Here are a few more reading suggestions from library staff members who were asked to choose the best book they read in 2016.
OMG, they are SO funny. This series has quite a lot of swearing and "adult" situations, so maybe not good for the younger set. (Republic of Dirt won the 2016 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour)
A must read! A coming-of-age story about a Korean-Canadian girl living with her family in Toronto in the 1980s. This story shows the struggles and sacrifices that Mary’s family goes through to make it as an immigrant family. A unique novel that illustrates the importance of family and friendship.
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine
Episodes in the life of Viv Albertine, former guitarist for the Slits, current singer-songwriter, eternal punk icon. I loved this book because it is fearless, raw, confessional, uncompromising, contradictory, female and funny. One of the most punk and most feminist things I think I've ever read.
Novel set in 1980s Toronto about 14-year-old Bo, a refugee from Vietnam, his four-year-old sister Orange, severely disfigured from the effects of chemical weapons, and Bear, a cub learning to work the bear-wrestling circuit. I loved this book because it blurs the boundaries between the real and the magical, the human being and the animal being, and the hierarchies of difference that we construct through looking. Also because I am a sucker for heartache.
The second book in the Shades of Magic trilogy takes us back to a fantastic alternative London where sorcerers bend elements and walk between worlds. Lots of fun to be had: pirates, disguises, magical duels and the delicious threat of an ancient evil come back to life! The third book is expected to be published this year, and the cover art looks just as amazing as the previous two books.
Kay is a master architect of imaginary worlds inspired by real historical settings, and his stories all have a certain sense of beautiful melancholy. Here we have characters at the crossroads of a place much like Renaissance Europe, and as in most of Kay's books, their lives are shaped for better or worse by the movement of empires. There are plenty of callbacks to his duology, Sarantine Mosaic, but it can also be read as a standalone novel.
Orange is the New Black with ghosts! Also a deep dive into guilt, atonement and the shifting nature of dreams and memory. Overall, the story was not as powerful as The Girl with All the Gifts, but the writing was still hauntingly atmospheric.
Waiting For First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD by Roméo Dallaire with Jessica Dee Humphreys
A gut-wrenching and raw memoir from Lt. Gen Roméo Dallaire detailing the trauma of witnessing first-hand the Rwandan Genocide, to his being discharged from the army for his PTSD, and how he learned to cope, and set about doing what he could to raise awareness about genocides and the use of child soldiers in warfare.
This memoir brings a variety of emotions: from anger, to sadness, to inspiration. It envelops you and causes you to re-think the stigma surrounding PTSD.
Another list will appear on Wednesday, January 25, 2017.
- Best Books of 2016 Selected by Library Staff: Part 1
- Best Books of 2016 Selected by Library Staff: Part 2
- Best Books of 2016 Selected by Library Staff: Part 3
- Best Books of 2016 Selected by Library Staff: Part 5 (forthcoming)
- Best Books of 2016 Selected by Library Staff: Young Adult and Children's Literature (forthcoming)