characters. The first three novels are The keeper of lost causes (2011), The absent one (2012) & A conspiracy of faith (2013).

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
by Thorne, Jack
J 822.92 THO
19 years after the battle of Hogwarts, Harry and Ginny's son Albus is starting his first year at Hogwarts and must deal with the shadow of his father's fame, as well as unexpected signs that somehow You-Know-Who might be returning... Note: This is a script for the stage play, not a novel.

Heartless

Heartless
by Meyer, Marissa
YA FICTION MEY
Find out what made a young lady of the kingdom of Hearts, who had dreams of becoming a renowned baker, turn into the quick-to-anger Queen of Hearts.

Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul

Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul
by McBride, James
BIO BROWN
Because James Brown was rather reclusive, more myths than facts are told about him. McBride meticulously researched Brown, and presents a complete view of this many-faceted and sometimes contradictory man. He reports how the extreme inequality of black vs. white musicians in the 1950s-70s shaped Brown's career. In addition, McBride reveals his own challenges as a Northerner doing research in the South. Brown's life is unusual rags-to-riches story in which wealth doesn't equal security. Soul music fans and readers who enjoy engaging and complex biographies will enjoy this one.

Lab Girl

Lab Girl
by Jahren, Hope
BIO JAHREN
Hope is a shy girl who grows up to be a dedicated scientist with a strong feeling for trees. Her memoir is as much about her as about her reclusive lab assistant. Her writing pulls us into her world as we follow her single-minded pursuit of the mysteries of plants.

The Princess and the Warrior

The Princess and the Warrior
by Tonatiuh, Duncan
J 398.20897 TON
A love story that recounts the legend of how two volcanoes in Mexico came to be. Beautifully told, wonderfully illustrated.

The Sun is Also a Star

The Sun is Also a Star
by Yoon, Nicola
YA FICTION YOO
A Jamaican immigrant girl whose life is ruled by science and whose family is about to be deported connects with a Korean American boy who wants to reject his future as a Yale-educated doctor and be a poet instead in this love story set in New York City.

Underground Airlines

Underground Airlines
by Winters, Ben H.
FICTION WIN
Set in the contemporary US with the exception that slavery is still legal in 4 states. The narrator is a former slave who keeps his physical freedom by hunting runaway slaves for the US government. But nothing is as black and white as it seems. Or should that be Black and White?

Before We Visit the Goddess

Before We Visit the Goddess
by Divakaruni, Chitra Banerjee
FICTION DIV
Threads of unspoken influence run through the lives of four generations of women in a family spread across time and continents. A beautiful, evocative story, the usual excellence from Divakaruni.

When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air
by Kalanithi, Paul
BIO KALANITHI
Memoir by a young neurosurgeon who reflects on his training and his life when he becomes a patient dying of brain cancer. This is a beautifully written book about life in the midst of death.