It marks her second time at the top of the list, first winning in January 2016 for My Name is Lucy Barton, a novel that also was on the Favorite of Favorites annual list the same year.
“Strout does not disappoint with her newest work. Her brilliant collection takes up where her novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, leaves off. The chapters read like short stories with Lucy Barton as the thread that runs between them. The characters populate Amgash, Illinois and their stories are woven together carefully and wonderfully. No one captures the inner workings of small town characters better than Strout. Written to be read and enjoyed many times, I highly recommend for readers of fine literary fiction.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX
Additional Buzz: It is on a number of 2017 forecast lists including the NYT‘s “What You’ll Be Reading in 2017,” Nylon‘s count of “50 Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2017,” and the AV Club‘s list of”Lose yourself in 2017 with these 17 books and comics.”
Another multiple favorite also returns to the list, Fredrik Backman with Beartown (S&S/Atria). He first landed on the list in 2015 with My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry and then again in 2016 for Britt-Marie Was Here, which was the #1 pick in May.
“Backman’s most complex novel to date takes place in the small, hockey-crazed village of Beartown. He deftly weaves together the stories of the players, the coaches, the parents, and the fans as Beartown’s hockey team chases its dream of winning a championship. Weighty themes are explored. How high a price is too high for success? How deadly is silence? Who can you trust with your secrets? How far will you compromise your beliefs in the name of friendship? There are no easy answers. A great book club choice.” — Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Library, Cary, NC
Additional Buzz: It was picked by Canadian librarians as part of their Loan Stars selections. Backman is also the COSTCO buyers pick this month, featured for his long running best seller, A Man Called Ove.
A new voice for LibraryReads comes via Kate Eberlen with her debut, Miss You (HC/Harper).
“Tess and Gus meet at when they are both eighteen and on holiday in Italy. Their meeting is one of those instant connections, but they go in different directions. Tess returns home, expecting to go to university, but instead her mother dies leaving her to care for her much younger sister. Gus goes to medical school and must deal with the death of his brother. Tess and Gus’ lives momentarily intersect at various points over the years. I enjoyed both of their stories and the anticipation of hoping they would meet again and make a final connection.” — Mary Bennett, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, IN
Additional Buzz: It was a smash in the UK with The Telegraph comparing it to David Nicholls’s One Day, and saying “Following on from a lucrative deal in the UK, there has already been a ‘pre-emptive’ bid in the United States, and a subsequent scramble to buy it in 24 other countries – so don’t be surprised to see it being devoured by sunbathers on holiday this summer.” The Guardian says it is a “funny, poignant and really rather lovely ships-in-the-night debut, although it’s not until the end that ‘will they/won’t they?’ becomes a burning question. Grief, family dynamics and how to live with, but not be defined by, the cards one is dealt are the central concerns here.”
The book trailer gives a sense of the story and feel:
The full list of ten picks is available now.