Thursday, December 14, 2017

2017 Favorites

Something I miss about no longer working in a public library are the conversations about books and media that happen with patrons or other staff - conversations that bring you to a story you might never have picked up on your own. But for the last week and a half, I got the chance to have that kind of conversation on Twitter, with librarians sharing their top ten reads published in the last year with the hashtag #libfaves17. Today, I'm breaking my radio silence on this blog to share my favorites here, as well.

In no particular order, my top ten favorites published in 2017:

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, by Karina Yan Glaser.

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, by Hannah Tinti.

Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders.

Blue Sky White Stars, by Sarvinder Naberhaus and Kadir Nelson.

The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, by David Grann.

An Extraordinary Union, by Alyssa Cole.

The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming, by J. Anderson Coats. 

Young Jane Young, by Gabrielle Zevin. 

Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman. 

It's kind of interesting to see them all lined up like this; it's a pretty solid snapshot of what appeals to me as a reader. Family stories, strong female characters, America (the good and the bad), and just a hint of the supernatural. I can see this kind of exercise being useful among staff in a public library to get a good sense of what people are into, and how to use that information to work as a team to provide good RA service to patrons.

That being said, many of the libraries in my system are staffed by only one or two people, so the whole team effort thing is a bit more difficult. One of my professional resolutions for 2018 is to create more opportunities for staff of small libraries to get together and talk about books with each other - a guided discussion led by member library staff who specialize in a particular genre or subject. We're kicking off the series next month with the horror genre, weather permitting.*

*Because, yes, we've officially reached the time of year where the phrase "weather permitting" is tacked on to the hope of every upcoming event.