KPL Staff Picks: Best of 2017

What We Liked This Year


These are some of the books, music, and movies that we thought were the best in 2017.

More to come, watch for updates!

Best of: 2017 | 20162015 | 20142013 | 2012 | 20112010




Amy Alcenius-Hoisington

Collection Maintenance Librarian


Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust, Vol 1) by Philip Pullman

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Equal Rites : a novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

American Gods by Neil Gaiman


Hunger : a memoir of (my) body by Roxane Gay

Evicted : poverty and profit in the American city by Matthew Desmond

Letters of Note compiled by Shaun Usher

Graphic Novels

The Wicked + The Divine by Kieren Gillen, writer ; Jamie McKelvie, artist

Habibi by Craig Thompson

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki

Saga Series by Brian K. Vaughn (Availible in print and digitally through Hoopla)

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris



Kit Almy

Library Aide


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

News of The World by Paulette Jiles

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein

The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye


Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Ongoingness by Sarah Manguso


Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans

Movies & TV

The Big Sick

Don't Think Twice

The Detectorists


The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Pollinator by Blondie



Bill Caskey

Lead Librarian, Children’s Room

Children’s Books

The Way Home in the Night by Akiko Miyakoshi

A Different Pond by Bao Phi

Windows by Julia Denos

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes

Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to his Daughter by Mark Gonzalez

Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

Hello Universe by Erin Kelly

The Sweetest Sound by Sherri Winston Jan 2017

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water around the Earth by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm

Teen/Adult Books

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders


Exoplanets : diamond worlds, super Earths, pulsar planets, and the new search for life beyond our solar system by Michael Summers, James Trefil

Energy Democracy: Advancing Equity in Clean Energy Solutions by Denise Fairchild

Why Buddhism is true : the science and philosophy of meditation and enlightenment by Robert Wright 


Got Soul by Robert Randolph & the Family Band

Music for Mixed Company by Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

The Order of Time by Valerie June 







Angela Fortin

Librarian, Oshtemo


Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Hunger by Roxane Gay

My Soul Looks Back by Jessica B. Harris

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

Movies & TV

Lady Bird

Get Out

The Handmaid’s Tale

Big Little Lies

Insecure, season 2


Harmony of Difference by Kamasi Washington

Far From Over by Vijay Iyer Sextet







Christine Hann

Government Information and Local Organization Directory Associate


Never Caught , by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

A Really Good Day: How Microdosing made a Mega Difference in my Mood, my Marriage and my Life , by Ayelet Waldman (2017)

The Stranger in my Genes , by Bill Griffeth

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine , by Gail Honeyman (loved the audiobook!)

If the Creek don’t rise: a novel , by Leah Weiss

A Piece of the World , by Christina Baker Kline

Swimming Lessons , by Claire Fuller

The Hate U Give , by Angie Thomas


A United Kingdom

Call the Midwife, Series 6

The Big Sick

Bridget Jones’s Baby




Milan Harden

Library Associate, Teen Services


Steven Universe: Art and Origins by Chris McDonnell

Paper Girls Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

The Wendy Project by Melissa Jane Osbourne

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds


Wonder Woman

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Lego Batman Movie

Hidden Figures

The Red Turtle

Beauty and the Beast

Everything, Everything


Melodrama by Lorde

Fake Sugar by Beth Ditto

Younger Now by Miley Cyrus

Reputation by Taylor Swift 



Caitlin Hoag

Reference and Law Librarian


Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Hunger: a memoir of (my) body by Roxane Gay

Difficult Women  by Roxane Gay

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

Little Sister by Barbara Gowdy

We Were Eight Years in Power: an American tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides

Little Fires Everywhere  by Celeste Ng

Born a Crime: stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Movies & TV


Get Out

Baby Driver

It Comes at Night


The Good Place

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season Two

Brooklyn Nine-Nine



Native Invader by Tori Amos

The Order of Time by Valerie June





Keith Howard

Web Coordinator


Bourbon : the rise, fall, and rebirth of an American whiskey by Fred Minnick

Not Dead Yet : The memoir by Phil Collins (2016)


Up and Coming by John Abercrombie Quartet

I See You by The XX

Return to Omadawn by Mike Oldfield

Little Fictions by Elbow

Windy City by Allison Krauss

The Night Siren by Steve Hackett

To the Bone by Steven Wilson

Every Country's Sun by Mogwai

Sleep Well Beast by The National

Carry Fire by Robert Plant

Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 by Bob Dylan

Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real

Southern Blood by Gregg Allman

The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

All American Made by Margo Price

Songs of Experience by U2

Yarrow by The Deep Dark Woods

The Way Back Home by Joshua Davis

Unlimited by Public Access

The Visitor by Neil Young + Promise of the Real  




Anastasia Huber

Library Aide


Ripper : the secret life of Walter Sickert by Patricia Cornwell


My Friend Dahmer












Amy Jastrzembski

Library Assistant


Down a Dark Road , by Linda Castillo

Y is for Yesterday , by Sue Grafton

The Dry , by Jane Harper

The Marsh King’s Daughter , by Karen Dionne

Deadfall , by Linda Fairstein

Collared , by David Rosenfelt

The Woman in Cabin 10 , by Ruth Ware

Into the Water , by Paula Hawkins

The War I Finally Won , by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley



Kiersten Jouppi

Library Assistant, Youth Services—Teens


Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson

The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Beneath Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

The Up Side of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson





Karl Knack

Audiovisual Services


Drunk by Thundercat

Lotta Sea Lice by Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile

Hitchhiker by Neil Young

Soul of a Woman by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

RTJ3 by Run the Jewels

Swim Buddies by Out

Savage Young Dü by Hüsker Dü

Twin Peaks: Music from the Limited Event Series

If All I Was Was Black by Mavis Staples

Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 (Deluxe Edition) by Bob Dylan



Kala L

Children’s Programming Librarian, Youth Services


Bee & Me by Alison Jay

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell

Pushing up Daisies: an Agatha Raisin Mystery by M. C. Beaton

Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile

Walking Through a World of Aromas by Ariel Andres Almada & Sonja Wimmer


Anything But Ordinary Addie: the True Story of Adelaide Hermann , Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff

Detroit: an American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

Historium by Jo Nelson, illustrated by Richard Wilkinson

Joy of Less: a Minimalist Guide to Declutter , Organize, and Simplify by Francine Jay

Modern Pressure Cooking: More than 100 Incredible Recipes and Time-Saving Techniques to Master Your Pressure Cooker by Bren Herrera

Princess and the Warrior by Duncan Tonatiuh

Steamboat School: Inspired by a True Story, St. Louis, Missouri: 1847 by Deborah Hopkinson 







Tady Lewis

Administration Aide and Substitute Librarian


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


Salutations by Conor Oberst

Memories Are Now by Jesca Hoop

Stranger in the Alps by Phoebe Bridgers



Elyse Malnekoff

Library Aide


What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes


The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Graphic Novels

Aquaman Rebirth series (Aquaman Vol. 1: The Drowning by Dan Abnett is the first book)

Mouse Guard series by David Petersen (Fall 1152 is the first book)

Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet Book 1: The Stonekeeper is the first book)

Kim & Kim. Vol. 1: This Glamorous, High-Flying Rock Star Life by Magdalene Visaggio

Tomboy Vol. 1: Divine Intervention by M. Goodwin

Princeless series by Jeremy Whitley (Princeless Book 1: Save Yourself is the first book)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The IDW Collection by Kevin Eastman



Teresa Malynowsky–Rakowsky

Branch Services Librarian

Juvenile Books

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat

Animal Ark by Joel Sartore

Bunny’s Book Club by Annie Silvestro

Catawampus Cat by Jason Carter Eaton

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes

How to be an Elephant by Katherine Roy

Teacup by Rebecca Young

Tickle My Ears by Jorg Muhle

Tidy by Emily Gravett

Teen Books

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein

Adult Books

Call of the Cats : What I learned about life and love from a feral colony by Andrew Bloomfield

Mercy for Animals: One Man’s quest to inspire compassion and improve the lives of farm animals by Nathan Runkle


The Big Sick

A Street Cat named Bob

Lost City of Z




Alex Merrill

Library Assistant


Animal Ark , words by Kwame Alexander and photographs by Joel Sartore

Superstats: Incredible Bugs , part of the Superstats book series

Round , written by Newbery-Honor winning poet Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo





Sarah Nyenhuis

Youth Services Library Assistant


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

The Dry by Jane Harper

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne


Strangers Tend To Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home by Amy Dickinson

Would Everybody Please Stop? Reflections on Life and Other Bad Ideas by Jenny Allen

The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs

Children’s Picture Books

Secrets I Know by Kallie George, illustrated by Paola Zakimi

Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander

On the Night of the Shooting Star by Amy Hest, illustrated by Jenni Desmond

Chirri & Chirra in the Tall Grass by Kaya Doi

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak

Things to Do by Elaine Magliaro, illustrated by Catia Chien

Movies & Television

Wonder Woman

Baby Driver

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season Four

This Is Us, Season One



Amber Pryor

Library Aide


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

They Both Die at the End


Valerian And The City of A Thousand Planets


After Laughter by Paramore

Melodrama by Lorde

Going Grey by The Front Bottoms





Steve Siebers

Lead Librarian, Washington Square


Quiet Until the Thaw by Alexandra Fuller

Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

Mister Monkey by Francine Prose

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

El Deafo by Cece Bell

The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

Lifted By the Great Nothing by Karim Dimechkie

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

I Want to Be in a Scary Story by Sean Taylor


Playing Against the House by James D. Walsh

In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold

All the Wild that Remains by David Gessner

The Divide by Matt Taibbi

Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett

Pilgrimage by Mark Shriver

Helping Children Succeed by Paul Tough

Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon









Andrea Vernola

Lead Librarian, Teen Services


Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Pandora by Victoria Turnbull

Together by Emma Dodd

A Greyhound, a groundhog by Emily Jenkins

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Now by Antoinette Portis

Smitten Kitchen Every day by Deb Perelman

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker




Susan Warner

Head, Youth Services


A Different Pond by Bao Phi

A Greyhound a Groundhog by Emily Jenkins

In the Middle of Fall by Kevin Henkes

Town is the Sea by Joanne Schwartz

Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

The Hate U Give

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

The Leavers by Ko





Best of: 2017 | 20162015 | 20142013 | 2012 | 20112010