The Best Books of 2016

Happy New Year! Maybe one of your goals for 2017 is to read more, but considering we added thousands of new books to the San Jose Public Library collection last year, how are you supposed to decide what to read next? Luckily, our friends at EarlyWord picked through all the major "best books" list from 2016 and tallied up the results. Here are the 10 fiction and 10 nonfiction picks that appeared the most often, including award winners, bestsellers and readers' choice awards:


The Underground Railroad book coverHomegoing book coverAnother Brooklyn book coverMoonglow book coverCommonwealth book coverThe Girls book coverThe Nix book coverMy Name is Lucy Barton book coverLaRose book coverSwing Time book cover

  1. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  2. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  3. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
  4. Moonglow by Michael Chabon
  5. Ann Patchettby Commonwealth
  6. The Nix by Nathan Hill
  7. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
  8. LaRose by Louise Erdrich
  9. Swing Time by Zadie Smith
  10. The Girls by Emma Cline


Evicted book coverLab Girl book coverWhen Breath Becomes Air coverWhite Trash book coverMarch Book Three coverThe Gene book coverBorn to Run book coverSecondhand Time book coverShirley Jackson biography book coverHillbilly Elegy book cover

  1. 1. Evicted by Matthew Desmond
  2. Jahrenby Hope Lab Girl
  3. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  4. White Trash by Nancy Isenberg
  5. ​​​​​​​March: Book Three by John Lewis
  6. The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  7. ​​​​​​​Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
  8. Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich
  9. ​​​​​​​Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin
  10. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

What's the best book you read from 2016? Let us know in the comments!

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