ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2015: Best of the Best

by on December 31st, 2015
ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2015: Best of the Best Cover Image

It’s here! Iowa City Public Library’s Top Picks for 2015!

Staff members nominated more than 100 books released in 2015 as their favorite reads of the year. Those that made this list were nominated by more than one person, which truly makes them the Best of the Best.

  • The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (fiction)blue-ribbon
  • Descent by Tim Johnston (fiction)
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (young adult)
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (young adult)
  • Simon’s New Bed by Christian Trimmer (children’s)
  • The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin (children’s)
  • The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton (children’s)
  • Waiting by Kevin Henkes (children’s)
  • The Cottage in the Woods by Katherine Coville (children’s)
  • Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley (children’s)
  • Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (children’s)
  • Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (mystery)
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik (science fiction/fantasy)
  • Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson (autobiography/biography/memoir)
  • Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (autobiography/biography/memoir)
  • Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon (autobiography/biography/memoir)
  • On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks (autobiography/biography/memoir)
  • Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (nonfiction)
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (nonfiction)
  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson (nonfiction)
  • Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (graphic novel)
  • Sunny Side Up by Jennifer and Matthew Holm (graphic novel)

For the second year in a row, two books share the honor of being ICPL’s Most Recommended Book of 2015 — Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate and Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson.

Allplegate’s Crenshaw tells the story of Jackson, a young boy whose family has fallen on hard times. With no money for rent  Crenshaw2and very little for food, Jackson, his parents, his little sister and their dog may have to live in their minivan — again. Jackson’s imaginary friend, a large cat named Crenshaw, wants to help, but is he enough to save a family from losing everything?

Publishers Weekly calls the book “accessible” and “moving” and “… demonstrates how the creative resilience of a child’s mind can soften difficult situations, while exploring the intersection of imagination and truth.” Children’s Librarian Morgan Reeves says Crenshaw is the book she has recommended the most to readers of all ages since its release in September of 2015.

dead wakeDead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania tells the story of a historical event many people think they know, but don’t: the sinking of the Lusitania during WWI.

The luxury ocean liner sailed out of New York en route to Liverpool in 1915, just as WWI was entering its tenth month. Though Germany has declared the seas around Britain a war zone, Captain William Thomas Turner had faith in “the gentlemanly structures of warfare” that had kept civilian ships safe in the past. What follows is one of the greatest tragedies of maritime history. “It’s the other Titanic, the story of a mighty ship sunk not by the grandeur of nature but by the grimness of man,” Hampton Sides writes in his review for The New York Times.

Did your favorite read of 2015 make our list?

If you are looking for more great reads, here are the links to our Best of the Best lists for 2014, 2013 and 2012.


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