Community picks: books that engaged and inspired in 2017

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Vancouver Public Library and V.I.A. have teamed up to help you discover new reads, hidden book gems and surprising literary finds. Check back every couple of weeks for the latest reading recommendations from the experts at Vancouver’s library.

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We asked the community to share books that engaged and inspired them in 2017. VPL’s reading experts highlight some of the top picks here, and you can view the full lists of fiction and non-fiction books online.

Next Year for Sure by Zoey Leigh PetersonNext Year, for Sure by Zoey Leigh Peterson

This one is a quiet and emotionally intelligent novel about changing relationships. Next Year, for Sure hits all the right, bittersweet notes.

Queer There and Everywhere by Sarah PragerQueer, There, and Everywhere by Sarah Prager

With short chapters, this is an easy book to pick up and put down and pick up again. It’s fantastic for both teen and adult biography lovers.

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman AlexieYou Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie’s literary collection of poems, essays and family snapshots is a moving reflection of his turbulent relationship with his mother and his experiences growing up on a reservation.

House of Names by Colm TóibínHouse of Names by Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín’s House of Names is a thrilling retelling of one of our favourite stories and myths of Greek classical literature – The Oresteia.

Hunger by Roxane GayHunger by Roxane Gay

Hunger is gripping, disturbing, funny and real. In this deeply personal memoir, Roxane Gay shares her personal experiences and struggles with food and her body. You’ll want to read this in one sitting.

The White Angel by John GrayThe White Angel by John Gray

Vancouver noir is brought to life in this fictionalized account of the infamous 1924 murder of Scottish nanny Janet Stewart. You’ll find yourself immersed in Vancouver’s dark past.

Lone Rider by Elspeth BeardLone Rider by Elspeth Beard

This is a long-awaited memoir of female motorcycle hero Elspeth Beard. She refused to be swayed by indifference and mockery from the British motorcycle community back in 1982, and travelled around the world on her BMW at age 23.

Transit by Rachel CuskTransit by Rachel Cusk

This novel is beautifully written and explores the anxieties of the human condition. The narrative follows the fortunes of Faye and her two young sons as they live and work in London.

Selection Day by Aravind AdigaSelection Day by Aravind Adiga

This story is about two brothers, who grow up in the slums of Mumbai and pin their hopes of success on the cricket field. Fans of Jhumpa Lahiri will love this.

The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. CareyThe Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey

In post-apocalyptic Scotland, scientists are searching for a cure for a disease that transforms its victims into killing machines. Their best hope may rest with a 15-year-old named Stephen Greaves.

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