I sent an email to the entire Iowa City Public Library staff in early November asking them to tell me the name of the best book, or books, they read in 2018.
The purpose of my email wasn’t to torture my colleagues, but to repeat what the library has done since 2012: compile a list of great reads published that year.
Everyone was asked to name a title, or more, in 10 genres: fiction; young adult; children’s — babies through second grade; children’s — third through sixth grades; romance; mysteries and thrillers; science fiction/fantasy; autobiography/biography/memoir; non-fiction; and graphic novels.
The only rule was that the book had to be released in 2018.
Any book that was nominated more than once made the library’s Best of the Best for 2018 list.
The book that received the most nominations would be named the Iowa City Public Library’s No. 1 recommended book for 2018.
Michelle Obama’s memoir, “Becoming,” was easily the library’s most recommended book for the year.
Obama’s book was released Nov. 13, but I had messages from staff who wanted to nominate the book before they even finished reading it.
“It’s that good,” one person told me.
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The library owns more than 40 copies of Obama’s autobiographical memoir, but our hold requests are in the triple digits. It’s the same for our electronic book and audiobook copies, which are available through Overdrive, as well as the copies purchased for our Bookmobile collection.
A little tip — we have 15 copies of “Becoming” designated as Express Books in our non-fiction collection.
This means they can be checked out for only two weeks with no renewals.
Be sure to check out the non-fiction Express Shelf on the second floor — it’s the first shelf before all new non-fiction titles — when you visit the library.
In all, library staff nominated more than 130 titles as their favorite books of 2018. Of this total, 27 made our Best of the Best list.
The complete list, as well as the titles of all nominated books, can be found at www.icpl.org/books-more/staff-picks/lists/icpls-top-picks-2018.
• Meredith Hines-Dochterman is public relations specialist at the Iowa City Public Library.