2019 Staff Picks: Fiction

By Skokie Staff Adult Services

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

  • Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory: Stories

    2019 by Bob-Waksberg, Raphael

    I love short stories, especially weird or surreal short stories. This collection from the creator of BoJack Horseman definitely qualifies. As the title implies, most of the stories deal with love: lost love, found love, and how love can break you. A wonderful wit and humor invades all of the stories (even the sad ones) and makes this collection a delight to read. Recommended by Lynnanne.

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  • The Library of Lost and Found

    2019 by Patrick, Phaedra

    Patrick's highly entertaining book about a shy librarian topped my "pleasure" reading list this year. Fun and light without being too fluffy or silly, Patrick's characters will keep you wanting more. Recommended by Cecilia.

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  • The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

    2019 by Harms, Kelly

    Another light-ish book that turned into a great read. I was pleasantly surprised with how entertaining but smart this one was. Recommended by Cecilia.

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  • Olive, Again

    2019 by Strout, Elizabeth

    The irreverent, intolerant Olive Kitteridge is back. She is perplexed and often put off by others, but not more than she is by her own self, and she's feeling some regret! Old age and looming mortality find her awkwardly seeking connection with others who are alone. Which makes "the old bag" really kind of likable. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • Sing to It: New Stories

    2019 by Hempel, Amy

    Hempel's stories carry raw pain and wry humor and are written in such brilliant sentences that you immediately want to go back for a reread. Plus, dogs. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • The Dutch House: A Novel

    2019 by Patchett, Ann

    Ann Patchett’s characters are interesting and intensely human, and they always grab me. The Dutch House is a prime example. The loss of their grand family house and the disappearance of their mother affects the sometimes poor life choices of siblings Maeve and Danny as they lurch through adulthood. Recommended by Terry.

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  • City of Girls

    2019 by Gilbert, Elizabeth

    19-year-old Vivian has just been kicked out of Vassar College and sent to live with her Aunt Peg in a crumbling Manhattan theater called Lily Playhouse. At age 95, she tells the story of her life: growing into a woman, promiscuity in the 1950s, and the scandal that turned her world upside down. Although this story speeds up and slows down, it is a riveting tale of human desire and connection, and learning how to find yourself. Recommended by Lydia.

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  • The Flatshare

    2019 by O'Leary, Beth

    We love the quirky characters, British wit, and deft tackling of some hefty subject matter. Plus, it's a romance, so we get a much deserved happily ever after! Leon and Tiffy are so human and deal with difficult issues. Yet they talk to each other like mature adults and don’t keep secrets. It's especially great in audio! Recommended by Allyson and Lynnanne.

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  • How Not to Die Alone

    2019 by Roper, Richard

    This book would definitely do well if you're a hopeless romantic. You sympathize with Andrew desiring love, but feeling defeated because he's in his 40s. His work life interferes with that small glimmer of hope he has when he meets Peggy. Recommended by Monica.

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  • The Wedding Party

    2019 by Guillory, Jasmine

    Another very fun romance novel by this new author follows a group of interconnected friends (The Proposal, The Wedding Date). This time likeable characters Maddie and Theo have an "opposites attract" love story. Recommended by Mary.

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  • Royal Holiday

    2019 by Guillory, Jasmine

    This is my ideal holiday read: idyllic Christmas setting, people falling in love, and a feel-good ending. Recommended by Allyson.

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  • The Testaments

    2019 by Atwood, Margaret

    I could not put this book down. This harrowing sequel to Handmaid’s Tale, set in the future, is the story of the fall of Gilead, slowly unfolding through the diaries of three people involved, some unwittingly, in its demise. The writing is tight and the story is gripping. If you’re a fan of the book or the TV series, this one’s for you. Reccomended by Terry.

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  • Ayesha at Last

    2019 by Jalaluddin, Uzma

    A debut novel that is a reboot of Pride and Prejudice--I cannot get enough of fresh takes on timeless classics. Set in a Muslim community in Toronto, centering on a South Asian family, this book is delightful. I adored Ayesha, her family, and friends. Recommended by Sharon.

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