2016 produced so many great books, we thought we would take another look at some of the bestselling titles that you may have missed. What better way to spend a wintry night than curling up with a good book? Take an armchair vacation, get lost in an intriguing thriller, read about your favorite rock star, or learn a new culinary skill.
Here are some of our favorites from 2016. Enjoy!
An epic, dazzling, violent, magnificently dramatic novel about the taking down of the world’s forests. In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, Rene Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters – barkskins. Rene suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman and their descendants live trapped between two cultures. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the seigneur, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business. Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years – their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand.
From New Yorker staff writer and Harvard historian Jill Lepore, the dark, spellbinding tale of her restless search for the long-lost, longest book ever written, a century-old manuscript called The Oral History of Our Time. Joe Gould, a madman, believed he was the most brilliant historian of the twentieth century. So did some of his friends, a group of modernist writers and artists that included E. E. Cummings, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, John Dos Passos, and Ezra Pound. Joe Gould’s Teeth is a Poe-like tale of detection, madness, and invention. In ways that even Gould himself could not have imagined, what Gould wrote down really is a history of our time: unsettling and ferocious.
In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began. Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor and originality found in his songs. He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger and darkness that fuelled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as ‘The Big Bang’, seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences.
Former Chief Inspector Gamache has been hunting killers his entire career and as the new commander of the Surete Academy, he is given the chance to combat the corruption and brutality that has been rife throughout the force. But when a former colleague and professor of the Surete Academy is found murdered, with a mysterious map of Three Pines in his possession, Gamache has an even tougher task ahead of him. When suspicion turns to Gamache himself, and his possible involvement in the crime, the frantic search for answers takes the investigation to the village of Three Pines, where a series of shattering secrets are poised to be revealed… Ingenious, gripping, and powerful, A Great Reckoning is the new spellbinding novel from number one bestseller, Louise Penny. Evocative and atmospheric, this magnificent work of crime fiction will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
Brash, wild, original and badass. This is Anthony Bourdain’s interpretation of a normal cookbook. As a restaurant professional, Bourdain spent his life on the fringes of normality – he worked while normal people played, and played while normal people slept. Since then he has settled (kind of) into family life and is cooking for the people he loves rather than people who pay. These are the recipes he turns to when called in for pancake service at sleepover parties or when preparing a violence-free family dinner. Each and every word is informed by his years in the industry and a life dedicated to food. This is a man who has declared the club sandwich as America’s Enemy and wants you to understand the principles of Bad Sandwich Theory. He has distilled his views on dessert to this: it should always be Stilton. With a striking Ralph Steadman illustration for the cover and photography that somehow manages to be both strangely beautiful and utterly grotesque, this cookbook – Bourdain’s first in ten years – is a home-cooking, home-entertaining cookbook like no other.