Susan’s Recommendations

Thank You for Your Service

Thank you for your serviceBy Finkel, David, 1955-
"This extraordinary book will piss you off and break your heart. It will shame you and lift you up. It will bend your mind to the reality of an American war..."-Ben Fountain
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Autonomous

AutonomousBy Newitz, Annalee, 1969- author.
The author "takes some of today's key social and technical issues (the nature of artificial intelligence, the notion of property and ownership) and wraps them in a compelling, original story line acted out by memorable characters". (LJ Review)
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White Tears

White tearsBy Kunzru, Hari, 1969-
"An indelible portrait of obsession, music, insanity, and race that draws us into a dark underworld of blues record collecting, haunted by the ghosts of a violent past." (Publisher note, book jacket)
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The Life She Was Given

The life she was givenBy Wiseman, Ellen Marie author.
"From acclaimed author Ellen Marie Wiseman comes a vivid, daring novel about the devastating power of family secrets--beginning in the poignant, lurid world of a Depression-era traveling circus and coming full circle in the transformative 1950s." Publisher annotation
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Devil's Bargain : Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency

Devil's bargain : Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the storming of the presidencyBy Green, Joshua, 1972- author.
"Any study of Trump’s rise to the presidency is unavoidably a study of Bannon. Devil’s Bargain is a tour-de-force telling of the remarkable confluence of circumstances that decided the election, many of them orchestrated by Bannon and his allies, who really did plot a vast, right-wing conspiracy to stop Clinton." Publisher annotation
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Women Making Comics (4 items)

Graphic women : life narrative and contemporary comicsBy Chute, Hillary L.
Hillary Chute explores the verbal and visual techniques of Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Lynda Barry, Marjane Satrapi, Alison Bechdel, and Phoebe Gloeckner: these five cartoonists move the art of autobiography and graphic storytelling in new directions, particularly through the depiction of sex, gender and lived experience.
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I We Were Villains

If we were villainsBy Rio, M. L. author.
"Much like Donna Tartt's The Secret History, M. L. Rio's sparkling debut is a richly layered story of love, friendship, and obsession. Expertly plotted, beautifully written, If We Were Villains will keep you riveted through its final, electrifying moments."-cover annotation
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Lola

Lola : a novelBy Love, Melissa Scrivner author.
"A propulsive, intensely gripping crime thriller about murder, ambition, and an unforgettable woman unlike anyone else in fiction."-jacket annotation
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The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions

The inner life of cats : the science and secrets of our mysterious feline companionsBy McNamee, Thomas, 1947-
"The Inner Life of Cats is filled with shining prose, moments of sheer cat joy--and intimate, careful scientific observation. Thomas McNamee's naturalist's eye, combined with his humor and heart, brings the always wild, yet domesticated cat into delightful, insightful focus." --cover annotation by Cat Warren, author of What the Dog Knows
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Unraveling Oliver

Unraveling Oliver : a novelBy Nugent, Liz, author.
"A psychopath's true face is reflected in a vast hall of mirrors--friends, family, and lovers--in this gripping, original tale. (cover annotation by Erica Ferencik)
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So Much Things to Say : The Oral History of Bob Marley

So much things to say : the oral history of Bob Marley By Steffens, Roger, author, photographer.
"There has never been and will never be anything quite like this: reggae's chief eyewitness, dropping testimony on reggae's chief prophet with truth, blood, and fire." -Marlon James (cover annotation)
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The Bedlam Stacks

The Bedlam stacksBy Pulley, Natasha
"Surrounded by local stories of lost time, cursed woods, and living rock, Merrick must separate truth from fairytale and find out what befell the last expeditions; why the villagers are forbidden to go into the forest; and what is happening to Raphael, the young priest who seems to have known Merrick's grandfather, who visited Peru many decades before." Publisher annotation
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Was the Cat in the Hat Black? : The Hidden Racism of Children's Literature and the Need for Diverse Books

Was the cat in the hat black? : the hidden racism of children's literature, and the need for diverse booksBy Nel, Philip, 1969- author.
"In this powerful, deeply-researched accessible study, Nel exposes the racial power of children's literature. A rousing call to consciousness and action.....shows how children's literature [can] help build an anti-racist future." (cover annotation-Robin Bernstein)
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The Possessed : Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them

The possessed : adventures with Russian books and the people who read themBy Batuman, Elif, 1977-
"The Possessed draws on Elif Batuman's articles in the New Yorker, Harper's, and n+1 to tell the true story of one woman's intellectual and sentimental education and her many strange encounters with fellow scholars devoted--absurdly! melancholically! beautifully!--to the Russian classics." (cover annotation)
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The Velveteen Daughter : A Novel

The velveteen daughter : a novelBy Huber, Laurel Davis author.
"The first book to reveal the true story of the woman who wrote The Velveteen Rabbit and her daughter, a world-famous child prodigy artist, (The Velveteen Daughter) explores the consequences of early fame, the effects of mental illness on art and genius, and the inability of a mother to save her daughter from herself." (Publisher annotation)
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Afterlife

AfterlifeBy Sakey, Marcus author.
"Ridiculously good...Sakey is the master of the mindful page-turner." cover note from Gillian Flynn " Truly incredible. An epic, original vision. My brain is still bent." cover note from Blake Crouch
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Literary Wonderlands : A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created

Literary wonderlands : a journey through the greatest fictional worlds ever created
"Like a brave heroine or stalwart adventurer, setting takes a leading role in many a beloved literary work. Middle-earth, Oz and Narnia are fully realized worlds that readers can map with their imaginations. These and other sensational sites are celebrated in Literary Wonderlands, an unforgettable expedition to 90-plus places made famous in fiction and poetry". -BookPage annotation. December 2016
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When the English Fall

When the English fall : a novelBy Williams, David (David Gerald), 1969-
"When the English Fall takes its place in the landscape of post-collapse survivalist fiction as satisfying as a puzzle piece clicking into a gap. You'll read it and wonder how you never realized it was missing."-cover comment by author Kevin Brockmeier
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A Colony in a Nation

A colony in a nationBy Hayes, Christopher L.,
"A Colony in a Nation is a highly original analysis of America's arbitrary and erratic criminal justice system. Indeed, by Hayes's lights, the system is not erratic at all--it treats one group of Americans as citizens and another as the colonized. This is an essential and groundbreaking text in the effort to understand how American criminal justice went to badly awry." -Ta-Nehisi Coates, from the jacket
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The Witch of Painted Sorrows

The witch of painted sorrows : a novelBy Rose, M. J., 1953-
"Effortlessly absorbing and richly imagined, with sumptuous detail and spellbinding suspense, The Witch of Painted Sorrows conjures the brilliance and intrigue of Belle Epoque Paris and illuminates the fine line between explosive passion and complete ruination."-jacket
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The Mortifications : A Novel

The mortifications : a novelBy Palacio, Derek, 1982-
"Derek Palacio's stunning, mythic novel marks the arrival of a fresh voice and a new chapter in the history of 21st century Cuban-American literature. Breathtaking, soulful, and profound, The Mortifications is an intoxicating family saga and a timely, urgent expression of longing for one's true homeland." PUB
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Gwendy's Button Box

Gwendy's button boxBy King, Stephen, 1947- author.
"The novella follows Gwendy through high school and beyond, capturing the golden-hued joy of childhood and the wonder of friendship and first love, all under the shadow of temptation. This bite-size gem of a story packs quite a punch, and the only complaint readers will likely have is that it isn’t longer. " PW Review 4/17
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Himself

Himself : a novelBy Kidd, Jess author.
"A rollicking tale of a hero's return...breaking down the barriers between mystery story and comedy of manners, mixing magical realism and crime fiction." -The Guardian (UK)
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Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power

Requiem for the American dream : the 10 principles of concentration of wealth & powerBy Chomsky, Noam
"Noam Chomsky in Requiem for the American Dream directs the fierce light of his intellect on the utopian ideology of neoliberalism..." -Chris Hedges, from the jacket
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Award Winners & Bestsellers

Nobel Prize
2015 Prize in Literature
Svetlana Alexievich

National Book Award

2015 Prize for Fiction
Fortune Smiles
by Adam Johnson

2015 Prize for Nonfiction
Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Newbery Medal
2016 award
Last Stop on Market Street

by Matt de la Peña

Caldecott Medal
2016 award
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
b
y Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Printz Award

2016 award
Bone Gap

by Laura Ruby

New York Times Fiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sales)
The Last Mile
, by David Baldacci
The Obsession
, by Nora Roberts
Stuck-up Suit, by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Bounty, by Kristen Ashley
The Girl on the Train
, by Paula Hawkins
 

New York Times Nonfiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sale)
The Rainbow Comes and Goes, by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
The Sleep Revolution, by Arianna Huffington
When Breath Becomes Air
, by Paul Kalanithi
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates
, by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaegar
Alexander Hamilton
, by Ron Chernow

 

More Award Winners & Bestsellers

Following is a list of award-winning and bestselling materials from a variety of sources. Links will take you to an external page that will open in a new window. If YDL does not have an item you are interested in, please submit a Materials Suggestion to us.

Academy Awards

American Booksellers Association National Indie Bestsellers

Billboard Top 100 songs

Caldecott Medal

Coretta Scott King Award

New York Times Bestsellers

Newbery Medal

Printz Award