Sunday, December 20, 2015

Staff Favorites 2015 - 14th in a Series

My favorite books from 2015 covered a spectrum of genres.

After reading each book in Jeff Vandermeer’s Area X trilogy: Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance, I listened to the audio book and then reread the book in its entirety.  But I have to confess, I still haven’t entirely figured out what’s going on in Area X.   There’s so much to take away from this spooky and mind bending science fiction story, I can’t wait to read it yet again.  Next time I may be taking notes.

I also simply couldn’t put down The Farm by Tom Rob Smith.   This very dark "he said/she" said story is sent in rural Sweden.   I keep comparing it to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl though I have a lot more sympathy for Smith’s characters than Nick and Amy Dunne. It’s literary suspense at its finest.

If you’re a fan of literary fiction, don’t miss The Echo Maker by Richard Powers.   This National Book Award winning story is set in Nebraska shortly after 9/11. There’s a mystery involved but the real focus of the novel is a disorder called Capgrass Syndrome which leaves a young accident victim unable to recognize his own sister.

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy is a grim retelling of the fairy tale set during the invasion of Poland.  It’s a spellbinding story - if only it could have been a dark fantasy rather than historical fiction. 

The changeling who narrates Keith Donahue’s The Stolen Child faces an identity crisis worthy of literary fiction and is one of the most “human” characters I’ve discovered in a fantasy novel.  

Bill Bryson’s memoir, A Walk in the Woods isn’t the type of book I typically read (It’s not even “dark”.) but I loved Bryson’s wit and insights along the Appalachian Trail.  Plus the book introduces readers to the unforgettable Stephen Katz.   What’s so unique about Stephen Katz?  You’ll have to read A Walk in the Woods to find out.   

Alicia Cavitt
Information Specialist