Our Favorite Books of 2015

The end of another year and time to tell you about some of our favorite books that we read in 2015:

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Karen, Library Director:

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Surviving a disaster that kills everyone else in her family, June relocates West and settles into a directionless existence while other people impacted by the tragedy struggle with new circumstances.

Meghan F., Librarian Trainee:

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Decades after a man is entwined in a prophecy-based quest involving three mysterious sisters and a harmonica, three individuals from different areas of the world confront daunting challenges involving the same harmonica.

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Without her husband’s knowledge, Christine, whose memory is damaged by a long-ago accident, is treated by a neurologist who helps her to remember her former self through journal entries until inconsistencies begin to emerge, raising disturbing questions.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Traces the personal crisis the author endured after the death of her mother and a painful divorce, which prompted her ambition to undertake a dangerous 1,100-mile solo hike that both drove her to rock bottom and helped her to heal.

Pam S., Reference Services Librarian:

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

Two women living one hundred years apart who experience similar tragic losses of love–Clara’s in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, and Taryn’s in the collapse of the Twin Towers–are connected through time by a scarf.

The Nightingale by Kristan Hannah

Reunited when the elder’s husband is sent to fight in World War II, French sisters Vianne and Isabelle find their bond as well as their respective beliefs tested by a world that changes in horrific ways.

The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

Dreaming of an exotic life in Paris while coming of age in a St. Thomas refugee community, young Rachel is forced to marry a widower before falling scandalously in love and becoming the mother of Impressionist master Camille Pissarro

Rosemarie B., Librarian Trainee:

If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

Follows the experiences of young Will, who is closeted in his home by a fiercely agoraphobic mother and who ventures out and makes a new friend with whom he searches for a missing boy.

Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back by Janice P. Nimura

Follows the true story of five Japanese girls who were sent to live in the United States in 1871 to learn the ways of the West and returned home a decade later to help nurture the future of Japan.

Amy B., Children’s Services Librarian:

Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling

The star of The Mindy Project and author of the best-selling Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? presents a second collection of uproarious essays, observations, fears and advice on everything from prisoner fan mail to celebrity interactions.

Pam M., Acting Assistant Library Director:

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan 

Presents an oral history of the dust storms that devastated the Great Plains during the Depression, following several families and their communities in their struggle to persevere despite the devastation

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

A story of the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family explores the fallout of the drowning death of Lydia Lee, the favorite daughter of a Chinese-American family in 1970s Ohio.

Sue Ann, Head of Children’s Services:

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

A senior-aged widow and widower forge a loving bond over shared loneliness and respective histories, provoking local gossip and the disapproval of their grown children in ways that are further complicated by an extended visit by a sad young grandchild.

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast

A graphic memoir by a long-time New Yorker cartoonist celebrates the final years of her aging parents’ lives through four-color cartoons, family photos and documents that reflect the artist’s struggles with caregiver challenges.

Megan K., Systems Manager:

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

Determined to escape the Warrens, Azoth seeks out Durzo Blint, the city’s most ruthless assassin, to persuade him to take him on as an apprentice and to teach him the deadly Way of Shadows, in the first volume in a new fantasy trilogy.

Jackie, Head of Reader’s Services:

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

A story of the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family explores the fallout of the drowning death of Lydia Lee, the favorite daughter of a Chinese-American family in 1970s Ohio.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

A blind French girl on the run from the German occupation and a German orphan-turned-Resistance tracker struggle with respective beliefs after meeting on the Brittany coast.

Jean S., Readers’ Services Librarian:

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

A senior-aged widow and widower forge a loving bond over shared loneliness and respective histories, provoking local gossip and the disapproval of their grown children in ways that are further complicated by an extended visit by a sad young grandchild.

Sonia, Health Reference Librarian:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

In early nineteenth-century England, a spirited young woman copes with the suit of a snobbish gentleman, as well as the romantic entanglements of her four sisters.

Gap Year Girl: A Baby Boomer Adventure Across 21 Countries by Marianne C. Bohr

Thirty-plus years after first backpacking through Europe, the author and her husband leave their lives behind and take off on a yearlong quest for adventure.

-all summaries from the publishers

Next week we’ll tell you about our favorite audiobook experiences in 2015. till then:

A very Healthy and Happy New Year to All!

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

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