Staff Picks – The Best Books I Read in 2016 in No Particular Order (most of these books are downers)


The Best Books I Read in 2016 in No Particular Order (most of these books are downers*)

Teaching My Motjubileeher How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire – If this collection of poems doesn’t touch your soul, I don’t know what to tell you.*

Jubilee by Margaret Walker – A story of a young woman living through the antebellum years, the civil war, and the reconstruction.*

Assata by Assata Shakur –Remember in the title when I said a lot of these books were downers? This one is probably the most upsetting of all, and also the most worthy of a read.*

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan– This book won the Man Booker Prize in 2014, smarter people than I am have already commented on it.*

A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor – Funny and disturbing, I don’t know how I’m only getting to Flannery O’Connor in 2016. *

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander – I think this book should be required reading for all humans.*the-narrow-road-to-the-deep-north

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – This is just a plain, old-fashioned, good book that will give you a lot of feelings, and possibly make you reexamine what you were like in high school.

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes – This book was dense and confusing, but I felt like a better person when I was done with it. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something on the surrealist side of the spectrum.

The Kill by Emile Zola – I read at least nightwoodone Zola novel every year. He can do no wrong in my eyes.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante – This is another plain, old-fashioned, good book. Lives up to the hype.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I don’t know that I really liked this book, but I had a lot of dreams about it. That has to mean something, right?

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brian – I actually listened to this one as an audiobook read by Bryan Cranston. Highly recommend. I don’t know why I didn’t read this one years ago.*


*Downers are marked with an asterisk, some of them have happy endings but I was worried marking them differently would be a spoiler.


By Sarah Meisch – Library Staff Member, Dog Admirer, Francophile, Coffee Drinker, Amateur Art Critic, Rightful King of the North


This is me with a piece of driftwood.


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