Notable Books to Read in 2019

By Glory Benacka | Feb. 6, 2019

The Notable Books List is an annual best-of list comprised of twenty-six titles written for adult readers, published in the U.S., and includes fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Books are selected by an American Library Association committee.  Salina Public Library’s collection includes these titles, all hyperlinked to our catalog for your convenience below.

Fiction

  • Waiting for Eden” by Elliot Ackerman. A psychological drama about an Iraq War veteran who hovers between life and death while his wife agonizes over her choices.
  • Friday Black” by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. Characters in a darkly satirical future confront race in America in this provocative collection of short stories.
  • Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan. The eponymous protagonist escapes slavery and embarks on an adventure through the Victorian world as a fugitive, artist and scientist.
  • An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones. A young, black couple struggles to stay connected when the husband is sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit in this complex domestic drama.
  • The Mars Room” by Rachel Kushner. At the start of two consecutive life sentences, a young mother reflects on her life while navigating incarceration.
  • The Great Believers” by Rebecca Makkai. A book of friendship and love in the face of tragedy and loss during the early years of the AIDS crisis in Chicago and the impact years later.
  • Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje. A man seeks to understand why he and his sister were left in the care of a mysterious figure they call the Moth in post World War II England.
  • There There” by Tommy Orange. A gritty depiction of the lives of urban Native Americans that converge at a Powwow in Oakland, Calif.
  • The Overstory” by Richard Powers. A profound meditation on the connection between humankind and trees and the often invisible impact each has on the other.
  • The House of Broken Angels: a Novel” by Luis Alberto Urrea. In this vivid and heartwarming portrait, a Mexican-American family celebrates the lives of their patriarch and his mother over a weekend in their San Diego home.
  • Don’t Skip out on Me” by Willy Vlautin. A ranch hand who yearns to be a boxer, the people who love him and the land that holds them.

Nonfiction

Poetry

  • If They Come for Us: Poems” by Fatimah Asghar.  A Pakistani Muslim American woman longs for her parents and grieves the effects of the India-Pakistan Partition with a fresh, inventive voice.
  • American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin” by Terrance Hayes. An electrifying collection ranging in subject from Dr. Who to black male hysteria.
  • The Carrying: Poems” by Ada Limón. An elegant and vulnerable expression of the aching beauty of an imperfect world.

For more information about the American Library Association notable book list and archived lists please visit https://rusaupdate.org/awards/notable-books-list/