As 2016 is coming to an end, we felt it only right to share with you our favorite books of the year. We reached across the entirety of Ingram to find the best. See what we had to say about the books we love – 2016 edition.
From Executive Leadership
Morning Star Book III of The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown (9780345539861, Random House)
Why? Great ending to a trilogy by a new author I discovered, and you really can’t beat roman culture/science fiction and revolutionary wars all in one package!
American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin (9780385536714, Doubleday)
I was a small child when the events portrayed in this book were happening, old enough to hear the names discussed but too young to grasp what it all meant. Toobin brings this period of violence and discord to life with an incredible sense of detail. This book is a wild rollercoaster ride that kept my attention at every turn.
The Content Trap: A Strategist's Guide to Digital Change by Bharat Anand (9780812995381, Random House)
This was a fascinating read! Takes an aerial of business, psychology and leadership to rethink digital marketing. I could not get enough and ended up reading the book in a single session. Great take always for any marketer or any communicator.
Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett (9780316261357, Little, Brown and Company)
One of the best fictional treatments of the effects of mental illness in families I’ve ever read. This book shifted my perspectives on depression and anxiety in language full of rich emotion and human authenticity.
Moonglow by Michael Chabon (9780062225559, Harper)
Funny, poignant, wise – I folded pages and marked passages in Michael Chabon’s latest novel.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (9781594203985, Penguin Press)
A layered plot and a long story arc traveling from London to Gambia, examining friendship and talent – Zadie Smith reflects again on race and class, and ambition and luck.
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume (9780544716193, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Our lonely narrator adopts a disfigured dog from the pound – a heartbreaking story told in the best of Irish literature’s heartbreaking tradition.
Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday (9781591847816, Penguin Group)
More practical philosophy from Ryan Holiday, the author of The Obstacle Is the Way.
Jane Jacobs: The Last Interview by Jane Jacobs (9781612195346, Melville House)
I’m fascinated with urban planning and Jane Jacobs is my hero. Her thinking was so clear and practical – anyone who loves cities will love this book of interviews.
From Ingram Library Services
Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (9780670785476, Viking Books for Young Readers)
Rarely is a regency fantasy’s setting and plot so well executed as in Alison Goodman’s Dark Days Club. While some of the tropes are comfortably familiar, what made this YA novel one of our favs is the utter credibility of the main character, Lady Helen, as a teen caught up in something she doesn't understand and the angst of making decisions that will shape the rest of her life. Just gothic enough, just a hint of romance, just right! And having just read book two (9780670785483), we can report it’s just as delicious—happy reading!
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (9781101988640, Roc)
The Invisible Library invites us into a new world that’s familiar enough to dive right in to, but contains enough fantasy to stir our imaginations. A plot rich with twists, turns, unexpected heroes keeps us turning pages, and when we reach the end of the first book, sends us rushing to the library for the next one. The Invisible Library is perfect for fans of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
by Margot Lee Shetterly (9780062363596, 9780062363602, William Morrow)
In the early days of the space program, complex calculations were completed by a pool of “human computers,” research mathematicians who did the math by hand. Few people realize that those jobs were filled by women, including a small group of pioneering African American women who worked at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Shetterly uses information gathered from archival documents, correspondence, and interviews to bring this little-known piece of history to life. Buzz is already building for the movie adaptation starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe.
From Lightning Source
Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley (9781501126222, Simon & Schuster)
As so many would say, as a pet owner you have a deep connection with those four legged friends. This book is a beautiful telling of one pet owner and how his dog, Lily has impacted him over the year. I was greatly affected by the story and how as a pet owner myself, could find many correlations with own pet relationships.
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (9781501117206, Touchstone)
Like on screen and Twitter, Anna is just as delightfully funny when she is not limited to 140 characters. From insightful stories from her childhood to interesting observes at award shows, Anna’s books us a fun, quick read.
Heartless by Marissa Meyer (9781250044655, Feiwel & Friends)
A great follow up series from a talented author who excels in retelling classic tales with an interesting twist. I loved reading about the kingdom of hearts from a perspective other than Alice. The characters were delightful and very distinctive but Marissa was still able to include the essence of their original stories.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (9781476738024, Washington Square Press)
I laughed, I cried, I felt anger, I felt sympathy… Not many books take me through that kind of an emotional rollercoaster.
From Ingram Wholesale Retail and International Sales
The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Carlton Abrams(9780399185045, Avery)
The conversations between Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama are inspiring and enlightening. Knowing how much pain they've seen and endured and how they find joy each day makes for an excellent read.
Saban: The Making of a Coach by Monte Burke (9781476789934, Simon & Schuster)
While this was an unauthorized biography of the greatest college coach alive, and he really was not happy about it, I read it and think it was very insightful into what makes Nick Saban tick, and why he is the man, coach, and person that he is.
Crimson Nation from Triumph Books by Eli Gold (9781629371894, Triumph Books)
Updated version of earlier book written by Eli Gold, the Voice of the Crimson Tide. He updated it to include new chapters that cover the recent four National Championship teams under Nick Saban. For an Alabama football fan, or even a college football fan that likes reading about college football from the very start over 100 years ago to now, this is a good read. Very good book about the early days when the only way to travel was by train and the only way to hear was on the radio, to the most recent Championship teams of the greatest college football program of all time, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
I enjoyed reading it, as I am sure that anyone who loves football and history of college football would!
The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes (9781101947258, Knopf Doubleday)
A brief, fictionalised recount on how Shostakovich survived Stalin’s dislike of his compositions (the Lady Macbeth of Minsk, in particular). Besides the story, it’s magnificently written… a pleasure to read!
Keeping On Keeping On by Alan Bennett(9781781256497, Profile Faber)
No matter what it is, if it’s by Alan Bennett I read it… and I never go wrong! It’s quite a monumental piece of work…(over 700 pages) … witty, sad, humorous… the great thing about Bennett is that he is capable of conveying all sort of emotions in the same book.
The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life by Christine Gross-Loh (9781476777832, Simon & Schuster)
This line from the author best represents it – “Its most radical idea is that there is no path to follow in the first place—just a journey we create anew at every moment by seeing and doing things differently”.
Maps of the Disney Parks: Charting 60 Years from California to Shanghai by Vanessa Hunt, Kevin Neary, Susan Neary (9781484715475, Disney Press)
For any Disney trivia buff this is a great coffee table book about the maps of the parks.
Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben(9781771642484, Greystone Books)
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen(9781501141515, Simon & Schuster)
Personally I like unique approach to the secret life of the trees, and hopefully it will raise world awareness for the forests. For “Born To Run”, New Jersey is one of my states and I’m a “Boss” fan. (I also love that song!) (:
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst (9781400205875, Thomas Nelson)
This is a great woman’s book that encourages those of us that may sometimes feel less than only because we are letting the enemy speak his lies to us through our rejection and he constantly tries to make us stumble instead of seeing the power of the love of Christ that wants to see us overcome. This will open doors in how to process our hurt and restore our confidence in Christ.
Absolutely on Music by Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa (9780385354349, Knopf)
So great to put these two great minds and talented artists together in conversation. What a joy!
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Loved, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans (9781101875322, Knopf)
Professors from the Design School at Stanford University explain how to apply practical design principles to get past personal roadblocks and create a satisfying life. This book is an extension of their extremely popular class at Stanford. Great for graduates or anyone in transition.
The Nix by Nathan Hill (9781101946619, Knopf)
The most enjoyable book I’ve read in a while. Engaging, funny, and, ultimately, ENTERTAINING. Everything good fiction should be.
The Sympathizer: A Novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen (9780802124944, Grove Atlantic)
Thought-provoking, insightful, beautifully written, and powerful – and the well-deserved winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (9780812988406, Random House)
My wife pressured me to read this book. Relenting, I saw that her recommendation was sound. The book grapples with one of life’s greatest questions; what is really meaningful and valuable to my existence? Unfortunately, it took this author facing the end of his time to help me think about mine.
Sport of Kings by CE Morgan (9780374281083, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
CE Morgan is a powerful new author; her use of language is striking. The novel, is centered around Bourbon County, Paris, KY; at one time, the real life epicenter of the thoroughbred race horse universe. This is a run through the mud look at the haves and have not’s the, best and absolute worst history and geography lessons of this, for me, all too familiar landscape. This is where I grew up.
The Nix by Nathan Hill (9781101946619, Knopf)
The Nix is just a brilliant book. A, so sad its funny, mother son psychodrama. The Nix is full of ghosts, pop culture, politics, hurt, anger and disappointment; and, at the same time, full of humor and wit. A very poignant and wonderful read.
Father’s Day by Simon Van Booy (9780062408945, Harper)
Two narratives following a young girl named Harvey, first when her parents die in a car accident when she’s 6, and the same character at age 26, an ex-pat American living in Paris. The stories slowly converge, revealing how her troubled Uncle Jason became her adoptive father and how both of their lives were changed.
The Outward Mindset by Arbinger Institute (9781626567153, Berrett-Koehler Publishers)
The Outward Mindset is a follow up to The Arbinger Institute’s Leadership and Self Deception and Anatomy of Peace. The authors contrast the inward mindset, which is being self-focused, to the outward mindset, which is to understand others and their motives in a less biased way. The book is full of examples of how applying the principles outlined in the book have made a dramatic difference in real-world situations in business, law enforcement and in personal relationships. The principles in the book have the potential to be life changing when consistently applied.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys(9780399160301, Philomel Books)
As a companion to her debut novel Between Shades of Gray, Salt to the Sea sheds light on the lesser known plight of Baltic cultures and populations during World War II. Following four unique perspectives through the tragedy of the oft forgotten MV Wilhelm Gustloff highlights what the author does best, educating young adults on the true atrocities and costs of war by creating relatable characters and storylines.
From Ingram Publisher Services
What Becomes Us by Micah Perks (9781937402983, Outpost 19)
Interesting and unusual characters make this a memorable love story/ghost story/history lesson.
The Thinking Bookby Sandol Stoddard Warburg (9781623260880, Ammo Books)
A day unfolds as seen from the parent and the child’s very differing points of view. This charming story reminds us what adults view as being distracted is really savoring the moment.
The Outward Mindset by Arbinger Institute (9781626567153, Berrett-Koehler Publishers)
Genuinely insightful business self-help from the team that produced Leadership & Self-Deception
Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman (9781682303764, Diversion)
Strong first volume in a vivid fantasy series set in an alternate 19th century England.
The Goblin Crownby Robert Hewitt Wolfe (9781681626123, Turner)
Great adventure awaits three average middle school students when a storm drain takes them to the land of the goblins. Fun, silly, middle grade fun that subtly teaches that we all have our own strengths and are capable of more than we imagine.