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The Best Book Reads in 2016

Looking for a great book? Here’s a list of some of the best books read by the Library staff this year. Not all the books are brand new, but they were our favorites this year!

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook
By Leslie Conner

Jane Hoffman, Children’s Librarian, recommends this young teen book about an 11-year-old boy who has been living in a co-ed prison with his mom. He learns about the true meaning of home when he is sent to live in a foster home instead.​

The Beauty of Darkness
By Mary E. Pearson

Adriana LoDolce, Children’s Librarian, recommends this final installment of the action packed teen series, The Remnant Chronicles. It’s filled with all the right ingredients – an inspiring heroine, romance, and adventure!

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

Nancy Viggiano, Adult Reference Librarian, recommends this book because it gave her a great appreciation of man’s invincible determination to achieve in spite of difficult circumstances.

A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans
By W. Bruce Cameron

Mark Irish, Teen and Adult Reference Librarian (as well as a dog owner and lover) recommends this book because it’s a heartwarming story about a dog who is reincarnated four times and finds purpose in each life through the bond of unconditional love with his master. The book is told from the dog’s perspective as he shares his adventures and mishaps. You’ll love it even if you’re not a “dog person”!

By Permission of Heaven: The True Story of the Great Fire of London
By Adrian Tinniswood

Carol Curtis, Adult Reference Librarian, recommends this book because it’s the astonishing true story about the strength and beauty of people living in the 17th century who persevered in the face of utter destruction, and went on to create modern London from its ashes.

Girl Unbroken: A Sister’s Harrowing Story of Survival from the Streets of Long Island to the Farms of Idaho
By Regina Calcaterra and Rosie Maloney

Laurie Aitken, Adult Reference and Programming Librarian, recommends this book because it left her amazed that despite enduring unthinkable circumstances, the author and her sister survived unbroken. This is the sequel to Regina Calcaterra’s first book, Etched in Sand. Mrs. Aitken had the pleasure of hearing the author’s inspirational talk at a recent book signing.

Killfile
By Christopher Farnsworth

Gregory Klein, Adult Reference Librarian, recommends this book which blends a variety of genre elements into an action-packed thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
By Nathaniel Philbrick

Mary Schubart, Library Director, recommends this gripping true account of the Pilgrims. It’s not one you’ve ever heard before. The author recounts the story of the Mayflower voyage, the Pilgrims’ disastrous first year and their fragile relationship with the Indians, as well what happened during King Philip’s War in 1675-6. Philbrick makes the people come to life and portrays the challenges of two clashing cultures in a way that seems eerily relevant today. Mrs. Schubart loved the book so much she purchased her own autographed copy.

My Name is Lucy Barton
By Elizabeth Strout

Lauraine Farr, Assistant Library Director…I recommend this book written by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Elizabeth Strout. This quietly powerful novel just took my breath away. Strout writes in poetic prose with deep insight into the human condition. If you like novels with excellent character development and you’re not attached to a lot of plot, I’d suggest you pick this one up. My Name is Lucy Barton explores the complicated and loving relationship between a woman and her mother.

PAX
By Sara Pennypacker

Michele Ferrari, Children’s Librarian, recommends this book about a boy and his fox, separated by war, and the journey they both undertake to find each other and themselves. It’s somewhat “dark” for a children’s book, but in a straightforward way, it tackles difficult issues and raises questions about family, personal identity, and the power of love. Ms. Ferrari wonders if it might be a contender for the Newbery Medal.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
By Katarina Bivald

Terry Madonia, Adult Services Clerk, recommends this book about two pen pals who were finally set to meet, yet didn’t. Even with a tragedy central to the storyline, it is a sweet and quirky novel. Mrs. Madonia loved it so much she bought her own copy.

The Swamp Fox
By John Oller

Matt Wuthenow, Adult Reference Librarian and Head of Technical Services, recommends this riveting biography of Francis Marion, who was an officer in the Revolutionary War.

Looking for more great titles?

  • Check out our upcoming January display of The Goodreads Choice Awards for 2016. The titles are chosen by contributors to goodreads.com – a fun online free source for book suggestions.
  • Look for the monthly copy of the magazine Bookmarks in our reading room.
  • Check out The Book Page newspaper which the Library subscribes to in multiple copies. Stop in each month to get your copy and peruse for reading suggestions.
  • Check out the New York Times Bestseller List. A copy is always available at the Reference Desk.
  • Check out our online subscriptions to: NextReads; NoveList Plus; and NoveList K-8 Plus.
  • Ask a librarian at the Adult and Children’s Reference Desks for more ideas! We are always happy to recommend good books!
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