Best Books of 2016

The best books published during 2016.

See best-of-year lists for other years:
1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019
301

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4.41 avg rating — 8,251 ratings
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302

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3.67 avg rating — 5,490 ratings
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302

by
4.10 avg rating — 16,818 ratings
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302

by
3.71 avg rating — 37,964 ratings
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305

by
3.87 avg rating — 55,725 ratings
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306

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3.97 avg rating — 5,150 ratings
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307

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4.23 avg rating — 6,889 ratings
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307

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4.20 avg rating — 18,837 ratings
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309

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3.35 avg rating — 9,332 ratings
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310

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3.75 avg rating — 2,734 ratings
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311

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3.77 avg rating — 1,342 ratings
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312

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4.24 avg rating — 30,786 ratings
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313

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4.33 avg rating — 2,561 ratings
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314

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3.65 avg rating — 6,112 ratings
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315

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4.01 avg rating — 7,082 ratings
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315

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3.67 avg rating — 49,734 ratings
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317

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3.88 avg rating — 10,833 ratings
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318

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3.95 avg rating — 2,466 ratings
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319

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4.34 avg rating — 12,410 ratings
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320

by
3.97 avg rating — 163 ratings
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321

by
3.56 avg rating — 4,097 ratings
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322

by
4.24 avg rating — 6,544 ratings
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323

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4.08 avg rating — 49,384 ratings
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324

by
4.19 avg rating — 3,114 ratings
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324

by
3.64 avg rating — 9,404 ratings
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326

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3.69 avg rating — 6,950 ratings
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327

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4.37 avg rating — 7,607 ratings
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328

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3.84 avg rating — 2,829 ratings
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329

by
3.98 avg rating — 422 ratings
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329

by
3.92 avg rating — 7,076 ratings
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329

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3.93 avg rating — 48,371 ratings
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329

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4.31 avg rating — 11,806 ratings
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333

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3.81 avg rating — 4,384 ratings
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334

by
3.69 avg rating — 13,402 ratings
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335

by
4.27 avg rating — 11,302 ratings
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336

by
3.71 avg rating — 17,178 ratings
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337

by
3.57 avg rating — 11,780 ratings
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338

by
3.81 avg rating — 6,013 ratings
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339

by
3.50 avg rating — 210 ratings
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340

by
3.94 avg rating — 1,488 ratings
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340

by
3.89 avg rating — 7,310 ratings
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342

by
3.62 avg rating — 10,718 ratings
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343

by
3.99 avg rating — 2,849 ratings
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343

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4.05 avg rating — 6,031 ratings
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345

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3.63 avg rating — 10,022 ratings
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346

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3.41 avg rating — 4,291 ratings
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346

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4.07 avg rating — 7,699 ratings
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348

by
4.53 avg rating — 17 ratings
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349

by
3.52 avg rating — 9,271 ratings
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350

by
3.80 avg rating — 3,002 ratings
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351

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4.20 avg rating — 7,882 ratings
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352

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4.11 avg rating — 4,422 ratings
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352

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3.72 avg rating — 9,793 ratings
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352

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3.86 avg rating — 23,207 ratings
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355

by
3.92 avg rating — 9,463 ratings
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355

by
3.60 avg rating — 4,338 ratings
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355

by
4.02 avg rating — 10,084 ratings
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358

by
4.22 avg rating — 10,014 ratings
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359

by
4.49 avg rating — 1,573 ratings
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359

by
4.15 avg rating — 15,725 ratings
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359

by
3.96 avg rating — 45,039 ratings
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362

by
3.95 avg rating — 8,041 ratings
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362

by
4.09 avg rating — 26,064 ratings
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364

by
4.12 avg rating — 666 ratings
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364

by
3.50 avg rating — 6,842 ratings
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364

by
4.04 avg rating — 10,503 ratings
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367

by
4.03 avg rating — 1,698 ratings
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368

by
3.66 avg rating — 122 ratings
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368

by
3.96 avg rating — 1,289 ratings
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368

by
3.90 avg rating — 823 ratings
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371

by
3.67 avg rating — 37,930 ratings
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372

by
3.97 avg rating — 7,429 ratings
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372

by
4.44 avg rating — 33,118 ratings
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374

by
4.26 avg rating — 697 ratings
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375

by
3.99 avg rating — 7,570 ratings
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375

by
3.72 avg rating — 5,601 ratings
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377

by
3.87 avg rating — 3,246 ratings
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377

by
4.10 avg rating — 1,100 ratings
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377

by
4.36 avg rating — 23,738 ratings
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380

by
3.73 avg rating — 6,606 ratings
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381

by
3.65 avg rating — 9,436 ratings
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382

by
4.01 avg rating — 923 ratings
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382

by
4.19 avg rating — 10,051 ratings
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384

by
3.74 avg rating — 3,434 ratings
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385

by
4.29 avg rating — 2,061 ratings
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385

by
4.39 avg rating — 8,700 ratings
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387

by
4.32 avg rating — 1,638 ratings
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387

by
4.05 avg rating — 10,419 ratings
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389

by
3.92 avg rating — 10,026 ratings
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389

by
3.67 avg rating — 8,447 ratings
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389

by
3.90 avg rating — 61,493 ratings
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389

by
3.90 avg rating — 9,896 ratings
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393

by
3.84 avg rating — 10,746 ratings
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393

by
3.54 avg rating — 1,628 ratings
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393

by
4.09 avg rating — 2,909 ratings
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396

by
3.95 avg rating — 255 ratings
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396

by
4.19 avg rating — 2,599 ratings
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398

by
4.24 avg rating — 3,194 ratings
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399

by
4.18 avg rating — 38,980 ratings
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399

by
3.76 avg rating — 19,360 ratings
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1,522 books · 2,633 voters · list created January 3rd, 2016 by deleted user.
Tags: 2016, best
223 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


CL 3618 books
56 friends
Beth 783 books
6 friends
Donna 152 books
269 friends
Jay 422 books
78 friends
Rory 177 books
100 friends
Michelle 297 books
33 friends
Nannette 295 books
36 friends
Denise 491 books
80 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis I have a DRC for a novel that's coming out in August, but the system won't let me add it or vote for it:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

The Grand Tour, by Adam O'Fallon Price.


message 2: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis System found and removed 5 duplicates.


message 3: by jjdigcam (last edited Jul 19, 2016 05:24PM) (new)

jjdigcam i wanted to add a book to the list, His Forbidden Bride: 50 Loving States, West Virginia (50 Loving States #18) by Theodora Taylor, Published May 4th 2016 by Rom Tell That. but the list says it wasn't published in 2016.

UPDATE: This book was updated and I was able to put it on this list.


message 4: by Donna (last edited Jul 19, 2016 05:09PM) (new)

Donna Davis jjdigcam wrote: "i wanted to add a book to the list, His Forbidden Bride: 50 Loving States, West Virginia (50 Loving States #18) by Theodora Taylor, Published May 4th 2016 by Rom Tell That. but the list says it was..."
You may need to go to the librarians thread for this. I am a librarian and would assist if I could, but I'm not a Goodreads employeee. If you go to the librarians thread, you can seek assistance from a super-librarian if none respond to you here.


message 5: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Superlibrarians, I am trying to add the latest novel by James Lee Burke, which comes out in August:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

The system tells me it isn't a 2016 title, but that's incorrect. I have a DRC and it's not out in any form, anywhere yet.

Help?


message 6: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis The system found and removed 6 duplicates.


message 7: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Barton Sasser 12 duplicates found and removed (auto)


message 8: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Barton Sasser 6 duplicates found and removed (auto)


message 9: by Bogi (new)

Bogi Takács I'm not sure why I cannot put this one? If anyone can help me with it, I would be most grateful.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

(I put a bunch of others)


message 10: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Bogi wrote: "I'm not sure why I cannot put this one? If anyone can help me with it, I would be most grateful.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

(I put a bunch of others)"

I checked to see why you are unable to add the title you chose, and the system says it was not first published in 2016. If this is incorrect and this title has never, in any form, been published before this year, you should take your concern to the librarians' thread, where you can reach actual Goodreads employees. These lists are supervised by volunteer librarians like me, and we have limited power.


message 11: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis The system found and removed 4 duplicates.


message 12: by Bogi (new)

Bogi Takács Thank you so much for looking into this! All editions seem to have been published in 2016, but I can go there and ask.


message 13: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Bogi wrote: "Thank you so much for looking into this! All editions seem to have been published in 2016, but I can go there and ask."

One thing I do know is that there are issues with pub dates and this list. I've tried, for example, to add The Tea Planter's Wife, a title with a major publishing house, plenty of promotion, definitely published for the first time this year...and yet I get this message. What the heck?

I don't make a lot of noise, because the scuttlebutt is that Amazon considers these democratic lists to be a pain, and now and then there's discussion of eliminating all of them and going to closed lists that are best sellers, or Amazon employees' favorites, etc, so then no one would be able to add titles and the lists would be little more than a marketing tool for the big A. So unless I am deeply disturbed, I stay quiet. But that's me.


message 14: by jjdigcam (last edited Nov 02, 2016 01:19PM) (new)

jjdigcam Interesting comment about Amazon, I hope it is not true. Although I am an avid Amazon fan. This is the only list that I have had trouble posting to. Sometime after I listed my book in the comments section they made it available to vote for. See comment #3. Please excuse the danglers :) JoAnn


message 15: by Deborah (new)

Deborah I haven't tested it, but I'm assuming that these date restricted lists require an original title and original published date - because that was the issue with the goodreads choice awards write in entries.

These are fields that are no longer auto populate and don't normally show to non-librarians. Any librarian can populate these fields - they are at the very bottom of the edit screen. If there are multiple editions of a book, use the date of the earliest edition. Enter the book title in the original title field.


message 16: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Deborah wrote: "I haven't tested it, but I'm assuming that these date restricted lists require an original title and original published date - because that was the issue with the goodreads choice awards write in e..."

Interesting! I will give that a try next time I am online. Thank you, Deborah.


message 17: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Donna wrote: "Interesting! I will give that a try next time I am online. Thank you, Deborah."

You're welcome!

The write-in round of the Goodreads Choice Awards was a mess this year because those two fields are blank on many new books and since most people can't even see those fields, they didn't know what the problem was.


message 18: by Donna (last edited Nov 14, 2016 07:43PM) (new)

Donna Davis Deborah wrote: "Donna wrote: "Interesting! I will give that a try next time I am online. Thank you, Deborah."

You're welcome!

The write-in round of the Goodreads Choice Awards was a mess this year because those..."


Checking this out...do I click on "edit details"?

So, I clicked on "Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell, by Alexandra Horowitz". Our list says this title wasn't published this year, but my research says it has never been published anywhere ever, apart from October 4. I click on "edit details" and a page shows up. The top half is accurate, but there are blank spaces on the bottom. Do I fill one of those in? I fear to rush in blindly and screw up the database, but I would like to add the title, and I'd like to know how to correct the problem.

Thank you Deborah. I appreciate your patience!


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Every year I try to check the lists of best of... and select some books for a possible reading list. Finally this year I made it. I am a very promiscuous reader so I just took everything and I will remove later what I don't find interesting.
There is not order and fiction and non fiction are mixed. Probably i will public another one with academic books in some point.
Feel free to suggest, recommend, and add books if you think try are missed. So, this is the list made of lists:

The Underground Railroad / Colson Whitehead
Swing Time / Zadie Smith
Evicted / Matthew Desmond
Homegoing / Yaa Gyasi
The Vegetarian / Han Kang
The Girls / Emma Cline
When Breath Becomes Air / Paul Kalanithi
The Gene / Siddhartha Mukherjee
Commonwealth / Ann Patchett
News of the World / Paulette Jiles
Barkskins / Annie Proulx
The Mothers / Brit Bennett
Moonglow / Michael Chabon
In the Darkroom / Susan Faludi
Born to Run / Bruce Springsteen
Sweetbitter / Stephanie Danler
Secondhand Time / Svetlana Alexievich
My Name is Lucy Barton / Elizabeth Strout
Hillbilly Elegy / J.D. Vance
A Gentleman in Moscow / Amor Towles
Hot Milk / Deborah Levy
Autumn / Ali Smith
The noise of time / Julian Barnes
Zero K / Don Delillo
The schooldays of Jesus / JM Coetzee
Thus bad begins / Javier Marias
The sellout / Paul Beatty
Transit / Rachel Cusk
Solar Bones / Mike McCormack
All that man is / David Szalay
Sudden Death / Alvaro Enrigue
East West Street / Baillie Gifford
The return / Hisham Matar
The little communist who never smile- Lola Lafon
Multiple choice- Alejandro Zambra
The wonder / Emma Donoghue
Here comes the sun / Nicole Dennis-Benn
The golden age / Joan London
Modern Lovers / Emma Straub
Mischling / Affinity Konar
I'll tell you in person / Chloe Caldwell
In gratitude / Jenny Diski
Private citizens / Tony Tulathimutte
What belongs to you / Garth Greenwell
The association of small bombs / Karan Mahajan
Pond / Claire-Louise Bennett
Problems / Jade Sharma
White Trash / Nancy Isenberg
The Nix / Nathan Hill
What is not yours is not yours / Helen Oyeyemi
LaRose / Louise Erdrich
The queen of the night / Alexander Chee
The year of the runaways / Sunjeev Sahota
The story of a brief marriage / Anuk Arudpragasam
All the single ladies / Rebeca Traister
At the existentialist cafe / Sara Bakewell
Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy / Heather Ann Thompson
Kill ’Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul / James McBride
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life / Ruth Franklin
Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America / Ibram X. Kendi
Blood at the root: A racial cleansing in America / Patrick Phillips
While the city slept / Eli Sanders
American Heiress / Jeffrey Toobin
The bitter taste of victory / Lara Feigel
Mad enchantment / Ross King
The Lonely City:Adventures in the Art of Being Alone / Olivia Laing
Eyes on the Street The Life of Jane Jacobs /
Robert Kanigel


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

2666 by Roberto Bolaño (2)
A Big Enough Lie by Eric Bennett
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Against Identity by Leon Wieseltier
All Souls’ Rising, Master of the Crossroads, The Stone That the Builder Refused by Madison Smartt Bell
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2)
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (2)
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans
Beneath the Roses by Gregory Crewdson
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
Blue Nights by Joan Didion
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
Brother, I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat
Building Stories by Chris Ware
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty
Citizen by Claudia Rankine
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (2)
Collected Stories by Lorrie Moore
Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser
Conference of the Birds by Peter Sis
Counternarratives by John Keene
Debt: The First Five Thousand Years by David Graeber
Decreation by Anne Carson
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
Drown by Junot Díaz
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben
Falling Out of Time by David Grossman
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
For the Relief of Unbearable Urges by Nathan Englander
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (2)
Global Crisis by Geoffrey Parker
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Hateship, Courtship, Loveship, Friendship, Marriage by Alice Munro
Head Off and Split by Nikki Finney
How the Dead Dream by Lydia Millet
How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon
I Love Dick by Chris Kraus (2)
Inferno by Eileen Myles
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (3)
Intoxicated By My Illness by Anatole Broyard
Jane by Maggie Nelson
Lovely Green Eyes by Arnost Lustig
Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
Mind of an Outlaw by Norman Mailer
My Perfect Life by Lynda Barry
My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard (2)
Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey
Neopolitan Quartet by Elena Ferrante (2)
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
NW by Zadie Smith
Old Filth by Jane Gardam
One Big Self by CD Wright
Our Word Is Our Weapon: Selected Writings by Subcomandante Marcos
Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler
Paradise by Toni Morrison
Pastoralia by George Saunders (2)
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Power Politics by Arundhati Roy
Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish
Proxy by R. Erica Doyle
Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
Reason In A Dark Time by Dale Jamieson
Remainder by Tom McCarthy
Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald
Selected Poems by Eileen Myles
Selected Stories by Alice Munro
Solitude of Self by Elizabeth Cady Stanton (reprinted in 2001)
Stag’s Leap by Sharon Olds
Steal Away by C.D. Wright
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
Tenth of December by George Saunders
Testo Junkie by Beatriz Preciado
The Activist by Renee Gladman
The Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
The Aegypt Quartet by John Crowley
The Assassin’s Gate: America in Iraq by George Packer
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron
The Boat by Nam Le
The Book of Frank by CAConrad
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (2)
The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
The Freddie Stories by Lynda Barry
The Givenness of Things by Marilynne Robinson
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
The Great Wave by David Hackett Fischer
The Human Stain by Philip Roth
The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
The Known World by Edward P. Jones (3)
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth
The Moon Before Morning by W.S. Merwin
The Mooring of Starting Out by John Ashbery
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (2)
The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn
The Road by Cormac McCarthy (3)
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuściński
The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Undercommons by Fred Moten and Stefano Harney
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
To The Wedding by John Berger
True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
Underworld by Don DeLillo (2)
Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People by Jonathan
Schell
Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis
War by Sebastian Junger
We Others by Steven Millhauser
We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live by Joan Didion
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch
White Girls by Hilton Als
Why the West Rules, For Now by Ian Morris
Wittgenstein’s Poker by David Edmonds and John Eidinow
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel


message 21: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Guillermo wrote: "2666 by Roberto Bolaño (2)
A Big Enough Lie by Eric Bennett
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin
A Visit from the Go..."

Consider making a new listopia with your titles. This section is usually used for technical issues, such as misplaced books or problems entering books. When you place these lengthy entries here, it makes it harder for volunteer librarians to do list upkeep. Thanks.


message 22: by Lu (new)

Lu For a book that was published in German in one year and in English the next, which year do I count? The original publication or the first English publication?


message 23: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Lu wrote: "For a book that was published in German in one year and in English the next, which year do I count? The original publication or the first English publication?"
Sadly, it's the original date. This is why we are unable to post English language books that came out in a different English-speaking nation prior to our own.


message 24: by Lu (new)

Lu Donna wrote: "Lu wrote: "For a book that was published in German in one year and in English the next, which year do I count? The original publication or the first English publication?"
Sadly, it's the original d..."


Thanks! At least you can still add it to lists based on the original date.
I've read a number of books in German that later got translated and wasn't sure where to put them as they might be very new to the English speaking world, but old to Germans.


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