KPL Staff Picks: Best of 2015

What We Liked This Year

Ever wonder what Kalamazoo Public Library staff members are reading, watching, or listening to? These are some of the books, music, and movies that we thought were the best in 2015. What were your favorites?

More to come, watch for frequent updates!

Best of: 20162015 | 20142013 | 2012 | 20112010

 


Ann Rohrbaugh

Library Director

Fiction

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Children’s Crusade by Ann Packer

Nightingale by Kristen Hannah

Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Nonfiction

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Last of the President’s Men by Bob Woodward

Once in a Great City: A Detroit City by David Maraniss

Wright Brothers by David McCullough

 

 

 




Amy Alcenius-Hoisington

Reference Associate

Books

We are Pirates! by Daniel Handler

The Martian  by Andy Weir

Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

Aarti Paarti : an American kitchen with an Indian soul by Aarti Sequeira

Yes Please! by Amy Poehler

The Devil in the White City : Murder, magic, and madness at the fair that changed America by Erik Larson

Audiobooks

An evening with Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer 

Movies

Pitch Perfect 2

Marvel Avengers, age of Ultron

Archer

Bob’s Burgers

Music

Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim

 

 

 




Kit Almy

Library Aide

Books

Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby 

Movies

What We Do in the Shadows   

Music

Something More Than Free by Jason Isbell 

 

 

 




 

 




Bill Caskey

Children's Room Lead Librarian

Fiction

Crow Fair : stories by Thomas McGuane

When Mystical Creatures Attack! by Kathleen Founds

Dragonfish by Vu Tran

Nonfiction

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Interstellar Age : Inside the forty-year Voyager mission by Jim Bell

Voices in the Icean : A journey into the wild and haunting world of dolphins by Susan Casey

Picture Books

Maya’s Blanket/La Manta de Maya by Monica Brown and David Diaz

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson

Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins

In a Village by the Sea by Muon Van and April Chu

My Pen by Christopher Myers

Please, open this book! by Adam Lehrhaupt  

Sidewalk Flowers BY JonArno Lawson

Sun and Moon by Lindsey Yankey

Children’s Fiction

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson and by David Shannon

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Mothman’s Curse by Christine Hayes

Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper

The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Cakes in Space by Philip Reeve  

Adventures with Waffles  by Maria Parr

Pieces and Players by Blue Balliett

George by Alex Gino

The Lightning Queen by Resau

Children’s Nonfiction

Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prevot and Aurelia Fronty

Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Children’s Graphic Novels

Hidden by Loic Dauvillier

Secret Coders by Gene Yuen Lang and Mike Holmes

Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua

Teen Fiction

More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt

Teen Nonfiction

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin

Symphony for the City of the Dead : Dmitri Shostakovich and the siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson 

Music

So Familiar by Steve Martin & Edie Brickell

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot by Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar  

 

 

 




 

 




Nancy Davis-Smith

Lead Librarian, Oshtemo Branch

Books

Wicked Charms: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel by Janet Evanovich

Fresh and Easy Family Meals by Gooseberry Patch

Scam by Janet Evanovich

Children’s Books

Shiloh Christmas by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Redeemed by Margaret Haddix

Somewhere There Is Still a Sun by Michael Gruenbaum

An A From Miss Keller by Patricia Polacco

The Day The Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt

Hope Springs by Eric Walters

Music

Blood of my Blood by Barry Lyga

Music

Jekyll and Hyde by Zac Brown Band

Storyteller by Carrie Underwood

35 mph Town by Toby Keith

Damn Country Music by Tim McGraw 

 

 

 




 

 




Angela Fortin

Librarian, Oshtemo Branch Library

Books

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Delicious Foods by James Hannaham

Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Bright Dead Things: Poems by Ada Limón

Movies & Television

Selma

The Affair

Broad City

The Honorable Woman

The Clouds of Sils Maria

Music

Black Messiah by D’Angelo and the Vanguard

No Cities to Love by Sleater-Kinney

The Epic by Kamasi Washington

Short Movie by Laura Marling 

EarthEE by THEESatisfaction 

 

 

 




Stewart Fritz

Youth Librarian

Books

Sing No Evil by J.P. Ahonen and K.P. Alare

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

The Shadow Hero by Gene Yang

Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët

Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78rpm Records by Amanda Petrusich

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

Station Eleven by Emily St. Jon Mandel

Deep Breath Hold Tight: Stories about the End of Everything by Jason Gurley

Deep Dark Fears by Fran Krause

Saga (series) by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

Mind MGMT (series) by Matt Kindt

The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

The Truth Commission by Susan Juby

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kelly

Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir by Terry Gilliam  

Movies

Mad Max: Fury Road

It Follows

Straight Outta Compton

Birdman

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

The Wolfpack

Inherent Vice

The Martian

Spring

Inside Out  

Music

The Magic Whip by Blur

Syro by Aphex Twin

Depression Cherry by Beach House

Compton by Dr. Dre

Sol Invictus by Faith No More

Better Nature by Silversun Pickups

Star Wars by Wilco 

 

 

 




 

 




 

 




 

 




Mikki Henry

Youth Outreach Associate

Books

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman 

Nutureshock by Po Bronson

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

If I Wrote a Book About You by Stephany Aulenback

Wonder at the Edge of the World by Nicole Helget

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Sun and Moon by Yankey Lindsey

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

West of the Moon by Margi Preus 

 

 

 




Caitlin Hoag

Reference and Law Librarian

Books

The First Bad Man by Miranda July

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

Loving Day by Mat Johnson

Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Movies & Television

Rectify

The Babadook

It Follows

Bob’s Burgers

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

The Fall

Peaky Blinders

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

 

 

 




Daniel J. Hoag

Cataloging Librarian

Books

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris

Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir by Terry Gilliam

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Mothers, Tell Your Daughters: Stories by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan

Sex Criminals, Vol. 2 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

Silver Screen Fiend by Patton Oswalt

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

X-Files: Trust No One by Various Authors 

Movies

99 Homes

Ex Machina

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

The Hunting Ground

Inside Out

It Follows

The Martian

Mad Max: Fury Road

Sicario

What We Do in the Shadows

Television

Archer

Better Call Saul

Game of Thrones

Hannibal

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

Justified

Key & Peele

Mad Men

Parks and Recreation

Rectify

Music

The Color Before the Sun by Coheed and Cambria

What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World by The Decemberists

Sol Invictus by Faith No More 

Didn’t He Ramble by Glen Hansard

The Spirit Moves by Langhorne Slim & the Law

Beneath the Skin by Of Monsters and Men

Better Nature by Silversun Pickups

No Cities to Love by Sleater-Kinney 

The Light Princess by Tori Amos 

Star Wars by Wilco 

 

 

 




Keith Howard

Web Coordinator

Books

M Train by Patti Smith

Music

Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes

Watkins Family Hour by Watkins Family Hour

Melting Pot by Big Boss Blues

Abyss by Chelsea Wolfe

Rattle That Lock by David Gilmour

Wallflower by Diana Krall

Hand. Cannot. Erase. by Steven Wilson

Wolflight by Steve Hackett

Bluenote Cafe by Neil Young

The Monsanto Years by Neil Young + Promise of the Real

So Delicious by The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

Love, Fear and the Time Machine by Riverside

What the World Needs Now... by Public Image Ltd

Dark Sky Island by Enya

The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 by Bob Dylan

Ionia by Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys

Street Dogs by Widespread Panic 

 

 

 

 




Farrell Howe

Marketing & Communications Manager

Books

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (books 1-3) (Book 2: Hollow City, Book 3: Library of Souls) by Ransom Riggs

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Prince Lestat by Anne Rice

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Television

The Walking Dead

Man in the High Castle

 

 

 

 




 

 




Amy Jastrzembski

Library Assistant

Books

Girl on the Train by Paul Hawkins

Die Again by Tess Gerritsen

Cold Betrayal by J.A. Jance

Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

X by Sue Grafton

 

 

 




 

 Lafayette-371

Patrick Jouppi

Executive Assistant

Books

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir  by Carrie Brownstein

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell

Motivational Quotes to Help You be More Positive by Chris (Simpsons Artist)

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger by Greg Steinmetz

Movies & Television

Adventure Time

Archer

Birdman

Interstellar

Nightcrawler

Portlandia

Silicon Valley

Veep

Music

Echolocations: Canyon by Andrew Bird

No Cities to Love by Sleater-Kinney

 

 

 

 




Kevin King

Head, Branch and IT Services

Books

Thank You, Goodnight: A Novel by Andy Abramowitz

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1) by Rick Riordan

Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty by Charles Leerhsen

Armada by Ernest Cline

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson

House of the Rising Sun: A Novel by James Lee Burke

The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Mara

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt   

Movies & Television

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Ant-Man

Trainwreck

Spy

The Flash: Season 1

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2

Inside Out

Batkid Begins

A Room with a View: Criterion Collection

Music

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett

All Your Favorite Bands by Dawes

Poison Season by Destroyer

Back on Top by The Front Bottoms

Sermon on the Rocks by Josh Ritter

Music Complete by New Order

Kindred by Passion Pit

The Traveler by Rhett Miller

1989 by Ryan Adams

No Cities to Love by Sleater-Kinney

Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens

Tuxedo by Tuxedo

Glitterbug by The Wombats

 

 

 




 

 




Jill Lansky

Library Associate, Teen Services

Books

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehsi Coates

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin

Elena Vanishing by Elena Dunkle

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

The Way Home Looks Now by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

 

 

 




Kristen Larson

Cataloging Librarian

Adult Books

Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews

Upside: the new science of post-traumatic growth by Jim Rendon

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Knowing What to Say by Patti Kelley Criswell

Children’s Books

Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson

Sunday Shopping by Sally Derby

Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick  

Elephant Man by Mariangela Di Fiore    

Movies

The Gift

Merchants of Doubt  

True Story

Inside Out

Paddington   

 

 

 




Tady Lewis

Administration Aide

Books

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone by Bo Burnham

Perfect Peace by Daniel Black

Movies

Inside Out

The Martian

Crimson Peak

Minions

Music

Every Open Eye by CHVRCHES

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence + the Machine

Stages by Josh Groban

Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance by Belle & Sebastian  

What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World by The Decemberists

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

Barragán by Blonde Redhead  

 

 

 




Elyse Malnekoff

Library Aide

Books

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

Candy Licker by Noire

The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks

Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag

Lumberjanes. 1, Beware the Kitten Holy by Watters, Ellis, and Stevenson

Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things/entire Courtney Crumrin series by Ted Naifeh

The Graveyard Book. Volume 1 & The Graveyard Book V. 2 by Craig P. Russell

The Horse Dancer by Jojo Moyes

Grand Canyon Women: Lives Shaped by Landscape by Betty Leavengood

Tales of Remarkable Birds by Dominic Couzens 

 

 

 




 

 




 

 




Terry New

Human Resources Manager

Books

Golden State by Stephanie Kegan

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

A Year of Living Prayerfully by Jared Brock

Gray Mountain by John Grisham

The Rose Hotel by Rahimeh Andalibian

Accidents of Marriage: A Novel by Randy Susan Meyers

HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence by Harvard Business Review

 

 

 

 




Sarah Nyenhuis

Youth Services Library Assistant

Books

The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

Euphoria by Lily King

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Adventures in Human Being: A Grand Tour from the Cranium to the Calcaneum by Gavin Francis

Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker 

Movies

Trainwreck

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Jurassic World

Cinderella

Amy

Music

Music Complete by New Order

Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett

Honeymoon by Lana Del Rey  

 

 

 




Tami Russell

Library Assistant, Youth Services

Books

The Hired Girl , by Laura Amy Schlitz

I Will Always Write Back  by Caitlin Alifirenka

The Trouble In Me by Jack Gantos

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by Greg Neri

Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation , edited by Brett Fletcher Lauer & Lynn Melnick

  

 

 




Diane Schiller

Assistant Director, Administrative Services

Books

Rules for a Knight by Ethan Hawke

Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Devotion by Adam Makos

King John: Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England by Marc Morris

George Washington’s Secret Six: the Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger

Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly

 

  

 

 




 

 




 

 




 

 




Beth Timmerman

Local History Specialist

Books

Tasting & Touring Michigan’s Homegrown Food: A Culinary Roadtrip by Jaye Beeler

Detroit Food: Coney Dogs to Farmers Markets by Bill Loomis

Oddball Michigan: A Guide to 450 Really Strange Places by Jerome Pohlen

A Beginner’s Guide to Online Genealogy: Learn How to Trace Your Family History and Discover Your Roots by Michael Dunn

The Windows of Kanley Memorial Chapel by Sherwood Snyder

The Missing Gargoyle of the Ladies’ Library by Lois Richmond

Keep the Quality Up by Martha Gilmore Parfet and Mary B. Corcoran

Under the Radar Michigan: The First 50 by Tom Daldin

Out of Kalamazoo County by Richard Franklin Bishop

Kalamazoo by David George Kohrman

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Religion of Biologic Living by Brian C. Wilson

The Rush: America’s Fevered Quest for Fortune, 1848-1853 by Edward Dolnick

The Last Romantic War: A Blind Date with History by Anthony Gianunzio

How to Archive Family Photos: A Step-By-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally by Denise May Levenick

Vintage Views Along Scenic M-22 Including Sleeping Bear Dunes by M. Christine Byron & Thomas R. Wilson

Great Girls in Michigan History by Patricia Majher

Michigan’s US-12 Heritage Trail: America’s Second Federal Highway by Gladys Saborio, Susan Kosky

Car Crazy: The Battle for Supremacy Between Ford and Olds and the Dawn of the Automobile Age by G. Wayne Miller

Midwest Foraging: 115 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Burdock to Wild Peach by Lisa M. Rose

Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula , edited by Ronald Riekki 

 

 

 




Karen Trout

Reader Services Librarian
Reading Together Coordinator

Books

Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson

The Children’ Crusade by Ann Packer

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir by Roz Chast

Grant Park by Leonard Pitts

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff 

Movies

Boyhood

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Becoming Made: The Artist and a Japanese Woodblock Print (DVD) by Mary Brodbeck 

Music

Hamilton original Broadway cast recording by Lin-Manuel Miranda

The Phosphorescent Blues by Punch Brothers

 

 

 




Andrea Vernola

Lead Librarian, Teen Services

Picture Books

I Used To Be Afraid by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Waiting by Kevin Henkes

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

Chapter Books

Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobsen

Rain Reign

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper 

Teen Books

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds 

Adult Nonfiction

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Movies & Television

Inside Out

Cinderella (2015)

The Martian

Brooklyn

Pitch Perfect 2

Parenthood Season 6

 

 

 




Susan Warner

Head, Youth Services

Picture Books

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty, illustrated by Bryan Collier

The Everlasting Embrace by Gabrielle Emanuel, illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Coming Home by Greg Ruth

Charlie and the Blanket Toss by Tricia “Nuyaqik” Brown, illustrated by Sarah “Anuyaq” Martinsen

Waiting by Kevin Henkes

Is there a Dog in This Book? By Viviane Schwartz  

Wait by Antoinette Portis     

Juvenile Non-Fiction

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America by Carole Boston
Weatherford, illus by Jamey Christoph

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Chapter Books

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt

Penderwicks in Spring by Jane Gardam

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai

Teen Fiction

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Adult Fiction

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

All the Light We Cannot See by Doerr

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley

A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear

Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig

Adult Nonfiction

Unforgettable: a Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime by Scott Simon

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

The Light of the World: a Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander  

 

 

 




Ruth Wilson

Lead Library Assistant, Information and Reader Services

Fiction

The Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway

Nonfiction

The Life Changing Effects of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph by Jan Swafford 

 

 

 




Share Your Favorites

What are you reading, watching, or listening to?