Monday, December 18, 2017

Lake Forest Librarian's Best of 2017

We asked our librarians to tell us their favorite books published in the last year and why they like them. What do you think? What were your favorites?

Trish's Picks

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
There is so much focus on the importance of diet (nutrition) and exercise for healthy living and longevity, yet sleep plays a larger role than one might suspect.  This is an eye opening revelation into the vital significance of sufficient and consistent "shut eye" necessary for optimal physical and mental health.

Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese  
Atrocities and crimes against humanity are all too prevalent and seemingly more than ever common place in our world today. Though there are some who would minimize or even deny the horrific annihilation in the holocaust, it must be retold and never be forgotten.  This is a heart wrenching intimate and tragic retelling of an inter-generational family saga interwoven with Nazis' theft the famous Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer.

The Hearts of Men​ by Nicholas Butler
You wouldn't necessarily know the strong character that often develops in the bullied class victim, but this story is a poignant telling of courage, integrity and bravery spawned from an unbelievably tormenting childhood.  A must read.







Karen's Picks

Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
Very suspenseful novel about a hit-and-run accident and a physician's attempts to cover it up. He "pays" in interesting and unexpected ways. The description of his emotional struggle made this hard to put down!

The Dry by Jane Harper
Conveyed the sense of a hot and dry climate--you felt as if you were in the small rural Australian town where the book takes place. So well written that it was hard to believe it is Jane Harper's first novel. Unpredictable plot with lots of twists and turns.







 Judy's Pick 

Prague Sonata by Bradford Morrow. 
It is a mystery involving a newly discovered music manuscript set mostly in Prague at different historical periods.  I had a patron come up and tell me it was one of his favorites too.






Catherine's Picks

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Although drawn from a real life scandal - a Memphis-based adoption organization kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families throughout the US – it is a heart-wrenching story of a search for belonging and family. A wonderful story to read and discuss.

You Don’t Have to SayYou Love Me by Sherman Alexie, Jr.
Fans of Sherman Alexie expect no less than great literature, and once again he delivers with this memoir packed full of emotion, stories, and his poetry. His work is thought provoking and a constant reminder that despite the wealth of Native American culture, its populations continue to be denied access to good healthcare, education, and housing. 





Wendy's Picks

 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
16-year old Starr Carter lives in a poor urban neighborhood but goes to a suburban prep school. She also is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her friend by a police officer. How she copes in these contrasting environments, the people we meet in her two different worlds, and her fears and responsibilities as a witness brought me closer to some situations I’ve never experienced. The story had neither the setting nor language I would normally choose but was very compelling and shook up some assumptions I realized I had made.




Liz's Picks 

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
This book just really affected me. It was beautiful, heartbreaking and moving. When a young Nigerian couple, Yjede and Akin, get married, they agree that polygamy is not for them. However, after several years without a child, Akin’s family coerces him into taking a second wife. Told from both Yjede and Akin’s points of view, you see how this decision affects them both.

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Even though these short stories were only loosely connected, I couldn’t stop reading them, almost as if it were a thriller. Strout writes beautifully about ordinary people in mostly ordinary lives all centered on a small fictional town in Illinois. 







Kate's Picks 

Celine by Peter Heller
Celine is a quick-witted ace detective whose elegance and ingenuity delight us. She specializes in reuniting families as atonement for the father she hardly knew.

Grief Cottage by Gail Goodwin
Sent to live with a distant and aloof artist aunt, Marcus becomes infatuated with a deserted home on the beach and the story of the family that once inhabited it.  Set in South Carolina, this novel depicts the fine lines of family, grief and healing and the relationships between the living and the dead.






Michelle's Pick

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Meet the breakfast club, if it were a murder mystery. Bronwyn is the brain, Addy is the beauty, Cooper is the athlete, Nate, the criminal, and Simon, the outcast.  Five students walk into detention. Only four walk out. All four have a secret to keep. Were they willing to commit a murder to conceal it? This YA “whodunit” is full of relatable characters and an engaging storyline.