Best Books 2016

 

 
2016 has been a real doozy, but the silver lining is right here: there were a lot of great books published this year.
 
We read some of them and offer you a collection of our favorites below.

 

 

 

 
 
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781101939758
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Delacorte Press - October 11th, 2016

The winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar hill hospital can only be seen by Emmaline, who is fiercely protective of her secret. But when she finds an injured winged horse in the gardens, she must enlist the help of an unlikely ally. — Ashley


Staff Pick Logo
Sudden Death Cover Image
By Alvaro Enrigue, Natasha Wimmer (Translator)
$27.00
ISBN: 9781594633461
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships 1-10 business days from warehouse. ETA will be updated with email order confirmation.
Published: Riverhead Books - February 9th, 2016

No novel published in 2016 can match the inventiveness, vivacity, and sheer joy of storytelling in Alvaro Enrigue's Sudden Death. Taking as its starting point an imaginary tennis match between bad boy painter Caravaggio and Spanish poet Quevedo, the novel spins out a tale of intrigue, imperialism, and bawdy liaisons. I can't recommend it highly enough. — Sparks


The Gentleman Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780399562631
Availability: Not Available to Order. Call or email for used stock availability.
Published: Penguin Press - August 16th, 2016

Victorian poet Lionel Lupus Savage absentmindedly sells his wife Viviene to the devil, and then thinks worse of the deal. Accompanied by a disapproving coterie comprised of his sister Lizzie, Viviene's brother Ashley, and Simmons the butler, he ventures forth to rescue Viviene from hell (or "Essex Gardens" as the devil prefers to call it). The upshot is a rollicking Wildean farce, with several twists in the pointed tail. — Spiros


Children of the New World: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250098993
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Picador USA - September 13th, 2016

This debut story collection hums with creative energy, and it strikes the perfect balance of smart and heart, funny and moving. The stories are set in the future, but this is not the genre science fiction; rather it's a glimpse of where our society is, and maybe where it's going. There are clouds in that future, but it's still bursting with humanity. Highly recommended! — Pete 


But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking about the Present as If It Were the Past Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399184123
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships 1-10 business days from warehouse. ETA will be updated with email order confirmation.
Published: Blue Rider Press - June 7th, 2016

On top of rearranging your familiar worldview, the newest book by Chuck Klosterman will leave you in stitches Klosterman approaches a variety of topics (literature, music, politics, sports) and considers the possibility that our present-day thinking about each is ripe for realignment. Actually a welcome and sobering perspective considering the extreme uncertainty facing our country today. Don't despair! — John 


All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781476716572
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 11th, 2016

Around the same time we were all memorizing Beyoncé's dance moves to the song of the same name, the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent for the first time ever. Blending historical analysis with personal anecdotes, interviews, and eye-opening data, Traister delves into the cultural and political shifts women have fought for over decades in order to make solo independent adulthood a reality for all Americans. If you are only going to read one nonfiction book this year, pick this one! — Eden


The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781250039576
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships 1-10 business days from warehouse. ETA will be updated with email order confirmation.
Published: Picador USA - March 1st, 2016

Laing is one of my favorite writers working today (see her last book, The Trip to Echo Spring for further proof of her greatness). Her latest work of criticism and memoir explores her own experiences of loneliness, while living as an ex-pat in New York, and the lives of four iconic and isolated artists. Walk these lonely streets together. — Emily 


The Great Clod: Notes and Memoirs on Nature and History in East Asia Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781619025691
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Counterpoint LLC - May 10th, 2016

I think the Great clod might be Gary Snyder's finest work of prose. It is an elegant, sustained meditation on (mainly) Chinese history, work, poetry, ink painting, and village life. — E.H.


Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062444257
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships 1-10 business days from warehouse. ETA will be updated with email order confirmation.
Published: Dey Street Books - August 16th, 2016

Joel Selvin has been a Bay Area music journalist since 1969, and Altamont is the book that he was born to write! Taking readers behind the scenes, into the clubhouses, and under the stages of this notorious free concert, Altamont is the final word on a day that lives in infamy nearly half a century later: multiple deaths, some really bad acid, even worse wine, and, yes, the Hell's Angels got paid 500 dollars worth of beer to act as security! Debacles don't get much better than this. — Kevin H. 


The Wolf Road Cover Image
$28.60
ISBN: 9781101906125
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships 1-10 business days from warehouse. ETA will be updated with email order confirmation.
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - July 5th, 2016

True Grit meets the Road meets the Revenant in this badass post-apocalyptic thriller. Survival, revenge, and cold-blooded murder. Hell yes! — Robb


Jerusalem Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781631491344
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships 1-10 business days from warehouse. ETA will be updated with email order confirmation.
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - September 13th, 2016

This books is a masterpiece. Picture yourself inside a pocket watch, looking first at this cog, then that pinwheel. Or listening to one of the great big band songs, say by Duke Ellington, one instrument at a time. Then look at or listen to them as a whole, and behold the marvel that all these parts became. Jerusalem is a book that will allow you to see the unique and sacred in the everyday and mundane. — Martin


Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781551526430
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - October 4th, 2016

A brilliant, problematic, frustrating, inspiring look at human interaction in the modern age. This book is so important as technology continues to alter our ways of communicating with one another. Schulman moves us collectively toward compassion and empathy by way of her rigorous thinking and lucid prose. — Max


Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon Cover Image
$29.65
ISBN: 9780307961761
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships 1-10 business days from warehouse. ETA will be updated with email order confirmation.
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 10th, 2016

A much-needed expose of the fallacy of breed-specific legislation. Research shows that a dog's appearance and ancestry frequently don't coincide, and that dogs are classified as "pit bulls" by the media solely because they bit someone. Contains many cute pictures, and a few sad ones. Very highly recommended. — Jeff


Commonwealth Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062491794
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships 1-10 business days from warehouse. ETA will be updated with email order confirmation.
Published: Harper - September 13th, 2016

Ann Patchett is my all-time fave and she doesn't disappoint with Commonwealth. It's her most autobiographical novel to date (as Patchett's mom said, "none of it happened and all of it's true"), and if you want to fall in love with a family of wonderful, relatable characters, this is your book. It's so hard for me to review my faves, but all the little details, points of view, and observations accumulate into something extraordinarily emotional, but in a quiet, contemplative way (mostly). All I'm sayin' is that sometimes I laughed aloud, but then one sentence would have me in tears before I knew it. Ann is a mighty pen wielder and a goddess! — Sara


Staff Pick Logo
About Trees Cover Image
By Katie Holten, I. Bencke (Editor)
$40.00
ISBN: 9783943196306
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships 1-10 business days from warehouse. ETA will be updated with email order confirmation.
Published: Broken Dimanche Press - October 15th, 2015

The idea inspiring About Trees is brilliantly simple: Katie Holten, a visual artist with an interest in the natural world, created a font of trees (A=Apple, B=Beech, etc.) into which she translated texts about trees into...trees. This anthology—which sold out in just a few days in its limited first printing—gathers fifty pieces about our arboreal neighbors and transforms alphabet into tree, bridging and blurring the divide between nature and culture. A revitalizing and inspired project! — Sparks


Heartless Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250044655
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Feiwel & Friends - November 8th, 2016

"It is a dangerous thing to unbelieve something only because it frightens you." — Cheshire cat (a.k.a. Abe)


The Sick Bag Song Cover Image
$21.00
ISBN: 9780544814653
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Houghton Mifflin - October 25th, 2016

Saint Nick's touring autobileography. The best sick bag book of the year! — Frank