Sacramento Public Library

Best Fiction - 2016

    Another Brooklyn

    Another Brooklyn - Jacqueline Woodson

    Torn between the fantasies of her youth and the realities of a life marked by violence and abandonment, August reunites with a beloved old friend who challenges her to reconcile her past and come to terms with the difficulties that forced her to grow up too quickly.

    Barkskins - Annie Proulx

    Working as woodcutters under a feudal lord in 17th-century New France, two impoverished young Frenchmen follow separate journeys, one of extraordinary hardship, the other of wealth and craftiness, that shape their families throughout three centuries.
    Before the Fall

    Before the Fall - Noah Hawley

    The stories of ten wealthy victims of a plane crash intertwine with those of a down-on-his-luck painter and a four-year-old boy, the tragedy's only survivors, as odd coincidences surrounding the crash point to a possible conspiracy.

    Commonwealth - Ann Patchett

    A five-decade saga tracing the impact of an act of infidelity on the parents and children of two Southern California families traces their shared summers in Virginia and the disillusionment that shapes their lasting bond.
    Heroes of the Frontier

    Heroes of the Frontier - Dave Eggers

    Struggling through a painful separation, the loss of her dental practice and the senseless death of a young man, Josie embarks on an RV road trip to Alaska with her kids that is marked by both national wonders and the shadows of past regrets.
    His Bloody Project : Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae: A Historical Thriller

    His Bloody Project : Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae: A Historical Thriller - Graeme Macrae Burnet

    A collection of documents "found" by the author reveals the events of a triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 and the subsequent trial.

    Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi

    Two half sisters, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana and experience profoundly different lives and legacies throughout subsequent generations.
    Hot Milk

    Hot Milk - Deborah Levy

    Driven to cure her mother's inexplicable illness, a young anthropologist seeks the advice of a famous but controversial consultant on the arid coast of southern Spain, where the transient desert environment shapes her own desires.
    Imagine Me Gone

    Imagine Me Gone - Adam Haslett

    Electing to marry her fiancâe after he is hospitalized for depression, Margaret commits to decades of love and faith involving their brilliant eldest son, their responsible daughter, and a tightly controlled younger son who help her care for her increasingly troubled husband.
    Innocents and Others

    Innocents and Others - Dana Spiotta

    Becoming filmmakers after a shared childhood in 1980s Los Angeles, best friends Meadow and Carrie explore disparate creative and personal ventures before colliding with a mysterious woman who calls men on the phone to seduce them.

    Jerusalem - Alan Moore

    A novel employing a kaleidoscope of literary forms and styles provides a rich cast of charactersùincluding the living, the dead, the celestial and the infernalùin an intricately woven tapestry that presents a vision of an absolute and timeless human reality in all of its exquisite, comical and heartbreaking splendor.

    LaRose - Louise Erdrich

    Horrified when he accidentally kills his best friend's five-year-old son while hunting, Landreaux Iron gives away his own young son to his friend's family according to ancient tradition, a decision that helps both families reach a tenuous peace that is threatened by a vengeful adversary.

    Mischling - Affinity Konar

    Arriving at Auschwitz in 1944, twin sisters Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in each other when they become part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele's Zoo, where they experience horrors unknown to other inmates.
    Mister Monkey

    Mister Monkey - Francine Prose

    Traces the revolving experiences of cast, crew, and audience members surrounding a terrible screwball children's musical, including an actress who resigns herself to a humiliating downturn in her career before having a shocking encounter with a child costar.
    Modern Lovers

    Modern Lovers - Emma Straub

    Three friends and former college bandmates struggle with the poignant midlife difficulties of managing the sexuality, independence and secrets of their young-adult children against painful memories of a friend who soared and fell without them.
    My Name is Lucy Barton

    My Name is Lucy Barton - Elizabeth Strout

    After an appendix operation puts her in the hospital, New York writer Lucy Barton reconnects with her estranged mother as the pair reminisce about the past. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge.

    Nutshell - Ian McEwan

    The nine-month-old inhabitant of Trudy's womb bears witness to a murder plot devised by Trudy and Claude, the brother of Trudy's ex-husband.
    Sweet Lamb of Heaven

    Sweet Lamb of Heaven - Lydia Millet

    Fleeing her cold and unfaithful husband, who has just launched his first campaign for political office, Lydia, accompanied by her six-year-old daughter, races from Alaska to Maine and hides in a dingy motel as her husband's pursuit escalates from threatening to criminal.

    Sweetbitter - Stephanie Danler

    A year in the life of a beguiling young woman in the wild world of a famous downtown New York restaurant follows her burning effort to become someone of importance through a backwaiter job that enables her indulgences in culinary and intellectual interests.
    The Association of Small Bombs

    The Association of Small Bombs - Karan Mahajan

    After witnessing his two friends killed by a "small" bomb that detonated in a Dehli marketplace, Mansoor Ahmed becomes involved with a charismatic young activist, whose allegiances and beliefs are more changeable than he could have imagined.
    The Gentleman in Moscow

    The Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles

    Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin, where he endures life in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history unfold.
    The Girls

    The Girls - Emma Cline

    Mesmerized by a band of girls in the park she perceives as enjoying a life of free and careless abandon, 1960s teen Evie Boyd becomes obsessed with gaining acceptance into their circle, only to find herself drawn into a cult and seduced by its charismatic leader.
    The Mothers

    The Mothers - Brit Bennett

    In a contemporary black community, 17-year-old Nadia Turner mourns the suicide of her mother, leading her to take up with the local's pastor's son; but when she gets pregnant, the pregnancy and the subsequent cover-up will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.
    The Nest

    The Nest - Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

    Gathering to confront their older brother, who has recently been released from rehab after a drunk driving accident, the Plumb siblings watch as the trust fund left by their father rises and falls according to self-inflicted problems.
    The Nix

    The Nix - Nathan Hill

    Astonished to see the mother who abandoned him in childhood throwing rocks at a presidential candidate, a bored college professor struggles to reconcile the media depictions of his mother with his memories and decides to draw her out by penning a tell-all biography.
    The North Water

    The North Water - Ian McGuire

    The Volunteer, a nineteenth-century Yorkshire whaling ship, becomes the stage for a confrontation between brutal harpooner Henry Drax and ex-army surgeon Patrick Sumner, the ship's medic, during a violent, ill-fated voyage to the Arctic.
    The Portable Veblen

    The Portable Veblen - Elizabeth McKenzie

    An aimless amateur translator struggling under the thumb of an oppressive parent and an ambitious medical researcher from a hippie family endure tests to their bond and question their priorities as their wedding approaches.
    The Sport of Kings

    The Sport of Kings - C.E. Morgan

    The trailblazing patriarch of a proud Kentucky clan, his daughter and a black ex-prisoner embark on an effort to reclaim the family's near-mythic legacy by breeding champion horses, an endeavor that is challenged by divided ambitions, the farm's ugly past and a willful thoroughbred filly.
    The Summer Before the War

    The Summer Before the War - Helen Simonson

    Arriving in the 1914 village of Rye, England, Beatrice Nash, a young woman of good family, becomes a first female teacher of Latin at the local school and falls in love with her sponsor's nephew. By the best-selling author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.
    The Throwback Special

    The Throwback Special - Chris Bachelder

    Follows the lives of a group of men who gather annually to recreate the November 1985 football play in which Joe Theismann suffered a horrible, career-ending broken leg.
    The Trespasser

    The Trespasser - Tana French

    An ongoing campaign to intimidate her out of the Murder Squad complicates Detective Antoinette Conway's high-pressure investigation into the death of a highly polished and unsettlingly familiar woman whose demise reveals a growing number of secrets.
    The Underground Railroad

    The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead

    After Cora, a slave in pre-Civil War Georgia, escapes with another slave, Caesar, they seek the help of the Underground Railroad as they flee from state to state and try to evade a slave catcher, Ridgeway, who is determined to return them to the South. Winner of the 2016 National Book Award.
    The Vegetarian

    The Vegetarian - Han Kang

    Deciding to go vegetarian in the wake of violent thoughts, Yeong-hye, a woman from an Asian culture of strict societal mores, is denounced as a subversive as she spirals into extreme rebelliousness that causes her to splinter from her true nature and risk her life.
    The Wangs vs. the World

    The Wangs vs. the World - Jade Chang

    A wealthy but fractured Chinese family loses everything in the financial crisis before embarking on a haphazard but ultimately redemptive journey across America as part of an effort to reclaim ancestral lands in China.
    The Woman in Cabin 10

    The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware

    Assigned to review an exclusive North Sea luxury cruise, travel journalist Lo Blacklock witnesses a woman being thrown overboard and is baffled when all passengers remain unruffled and accounted for, a nightmare that unravels as Lo struggles to convince everyone that what she saw was real.
    The Wonder

    The Wonder - Emma Donoghue

    Hired to care for a small Irish village girl said to have miraculously survived on nothing but "manna from heaven" for months, a journalist and nurse veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign quickly finds herself fighting to save the child's life.
    Today Will Be Different

    Today Will Be Different - Maria Semple

    Initiating small changes that she hopes will reverse negative patterns in her life, Eleanor Flood is derailed by her family members' unethical practices before an encounter with a former colleague triggers dramas that reveal a buried secret. By the author of national best-seller Where'd You Go, Bernadette.
    Truly Madly Guilty

    Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty

    A busy couple formerly on the brink of realizing their dreams reflects on a fortuitous gathering with their best friends and another couple in a tale that explores the role of guilt in relationships and the power of everyday moments in family life.
    Underground Airlines

    Underground Airlines - Ben H. Winters

    A tale set in a modern America where the Civil War never happened and four states still enforce slavery follows the experiences of a talented black bounty hunter who infiltrates an abolitionist group to catch a high-profile runaway.
    Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?: Stories

    Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?: Stories - Kathleen Collins

    Humorous, poignant, perceptive, and full of grace, Kathleen Collins’s stories masterfully blend the quotidian and the profound in a personal, intimate way, exploring deep, far-reaching issues—race, gender, family, and sexuality—that shape the ordinary moments in our lives.
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