The BOTM Team's Favorite Books of 2016
The best books of the year, according to our staff
Book of the Month
The Book of the Month team is'“'“like our members'“'“a group of voracious readers. After the announcement of our Book of the Year, we asked around the office to find out what other books were beloved reads this year. Here are a few of our favorites!
Ashley Mitchell, Manager, Print and Digital Marketing
Forever a teen at heart, it was a pleasure to fall in love with Book of the Month's first YA selection, Nicola Yoon's The Sun Is Also a Star. Blending quick wit, beautiful prose, and fully realized characters, Yoon's work is an ode to the universe and will touch anyone who's ever had the question: what if?
Jenny Dwork, Head of Content
The 2016 Book of the Year Award Winner All the Ugly and Wonderful Things was not only our members' favorite, but mine too! As author Bryn Greenwood writes in her Q&A, the book has you exploring the many different, and "unconventional," kinds of love. It's an unlikely couple that you find yourself rooting for, and the characters and their relationships have stayed with me. Highly recommend!
Maris Kreizman, Editorial Director
I'm always looking for a fresh and exciting voice in fiction--a writer who sees the world from a perspective that challenges the way we view the ordinary and mundane. What a wonderful and sad discovery to find the sumptuous story collection set in the Civil Rights era, Whatever Happened to Interracial Love. Author Kathleen Collins died decades ago, but the voice in her newly discovered and published book is so singular that even though the stories are told from multiple points of view, they all feel uniquely hers.
Ryan Andreas, Lead Member Service Associate
A Book of the Year finalist, Dark Matter was not only a member favorite, but my own as well. I couldn't put it down and I finished it in one sitting. It's honestly the best science fiction novel I have read in years.
Nadia Almahdi, Senior Marketing Manager
Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorites, so I am always a bit skeptical of adaptations. But in Eligible, author Curtis Sittenfeld does a great job modernizing the memorable characters and transporting the story to modern-day Cincinnati. Eligible was a thoroughly enjoyable, laugh-out-loud read.
Liza Katherine, Director of Product Management
In the sci-fi novel Dark Matter, Blake Crouch presents a puzzling and gripping story that had me hooked from beginning to end. Even months after reading it, I'm still haunted by its exploration of love, family, the 'what if' moments and the eerie ways they relate to my own life.
Christine Zika, Lead Editor
My favorite book this year was ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS by Bryn Greenwood. This is a book unlike any other that I've ever read. The writing is fluid and unsentimental but also powerful and impactful. And while there are elements to this story that are controversial, the author is unapologetic in her presentation. She makes you think and see the world with a new set of eyes in this genuine and authentic look at a bit of America's underbelly.
Siobhan Jones, Content Marketing Manager
In addition to being a nominee for Book of the Year, Swing Time was one of my personal favorite books of 2016. In essence, it's about two girls who grow up and grow apart (one of the very best subjects for a great novel, IMO). Zadie Smith's prose is always striking, but when she bends it to the task of telling this universal, around-the-world story, the result is a real stunner.
Sandy Strk, VP, Digital and Print Marketing
Family drama abounds in Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's witty, humorous, and moving debut novel, The Nest. Four siblings, a shared inheritance, and one reckless moment that puts it all in jeopardy'”these volatile ingredients come together in a portrait of a (slightly) dysfunctional family grappling with old resentments, new realities, and the bonds we share with those we love.