Masks are required in the Library and on the Bookmobile following guidance from the Johnson County Public Health Department.

Best of the Best: 2021 Edition


2021 is at a close, and the Iowa City Public Library Staff reflected on some of the literary highlights of the year, voting for new favorites in a variety of genres. Coincidentally, 125 different titles were submitted as we celebrate the Library’s 125th Anniversary! Each genre had at least one stand out title, the Best of 2021. Browse that list of winners below, or view the entire list of 125 titles here.

Genre

Winner

 Summary

Children’s

The genius under the table book cover

 

The Genius Under the Table by Eugene Yelchin

 

Drama, family secrets, and a KGB spy in his own kitchen! How will Yevgeny ever fulfill his parents' dream that he become a national hero when he doesn't even have his own room? With equal amounts charm and solemnity, award-winning author and artist Eugene Yelchin recounts in hilarious detail his childhood in Cold War Russia as a young boy desperate to understand his place in his family.

Graphic Novels (all ages)

https://search.icpl.org/Cover/Show?author=Kristen+Radtke&callnumber=155.92+Radtke&size=large&title=Seek+you+%3A+a+journey+through+American+loneliness&recordid=1709067&source=Solr&isbn=1524748064&isbns=9781524748067

AND

https://search.icpl.org/Cover/Show?author=Alyssa+Bermudez&callnumber=jGRAPHIC+NOVEL+Bermudez&size=large&title=Big+Apple+diaries&recordid=1711951&source=Solr&isbn=1250774284&isbns=9781250774286%2C9781250774279

 

It’s a tie!

 

Seek You by Kristen Radtke

 

In Seek You, Radtke uses an image of her father sending signals out on his ham radio as her jumping off point into a piercing exploration of loneliness and the ways in which we attempt to feel closer to one another.

And:

Big Apple Diaries by Alyssa Bermudez

 

In Big Apple Diaries, a heartfelt diary-style graphic memoir by Alyssa Bermudez, a young New Yorker doodles her way through middle school--until the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack leaves her wondering if she can ever be a kid again. 

Young Adult

https://search.icpl.org/Cover/Show?author=Hafsah+Faizal&callnumber=YOUNG+ADULT+FICTION+Faizal+Hafsah&size=large&title=We+free+the+stars&recordid=1644210&source=Solr&isbn=0374311579&isbns=9780374311575

 

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

 

In a world inspired by ancient Arabia, seventeen-year-old Zafira and the sultan’s son Nasir continue their quest to uncover a lost magic artifact and discover that the prize they seek may be even more dangerous than any of their enemies.

 

Mystery

https://search.icpl.org/Cover/Show?author=S.+A.+Cosby&callnumber=FICTION+Cosby+S.+A.&size=large&title=Razorblade+tears&recordid=1703022&source=Solr&isbn=1250252709&isbns=9781250252708

 

Razorblade Tears by S.A Cosby

 

A black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance. Provocative and fast-paced, S.A. Cosby’s Razorblade Tears is a story of bloody retribution, heartfelt change – and maybe even redemption.

Science-Fiction / Fantasy

https://search.icpl.org/Cover/Show?author=Andy+Weir&callnumber=SCIENCE+FICTION+Weir+Andy&size=large&title=Project+Hail+Mary+%3A+a+novel&recordid=1675752&source=Solr&isbn=0593135202&isbns=9780593135204

 

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

 

The sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission to save both humanity and the earth, Ryland Grace is hurtled into the depths of space when he must conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

Romance

https://search.icpl.org/Cover/Show?author=Talia+Hibbert&callnumber=FICTION+Hibbert+Talia&size=large&title=Act+your+age%2C+Eve+Brown&recordid=1702015&source=Solr&isbn=0062941275&isbns=9780062941275

Act your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

 

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding, her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself. Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner is on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell.

 

Biography / Memoir

https://search.icpl.org/Cover/Show?author=Michelle+Zauner&callnumber=BIOGRAPHY+Zauner%2C+Michelle&size=large&title=Crying+in+H+Mart&recordid=1702084&source=Solr&isbn=0525657746&isbns=9780525657743

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

 

From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean-American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.

Nonfiction

A World Without Email

 

A World Without Email by Cal Newport

 

Outlines recommendations for business leaders on how to maximize a working team’s professional productivity by improving administrative support and streamlining digital traffic.

 

Fiction

https://search.icpl.org/Cover/Show?author=Kazuo+Ishiguro%2C+1954-&callnumber=FICTION+Ishiguro+Kazuo&size=large&title=Klara+and+the+sun&recordid=1675852&source=Solr&isbn=059331817X&isbns=9780593318171

 

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

 

In this luminous tale, Klara and the Sun, Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro looks at our rapidly changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

 

What about the Best of the Best, you ask? Tied, with the highest number of staff votes, we have “Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro and “Act Your Age, Eve Brown” by Talia Hibbert.

With all of these great ideas for your next read, don’t forget to sign up for the Winter Reading Program (running until February 12, 2022)!

Categories

Recent News

Add new comment