At the end of every year, outlets like Buzzfeed, NPR, and New York Times announce their favorite books. Since we’re also literature lovers, we decided to follow suit with the best books we have read in 2016.
Claire McKinney’s Best Books:
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: It’s a murder mystery wrapped up in a high end soap-opera-like drama written with a literary flair. I love her books because they are written for smart women who read, and not just for the “chick-lit” audience.
Tony and Susan by Austin Wright: This book has been published and reissued several times and it’s a pity that it hasn’t picked up more steam and that the author has passed on. It is a gripping psychological thriller written within a story of a middle-aged woman who questions the decisions she’s made. The movie Nocturnal Animals is taken from the book, though not by any means the whole story.
Larissa Ackerman’s Best Books:
Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink: This amazing investigative book about the five days that took place at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath is gripping, depressing, and suspenseful. Fink lays out the scenarios that went wrong during these treacherous five days, and lets the reader fill in the gaps on what could have gone right. Five Days at Memorial reads like a novel: there’s the nurses and patients whose survival you root for; the bad corporate people who are too busy on vacation; and the doctors and rescue people have to make the best decisions for the hospital during a severely stressful time. The second half of the book details the investigations into MMC and reads like a medical thriller. You’ll come out of it understanding that there really is a gray area between moral right and wrong.
The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff: When I was younger I was obsessed with the Salem Witch Trials and my parents brought me there to see their gravestones. Reading Schiff’s tome reminded me of how much I enjoyed the subject matter. Her extensively-researched book easily transports you into the gloomy atmosphere of 1600s New England, and gives readers perspective how easily panic can be spread.
Fractured by Catherine McKenzie: I had won Fractured in a book giveaway and it sat on my shelf for several months before I finally got to it, which I wholeheartedly regret because it is a great read! Julie, a writer who is terrorized by her stalker after the release of her book, moves her family to an uptight, well-to-do neighborhood in Cincinnati. After a few mishaps the neighborhood watchdog, Cindy, has Julie and her family on a tight leash — and she is getting harassed again, seemingly by her stalker. The story is fast-paced, dramatic, thrilling, and gossipy all at once. If you loved Big Little Lies, or any sort of book with mean moms/neighborhood drama, you’ll love Fractured.
Corinna Bybee’s Best Books:
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: I’ll admit, I jumped on the bandwagon a little late when it came to this book, however I’m glad that I read it. Eat, Pray, Love is full of wanderlust, self-discovery, and wonderful descriptions of pasta that made me want to pack up and head to Italy! Although everyone and their mother has already picked up this book, it’s a great read for those in a rut or just looking to get some travel inspiration. This memoir has quickly become one of my favorites.