Iowa City Public Library staff picks best books of 2013

Meredith Hines-Dochterman
Published: February 9 2014 | 7:02 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:23 am in

Was “Read more books” one of your resolutions for 2014? If so, the Iowa City Public Library has you covered.

Library staff recently compiled several book lists of our favored reads in 2013. To create these lists, everyone was asked to name a favorite book in one or more of six genres: fiction; non-fiction; biography; science-fiction and mystery; young adult; and children’s. The only rule was that the book had to be released in 2013.

Any book that was nominated by more than one employee made the library’s Best of the Best for 2013 list. The book that received the most nominations would be named the library’s No. 1 recommended book for 2013.

For the second year in a row, the library’s top title for 2013 is a young adult book: Rainbow Rowell’s “Eleanor & Park.”

“I couldn’t put it down,” says Bond Drager, the library’s AV specialist. “Add me to the list of people who love it.”

“I honestly don’t think I’ve cared about a fictional relationship as much as I did in ‘Eleanor & Park,’” adds Brian Visser, teen services librarian. “I recommend this book to everyone — young, old, everything in-between — who has been in love, is in love or wants love.”

Rowell’s second young adult release of 2013, “Fangirl,” is the library’s second most-nominated book of the year.

“I devoured this book — chapter after chapter, I couldn’t put it down,” says Melody Dworak, collections librarian. “Rowell has a way with making me turn the page, even if it’s after midnight.”

Other fiction books to make the library’s Best of the Best for 2013 list include “The Rosie Project: A Novel” by Graeme Simsion and “Tenth of December: Stories” by George Saunders.

“Leaving Everything Most Loved: A Maisie Dobbs Novel” by Jacqueline Winspear is the library’s most nominated mystery book of 2013. Two books topped the list of non-fiction nominations: “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” by Michael Pollan; and “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg.

For the complete list of recommended books in each genre, visit the library’s staff picks blog at Happy reading.

Meredith Hines-Dochterman is public relations specialist with the Iowa City Public Library.

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