Saturday, January 16, 2016

Staff Favorites of 2015 - 25th in a Series

As the year comes to a close, library staff members and volunteers reflect on the best books they've read in 2015. Here are a few recommendations from Andrea DelValle, one of our Youth Services Information Specialists:

Ready Player one by Ernest Cline was one of the only books that I seriously couldn’t stop reading! I wish I could erase my memory and read it again. I may just read it again anyway, even though re-reading books is not something I tend to do. This book takes place in the year 2044 and follows the story of a virtual-reality game creator who offers up his entire company to the best player who can find an Easter egg in one of his many virtual worlds via a game called OASIS. A teenager named Wade Watts decides to take it on after millions have failed over many years. The key to winning the game is a plethora of pop culture clues from the 1980s. Whomever figures it out and wins the game — without having their avatars killed in the process — takes over the entire OASIS Empire. I do not consider myself a “gamer,” however, I did grow up in the late 80’s-early 90’s and really enjoyed all of the pop culture references. The story is fast paced and interesting. I really found myself rooting for Wade and his friends and could not wait to find out how it all ended. Oh, and a little someone named Steven Spielberg will direct the upcoming movie adaptation!

I didn't know what to expect from The Martian by Andy Weir.  A friend recommended this to me, otherwise I never would have read it. Basically, astronaut Mark Watney is left behind and presumed dead on the planet Mars. But guess what? He is alive! The only problem is how to keep him that way until NASA can send a crew to rescue him. I loved the “MacGyver in space” theme. The author really seems knowledgeable about NASA, Mars and outer space, but doesn’t get too wrapped up in tech talk. (There are many math equations and math is not my favorite). The main character is well developed and very likable. I found myself laughing out loud several times. This book was a joy to read.

Set in the present day, The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy follows Cassie (Cassiopeia) Sullivan as she navigates a world devastated by aliens on a mission to rescue her little brother. It is similar to The Hunger Games and the Divergent series. The pacing is fast and entertaining with well fleshed characters throughout. Incidentally, this book will also be released as a movie in Jan. 2016, and I only hope it is half as good as the book.