Top 5 of 2016 Part 1

I’m not sure how it happened, but we are now into 2017!! Happy New Year! And as we do every year, I am happy to present the Top 5 picks of Topsham Public Library staff members. Drum roll, please.

Dave feels sure of his Top 5 as he submitted his list in November. In no particular order:


A neurosurgeon is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is a thoughtful memoir dealing with issues of life and death that will stay with you long after you have finished the book.


Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, set during World War II, is a fictional account of real events. The story  is about the Ravensbrück “rabbits,” 74 women who were the subjects of medical experimentation while prisoners at Ravensbrück concentration camp, and a New York socialite that comes to their aid.


One of our Maine authors, Paul Doiron’s Widowmaker is a page turner. Book seven of the Mike Bowditch series, this story follows Bowditch, a Maine Game Warden, as he tracks down a vigilante targeting sex offenders.



Louise Penny is one of Topsham Public Library’s most checked out authors and A Great Reckoning is her newest release. Set in a small town in Quebec, the mystery begins with the discovery of an old map.



From the star of Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston’s memoir, A Life in Parts, delves into creativity, his childhood acting, and being abandoned by his father.


Lynne couldn’t limit herself to five:


Nothing about the cover suggests that it will scare, but Horrorstörby Grady Hendrix, is spine chilling. Make sure all the lights are one when you read this one.



Some invitations you should just ignore. Slade House, by David Mitchell, draws you in and never lets go.



While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent into Madness by Eli Sanders is a true crime story that covers a 2009 murder that shook Seattle.



What is hidden in the woods at the end of the lane? Read Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt to find out.


Written by Japanese author Mariko Koike, The Graveyard Apartment is a psychological horror story about a young couple and their daughter and the “perfect” home they move into.



Born in the U.S.A. the Land of Hope and Dreams, Bruce Springsteen has entertained millions, now in Born to Run he shares his struggles that shaped his life and music. Even if it means you have to Drive All Night in a Pink Cadillac through the Streets of Philadelphia to get your hands on his memoir, it’s worth it.


Someone is posing as Rebecca Winter, a missing person, but the person stealing Bec’s identity realizes whoever caused Bec’s disappearance is still in her life. Try Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra for your fix of intrigue.



Helen’s picks of 2016:


Helen also chose The Graveyard Apartment as one of 2016’s best reads.



An old woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut, elders who try to keep things quiet, and teenagers tired of being quarantined. What could go wrong? Everything. Hex, by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, is a horror story that spans generations of a small Husdon Valley town.




Of course, Helen’s list features a Stephen King novel. Book two in the Bill Hodges novels, Finders Keepers is full of twists and turns.



Son of Stephen King, Joe Hill is a successful author in his own right and The Fireman will not disappoint.




Lost and Gone Forever by Alex Grecian is book five in a mystery series that follows Inspector Walter Day through 19th century London.



Susan’s top picks are:


Maine author Monica Wood’s collection of short stories, Ernie’s Arkis one that you should not miss.


Monsieur Perdu heals people by suggesting literature that is exactly what their soul needs. He, however, cannot heal his own heart that was broken years before by the loss of his own great love. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George is a title that is always crossing the circulation desk. Check it out!



Monstress is the first volume in a new graphic novel series by Marjorie Liu.



If you find yourself stuck in the Land of Confusion, try Not Dead Yet: a memoir by Phil Collins. Strangers Like Me may not get Both Sides of the Story, but even if it takes you One More Night you will feel like you spent Another Day in Paradise. 



Have you ever wondered how our brains work? Idiot Brain: What Your Head is Really Up To by Dean Burnett explains it all.