Library, bookstore staff select best books of 2019 |

Library, bookstore staff select best books of 2019

Chris Painter and Chris Erickson
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Bud Werner Memorial Library and Off the Beaten Path bookstore have provided our readers with their top picks for the best books of 2019. Their lists are featured below.

Bud Werner Memorial Library

Each year, the avid readers on the library staff create their favorite books published in the last year. We aim for a mix of serious literature, fun reads and both fiction and nonfiction. The following titles represent those books published in 2019 that the library staff most enthusiastically recommend when asked, “What shall I read next?”

1. “Inheritance” by Dani Shapiro
This is the true story of one woman’s urgent quest to discover her real identity. On a whim, the author submits her DNA for analysis only to receive the shocking news that the man who raised her is not her biological father. This book offers so much to discuss about the times we live in — in which technology rubs up against issues of medical ethics, paternity and the definition of family.

2. “Disappearing Earth” by Julia Phillips
Set in the beautiful, remote Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia, two girls — sisters — disappear. Suspenseful and haunting, “Disappearing Earth” was named to a dozen best book lists this year, and Julia Phillips is a featured 2020 Literary Sojourn author.

3. “Olive, Again” by Elizabeth Strout

4. “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett

5. “Daisy Jones & the Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

6. “Red at the Bone” by Jaqueline Woodson

7. “Once Upon a River” by Diane Setterfield

8. “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” by Olga Tokarczuk

9. “The Education of An Idealist” by Samatha Power

10. “A Woman is No Man” by Etaf Rum

Most borrowed adult books in 2019

1. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

2. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

3. “Circe” by Madeline Miller

4. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

5. “Unsheltered” by Barbara Kingsolver

6. “Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan

7. “Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country” by Pam Houston

8. “Long Road to Mercy” by David Baldacci

9. “The Reckoning” by John Grisham

10. “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean

Off the Beaten Path

Off the Beaten Path bookstore staff said 2019 was a great year for new books. Below are picks for top adult and children’s books.

Adult books

1. “Ski Inc. 2020” by Chris Diamond
In one corner, Epic, and in the other corner, Ikon — the battle begins. A remarkably fast consolidation of the ski resort industry has occurred in the past three years with absolutely stunning consequences for the skier and ski town communities. Diamond tells this Harvard Business Review type story engagingly and thoroughly. Lots to think about here with lessons for business in general and skiers and Steamboat in particular. 

2. “City of Girls” by Elizabeth Gilbert
Nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris, entitled and arrogant, drops out of Vassar College. Her parents, not wanting to deal with their belligerent daughter, send Vivian to live with her aunt in New York City. They hope Vivian will grow up, which she does, but not in the way they had envisioned. Now in her 90s, Vivian reflects on her promiscuous, reckless life, living amidst the theater drama of 1940s New York. This story holds much wisdom, as Vivian understands that making a scandalous mistake can, in the long run, not destroy you, but make you the person you want to be.

3. “Fishing from the ‘Boat” by Peter Parsons and Scott Ford

4. “Red Daughter” by John Burnham Schwartz

5. “Deep Creek” by Pam Houston

Kids books

1. “Frankly in Love” by David Yoon (young adult, age 14 and up)
Frank Li, a high school upperclassman, grapples with his identity as a Korean American and all of the expectations the world has on him. His Korean language abilities are laughable, but he still doesn’t quite feel as American as he wished he was. His traditional parents, attempting to live the American dream, want him to marry a nice Korean girl; he does not want to be disowned like his sister who married a black man. But the heart wants what the heart wants. This novel is a coming-of-age adventure for a boy who, in some ways, is forced to deal with some very adult topics like racism, classism, cultural assimilation and loss of a loved one.

2. “The Little Snowplow Wishes for Snow” by Lora Koehler  (picture book, ages 3 to 8)
In this new book, the little snowplow is really looking forward to the snow coming, so he can go back to work, but the waiting is so hard for him. This book is all about patience, which everyone could use a little reminder of sometimes.

3. “Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood : The Poetry of Mister Rogers”  by Fred Rogers (all ages)

4. “Dog Man #7 For Whom the Ball Rolls” by David Pilky  (ages 7 to 13)

5. “Tale of Magic” by Chris Colfer (ages 7 to 13)

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