Lake Forest Librarians 20 Best of 2018!

Published on December 02, 2018

Kate’s Picks:

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (and Liz) | Would you want to know the date that you are going to die? These siblings do.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn | Reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Rear Widow this book will keep you up late into the night.

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (and Liz) | A beautifully written novel about a group of friends and their lives in Chicago during the AIDS crisis.

Educated by Tara Westover (and Liz) | Brought up by an isolationist family in rural Idaho, this author propelled herself to the pinnacle of higher education graduating from both Oxford and Harvard.  This book is both hard to read and hard to put down.

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs | Steve Jobs was in turn a horrible father and a tech genius.  What was it like to have him for a father?

 

 

Mary W’s Picks:

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (and Liz & Kate)| Great characters, ones that you love to hate, and after reading it I never want to move to Alaska.

 

Beauty in the Broken Places by Allison Pataki | A compelling true story with local connections and a put yourself in their place type of book. 

 

Michelle’s Pick:

 

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd | I liked that it is a dystopian novel rooted in the stories of characters traversing the county, and it is also a literary novel, playing with the idea of memory and identity.

 

Emily’s Picks:

 

The Disasters by M.K. England (YA)| Fast, pure fun from start to finish, and if you like science fiction with a lot of humor you'll  enjoy this intergalactic romp. A diverse cast of teens come together to fight for justice (and money), even if they have to topple powerful planetary governments to get it.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik | A tightly woven retelling that mixes elements of Rumpelstiltskin with Persephone and Hades in the stories of two ambitious, clever women in medieval, fantasy Russia. 

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (YA)| This dark fantasy trilogy takes readers into the unforgiving realm of faerie, where everyone--even our heroine--is a villain. Moral complexity and suspenseful worldbuilding will drag you from page one through a breathtaking and twisty plot.

Sadie by Courtney Summers (YA) | This beautifully written novel follows radio personality West McCray as he starts a podcast to follow the mysterious disappearance of Sadie, the sister of a murder victim, and Sadie herself, on her journey to find her sister's killer. A chilling thriller about a vigilante road trip perfect for fans of the Serial podcast.

 

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi (YA) | An adorably awkward contemporary YA romance for fans of To All the Boys I've Loved Before!

 

 

Liz’s Picks:

 

There There by Tommy Orange | A multigenerational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. These seemingly separate stories of urban Native Americans all converge at the Big Oakland Powwow.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh | This story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs, designed to heal us from our alienation from this world, shows us how reasonable, even necessary, that alienation sometimes is.

 

The Caregiver by Samuel Park | A gorgeous, emotionally wise tale about a daughter who unearths the hidden life of her enigmatic mother.

 

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao | A searing, electrifying debut novel set in India and America, about a once-in-a-lifetime friendship between two girls who are driven apart but never stop trying to find one another again.

 

Karen’s Picks:

 

Somebody I Used to Know by Wendy Mitchell | The author, who worked for Britain’s National Health Service for many years, is forced into early retirement at age 59 when she is diagnosed with early onset dementia. It’s inspiring to read about the many ways she finds to live a productive life in spite of the disease that has upended her life.

 

Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World by Brooke McAlary | You’ve read the decluttering books—and so has young Australian writer Brooke McAlary. If you’re after some decluttering of the mind and spirit, read her book!

 

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje | This was a great book, especially if you enjoy reading about the WWII era in Britain. Ondaatje successfully weaves several different threads together to bring the book to satisfying ending. Several minor sub-plots seemed unimportant, but I was pleased to see that Ondaatje revisited these and brought out their significance by the end of the book.