Best Books of 2016

Barkskins by Annie Proulx.  Rene Sel, a woodsman, travels in the late 18th century seeking a living.  He is bound in service for three years.  The story tells of his family and friends.

Cauliflower by Nicola Barker.  The life of Uncle, a 19th century Hindu saint by Justin Cronin.  Civilization is no longer.  After a hundred years of darkness, survivors surface.  Zero must deal with Amy, humanity’s last hope.

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin.  Civilization is no longer.  After a hundred years of darkness, survivors surface.  Zero must deal with Amy, humanity’s last hope.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett.  Bert kisses Franny at a party, changing two families’  lives over the span of forty years.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld.  Liz and Jane return to the family home to help their father.  Jane’s 40th birthday is right around the corner and her mother wants to pair her up with Chip, an eligible doctor.

The Fireman by Joe Hill.  A tale of worldwide spontaneous combustion.  The Fireman is the only one who can save the day.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.  In 1922 Russia, a count is put on house arrest at a hotel across from the Kremlin at an important time in its history.

Girls by Emma Cline.  A girl sees a group of girls who don’t seem to have a care and wants to join them.  The cult welcomes her.

The Guineveres by Sarah Domet.  A story of four girls named Guinevere, left by their parents,  to be raised by nuns.

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood.  Felix, an artistic director of a Theatre Festival, wants to put on the Tempest.  He ends up putting it on at a prison.

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer.  Taking place in Washington, D.C., this is a story of a family in the midst of a crisis.

The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close.  A woman follows her husband to Washington, D.C., where they make friends with another couple.

LaRose by Louise Erdrich.  Landreaux shoots at a deer but misses and kills his neighbor’s five-year old son, Dusty Ravich.  Their families have always been close and it is decided that the Landreauxs will give the Raviches their son.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett.  Nadia mourns her mother’s passing and becomes friends with the pastor’s son.  She becomes pregnant and keeps her secret from the community.

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout.  Lucy is recov- ering from an operation and finds her mother who she hasn’t spoken to for years at her side.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.  Four adult siblings in a dysfunctional family stand to inherit from The Nest.

Paris For One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes.  Nell finds herself alone in Paris after her boyfriend jilts her on a romantic vacation.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.  Nurse Ruth Jefferson is African American, and is told that she is to stay away from a newborn who is white.  When the child goes into cardiac distress and Ruth is the only nurse there, should she intervene?

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson.  Taking place in pre-World War I England, Hugh visits his Aunt Agatha in a small town.  A Latin teacher is hired by Agatha, who is beautiful.  Then things change.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.  Tess goes to New York where she works in an up-scaled restaurant.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith.  Two black girls dream of being dancers, but only one gets a chance.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple.  Eleanor deals with the little things until one day her son fakes being sick, and her husband goes on vacation without telling her.

The Trespasser by Tana French.  Detective Antoinette Conway is on the murder department and her partner, Stephen, is the only one she gets along with.  A case comes up and she’s seen her some place before.  Other detectives are pushing her into arresting the boyfriend.

Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry.  Nora takes the train from London to the countryside to visit her sister.  Upon arriving at her home, she finds her brutally murdered.  She doesn’t trust the police and she is in danger.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.  Cora is an escaped slave from Georgia who tries to run north to freedom.

Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang.  A rich but fractured Chinese immigrant family loses everything and travels across America.  Charles wants to return to China, and must choose between the old world and the new.

Zero K by Don DeLillo.  A billionaire is an investor in a company that returns patients to life.