Did you know memoir comes from the Latin work memoria, which means making memory or reminiscence?
A memoir is a sub-genre of the autobiography and tends to encompass one time period of an author’s life while a biography and/or autobiography is a detailed description of a person’s entire life.
Here are the lives (or parts of lives) we enjoyed reading about in 2016.
ICPL’s BEST BIOGRAPHIES, AUTOBIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS OF 2016
- Lust & Wonder by Augusten Burroughs
- It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson
- Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin
- Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman
- Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart
- Greetings From Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent Childhood by Claire Hoffman
- Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
- You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
- Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley
- The Bridge Ladies by Betsy Lerner
- I’m Just a Person by Tig Notaro
- Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner
- Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
Science fiction and fantasy novels are known for transporting readers to fantastic locations, taking them on amazing adventures, but they can also serve as a reminder or warning of what could happen. As Ray Bradbury once said, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading.”
Fight the power! Read a book! Here are some titles to get you started.
ICPL’s BEST SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY BOOKS OF 2016
- Morning Star: Book III of The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown
- Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
- The Forgetting Moon by Brian Lee Durfee
- Death’s End by Cixin Liu
- A Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab
- Join by Steve Toutonghi
- Smoke by Dan Vyleta
- Invasive by Scott Wendig
- The Guns of Empire by Django Wexler
What books will make our list of Best Books of 2016? It’s a mystery, as are these stories.
ICPL’s BEST MYSTERY BOOKS OF 2016
- The Trespasser by Tana French
- The Mistletoe Murder: And Other Stories by P.D. James
- A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
- The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders
- Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
- No Shred of Evidence by Charles Todd
“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.” — Frank Serafini
If your child is searching for their favorite book, or looking for a new title to add to a growing list of beloved stories, check out our favorite children’s books of 2016.
ICPL’s BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF 2016
- Thunder Boy Jr by Sherman Alexie
- The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
- Have You Seen Elephant by David Barrow
- Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
- Eek! Halloween! by Sandra Boynton
- The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
- The Goblin’s Puzzle by Andrew S. Chilton
- Spot, the Cat by Henry Cole
- Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
- Dragon Was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio
- Together by Emma Dodd
- The Night Gardener by Terry and Eric Fan
- Bear & Hare — Where’s Bear? By Emily Gravett
- The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield
- Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
- Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle
- We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen
- I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy
- The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield
- Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
- Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer
- Pax by Sara Pennypacker
- They All Saw a Cat by Brenden Wenzel
- Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
- Little Red by Bethan Woollvin
Young adult titles used to dominate our Best of the Best book list. In fact, our most recommended books of 2012 and 2013 were YA titles: Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park in 2013 and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in 2012.
Will it happen again?
You need to check back on December 31 when we release our Top Picks of 2016 in all genres. For now, check out the young adult titles staff members enjoyed.
ICPL’s BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOKS OF 2016
- Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
- A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
- Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
- Heartless by Marissa Meyer
- Cherry by Lindsey Rosin
- Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
- Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach
- P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Have you explored our young adult collection? It’s on the Library’s second floor!
ICPL staff combed through their 2016 reading logs to select the books they loved for our annual end-of-the-year Staff Top Picks lists.
The nominations were divided into eight categories: fiction; young adult; children’s; mystery; science fiction/fantasy; biography/memoir; nonfiction; and graphic novels. The only rule was that the book had to be released in 2016; books released in hardback in 2014 and paperback in 2015 were disqualified. Any book that was nominated by more than one staff member made our 2016 Best of the Best list.
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Still shopping for that special someone? Nothing says “I love you, and have a wonderful holiday!” quite like an Iowa City Downtown Gift Card. Purchase them here.
Don’t we get enough advertising this time of year without the Library blogging about it? Good point. Sorry.
But did you know that you can use the Iowa City Downtown Gift Card here at the Library? You can pay overdue fines, true, but you can also buy things like bags. Look at these bags! Ask at the Help Desk to get your hands on one of these babies. And don’t forget your Iowa City Downtown Gift Card.
Take a break from the winter cold and enjoy these new titles aimed at kids in 4th-7th grades. Mostly realistic fiction with some hints of mystery and speculative science themes, these will appeal to readers who relate best to real world issues.
First, check out The Best Man by Richard Peck. What do you want to be when you grow up? Archer isn’t quite sure, but he has a pretty good idea of who he wants to be. He’s picked out some role models to emulate in his family; his grandfather, father and favorite uncle. He’s even found a fantastic teacher to look up to. As middle school starts, Archer tackles all of the surprises and changes that come his way with humor and a love for the Chicago Cubs.
Check out The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz for an eye-opening look at the hardships refugees and immigrants face as they look for a safer future. Jaime lives in Guatemalan village with his close-knit family. Life would be fine if it weren’t for the violent gang that controls the whole town. When his cousin is killed and a target placed on Jaime’s back, his family sends him on the dangerous and illegal journey through Mexico to the United States.
Take a look at The Wolf Keepers by Elise Broach for fast-paced adventure for animal lovers. Lizzie has grown up with a love for all animals, as her father is a zookeeper. She often accompanies him to work and considers the John Muir Wildlife Park a second home. Her life takes a turn for the adventurous when she meets Tyler, runaway who has been living in the zoo. He’s sure something strange is going on at the zoo after dark, and asks Lizzie for help figuring out the mystery. Soon they end up running for their lives in the wilderness of Yosemite National Park.
Registration for the Iowa City Public Library’s Chilly Readers Winter Reading Book Club begins January 2, 2017.
Available for young readers ages zero through 12, the book club will help children pass the winter hours when it’s too cold to play outdoors. It will run from January 2 through February 28, with participants encouraged to read 20 books during that time. Children can count books they read independently as well as those read to them.
Sign up at the Children’s Desk or online at wrp.icpl.org. All participants will receive a bookmark to track their progress to 20 books. A prize will be awarded after children read 10 books. There’s only one prize per person, including those who read more than 20 books.
Visit wrp.icpl.org for more information or call the Library at 319-356-5200.
What does it mean to be “human”? What does it mean to be “ordinary”? What does it mean to be a “family”? These deep philosophical questions (and more) are explored by the android Avenger in Marvel Comics’ Vision, v.1: Little Worse Than a Man. Former CIA agent and current comic book rising star Tom King wrote this future classic, with refreshingly understated and stunningly subdued artwork by Spanish illustrator Gabriel Hernandez Walta. Read the rest of this entry »