And the Winners Are...
Article by staff
We’ve told you about our 2016 #BrazosBest picks. We’ve all run down our individual top ten lists. But now, one final list to end of the year: the books that affected us the most, whether new releases or classics. We asked each member of our staff one simple question: What book did you read in 2016 that you’ll remember the best, that sums up the year?
2016 has been, um, complicated, for many reasons, but these books helped us get through the ups and downs.
An immersive and inscrutable masterpiece that is hands down one of the single best reading experiences of my life.
I came to Nelson late, but just in time. In a year that often felt dumb, despairing, and claustrophobic, Nelson reminded me that “humanity” is a word that should encompass and celebrate our differences, and that anti-intellectualism is bullshit: there’s no shame in being the smartest person in the room.
Why has it taken me so long to read Ferrante?? I've been meaning to start the Neapolitan novels for months now but, intimidated by the volume, I chose to start with THE DAYS OF ABANDONMENT. What a ferocious, explosive novel! An instant classic for "nasty women" everywhere.
A book that assures you it’s okay to not know exactly where you’re headed—just enjoy the mystery of it all and learn to trust your instincts.
There are novels that take you to places you don’t want to forget as well as books that never leave you and this book will continue to stay with you for some time.
A great Texas novel, with perfectly drawn characters. Exciting, emotional, and authentic. You won't soon forget this NEWS OF THE WORLD.
This sharp-toothed follow-up to THE FIFTH SEASON gives us the same finely-polished mirror for our own broken society, set against the backdrop of a world in its death-throes, a civilization eating itself from the inside out. Jemisin’s dedication reads "To those who have no choice but to prepare their children for the battlefield"—a perfect beginning to the best book to read in this year's social and political climate.
When I asked Sharon Olds herself about this book during an interview for our website, she said, "Sadness and anger are just as important as joy and happiness." I don't think she meant important in that sadness and anger are emotions we should seek, the way we (many) pursue the others, but that they are just as valid, should we encounter them.
The picture book TEACUP by Rebecca Young is not only beautiful but it also sums up 2016 for me both personally and as a citizen of the world because like the boy in the book, I feel we are all adrift, our teacups of home in our hands, weathering brutal storms, hoping to land safely, our internal compasses set for hope.