KPL Staff Picks: Best of 2018

What We Liked This Year


These are some of the books, music, and movies that we thought were the best in 2018.

More to come, watch for updates!

Best of: 2018 | 201720162015 | 20142013 | 2012 | 20112010






Kit A

Library Aide


House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

Heating & Cooling by Beth Ann Fennelly

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl by Diane Seuss

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan


The Shape of Water

Humor Me

Ocean’s 8

Operation Finale

Logan Lucky




Bill Caskey

Lead Librarian, Children’s Room


Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

The Good Neighbor : The life and work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

How to be a good creature by Sy Montgomery

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson

Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon

JabberWalking by Juan Felipe Herrera

Harbor me by Jacqueline Woodson

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

We rise, we resist, we raise our voices , edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Wells Hudson; foreword by Ashley Bryan

A Different Pond by Bao Phi

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin  





Tanai Dawson

IT Intern


Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Mistborn : the final empire by Brandon Sanderson

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Strange Case of Finley Jane by Kady Cross






Alexis Diller

Library Assistant, Marketing & Communications


Snotgirl Vol. 2 by Bryan Lee O’Malley

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa


Isle of Dogs

Love, Simon

The Hate U Give

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before


Nearer My God by Foxing

Time ‘n’ Place by Kero Kero Bonito

Ballades & Nocturnes by Leif Ove Andsnes  

Mom Jeans. On Audiotree Live

Girls Power by Silent Siren

tricot on Audiotree Live





Angela Fortin

Librarian, Oshtemo


There There by Tommy Orange

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Who is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors

Heavy by Kiese Laymon

Call Them By Their True Names by Rebecca Solnit

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Movies & TV

Killing Eve


Sorry to Bother You




Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae

boygenius by boygenius

Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves

Historian by Lucy Dacus

Heaven and Earth by Kamasi Washington



Stewart Fritz

Youth Librarian


They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib

Dude! by Aaron Reynolds

Black Hammer by Jeff Lemire

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

5 Worlds Book 2: The Cobalt Prince by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Xanthe Bouma, Boya Sun, & Matt Rockefeller

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

Our Cats Are More Famous Than Us by Yuko Ota and Ananth Hirsh

Your Name. vol. 3 by Makoto Shinkai

Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths by Graham Annable

How To Invent Everything: A Survival Guide For The Stranded Time Traveler by Ryan North

Severance by Ling Ma 


Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Sorry to Bother You

Black Panther

A Quiet Place



Vide Noir by Lord Huron

The Now Now by Gorillaz

Bad Witch by Nine Inch Nails

Boarding House Reach by Jack White

7 by Beach House

All Nerve by The Breeders

Double Negative by Low  





Theodore Gill

Library Aide


Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

There There by Tommy Orange

Movies & TV


Black Panther


Sorry to Bother You

The Chi

The Death of Stalin





Matthew Gilman

Evening Custodian


Pops by Michael Chabon

12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson

Assume the Worst by Carl Hiaasen

Home After Dark by David Small

Spy of the First Person by Sam Shepard

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks


Leave No Trace

I think We’re Alone Now

Goodbye Christopher Robin









Milan Harden

Library Associate, Teen Services


Chasing King’s Killer by James Swanson

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Money Diaries by Lindsey Stanberry

The Prince and the DressMaker by Jen Wang

The Heart is a Shifting Sea by Elizabeth Flock

Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

Rookie On Love by Tavi Gevinson

Shade: The Changing Girl Vol 2 by Cecil Castelucci

Runaways Vol. 1: Find Your Way Home by Rainbow Rowell

Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green

The Terrible by Yrsa Daley-Ward

Birding is my favorite video game by Rosemary Mosco


The Breadwinner

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

The Greatest Showman

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!

Incredibles 2



Caitlin Hoag

Reference and Law Librarian


Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

There, There by Tommy Orange

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

Florida by Lauren Groff

Motherhood by Sheila Heti

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

Landwhale by Jes Baker

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones  





Keith Howard

Web Coordinator


Machine Platform Crowd : Harnessing our digital future by Andrew McAfee & Erik Brynjolfsson

The Accidental Taxonomist, Second Edition by Heather Hedden

The Culture Map by Erin Meyer


Healing Tide by The War & Treaty

Love Wins by Big Boss Band

The Tree of Forgiveness by John Prine

Both Sides Of The Sky by Jimi Hendrix

Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves

Lost Souls by Loreena McKennitt 

Passwords by Dawes

All That Reckoning by Cowboy Junkies







Alex Hudson

Library Assistant


The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

Vox by Christina Dalcher

The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris

Sadness is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher

A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen 

The Caregiver by Samuel Park






Kiersten Jouppi

Library Assistant, Youth Services—Teens


Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner

Ship It by Britta Lundin

Water by Subhash Vayam with Gita Wolf

For Every One by Jason Reynolds

Everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too by Jomny Sun

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sujiura

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Good Morning, Good Night by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jonny Sun



Kevin A.R. King

Head, Branch & Circulation Services


Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles by Mark Russell

Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian

Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

Home After Dark by David Small

The Oracle Year by Charles Soule  


Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae

12 by Sloan

Be the Cowboy by Mitski

Head Over Heels by Chromeo

What A Time To Be Alive by Superchunk

Hell-On by Neko Case

Back Roads and Abandoned Motels by The Jayhawks  







Matthew Lechel

Director, ONEplace@kpl


Bicycle, Race: Transportation, Culture, Resistance by Adonia E. Lugo, Ph.D.

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas

Reporter: A Memoir by Seymour M. Hersh

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

Thoughts on Building Strong Towns, Volume III by Charles Marohn, Alexander Dukes, Jennifer Griffen 



Tady Lewis

Administration Aide and Substitute Librarian


For Everyone by Jason Reynolds

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian



Teresa Malynowsky–Rakowsky

Branch Services Librarian

Juvenile Books

A Couch For Llama by Leah Gilbert

My Dog Laughs by Rachel Isadora

A Rough Patch by Brian Lies

Love by Stacy McNulty

How To Be A Lion by Ed Vere

Hungry Bunny by Claudia Rueda

Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

Saving Fiona by Thane Maynard  

Adult Nonfiction

Born A Crime : Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Catnip by Michael Korda

Writers and their Cats by Alison Nastasi, photographer 



Alex Merrill

Library Assistant


Jelly, garbage + toys : making pictures with Vik Muniz

Why, Fly Guy? : a big question & answer book by Tedd Arnold

Gorillas Work Together by Elton Jones

My First Coding Book by Kiki Prottsman and illustrated by Molly Lattin 





Sarah Nyenhuis

Youth Services Library Assistant

Adult Books

Educated: a memoir by Tara Westover

 Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper

New Minimalism by Cary Telander Fortin and Kyle Louise Quilici

Children’s Picture Books

Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Lee White

Grains of Sand by Sibylle Delacroix

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

The Secret Life of Squirrels: Back to School by Nancy Rose

Night Job by Karen Hesse, illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Teddy’s Favorite Toy by Christian Trimmer, illustrated by Madeline Valentine

Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Leo Espinosa

Look at the Weather by Britta Teckentrup

Dad By My Side by Soosh

Trevor by Jim Averbeck, illustrated by Amy Hevron

Babies Can Sleep Anywhere by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Carolina Buzio  

Movies & Television

The Good Place, Season 2

This Is Us, Season 2

The Americans, Season 6

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 5

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Crazy Rich Asians

A Quiet Place

Eighth Grade

Black Panther

The Hate U Give



Steve Siebers

Lead Librarian, Washington Square


Stingray Afternoons by Rushin

An Excess Male by King

Educated by Westover

The Power by Alderman

The Hate U Give by Thomas

Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces by Chabon

Pachinko by Lee

We Were Eight Years in Power by Coates

Calypso by Sedaris

Fox 8 by Saunders



Karen Trout

Coordinator, Reading Together


Calypso by David Sedaris

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (print and audiobook) Marvelous

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

Educated by Tara Westover 

Morning Altars by Day Schildkret

That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam

Becoming by Michelle Obama 

Movies / TV

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Video)


Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

This Is Us

Dumplin’ (Netflix)

Abstract: The Art of Design (Netflix)



Andrea Vernola

Lead Librarian, Teen Services


The Astonishing Color of After by X.R. Pan

The Dangerous Art of Blending In

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Drawn Together by Minh Le

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

Parade of Elephants by Kevin Henkes

Blue by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

Everything Happens for a Reason (and Other Lies I’ve Loved) by Kate Bowler 



Susan Warner

Head, Youth Services

Kids Books

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

Bowwow Powwow by Brenda J. Child

Night Job by Karen Hesse

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

Teen Books

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Adult Books

There There by Tommy Orange 

Kindest Regards by Ted Kooser

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman

The Travelling Feast: On the Road and at the Table with My Heroes by Rick Bass

The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table by Rick Bragg




Best of: 2018 | 201720162015 | 20142013 | 2012 | 20112010