Top 10 books of the year | VailDaily.com

Top 10 books of the year

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"Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens was voted Best Storytelling. A mystery novel, "Where the Crawdads Sing" creates frequent analogies between nature and life.
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Getting lost in a good book never gets old. And whether readers found themselves along backroads in Ohio, on the campus of Cambridge or bombing down Riva Ridge during World War II, the best books of the year transported us not just during the reading, but long after the last page was finished, according to Nicole Magistro, the owner of The Bookworm, Eagle County’s only independent bookstore.

“If there is one thing I know about books, it’s that gift of exceptional storytelling is rare,” said Magistro. “When our staff of 30 readers can agree that something is really good, there is always an amazing story at the center.”

So it’s no surprise that getting swept away in a great story is the theme for The Bookworm’s favorite books of the year.

Best Book of the Year

“Educated” by Tara Westover

Recommended by Nicole Magistro, owner since 2005

“I love this book! It’s one of the best and most surprising memoirs in years—and an important book for readers of the American West, coming of age, and self-discovery. Tara Westover is a fierce little sister with a redemptive story to tell.”

Best Storytelling

“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

Recommended by Karin Barker, lead bookseller since 2010

“‘Crawdads’ is a unique, compelling, coming-of-age survival story with a good mystery setting. It is also a beautiful exploration of nature. Owens is a wildlife scientist and her lyrical writing of the North Carolina shore will awaken your senses. The analogies between nature and life are excellent. Owens has also created one of the strongest characters I’ve encountered: Kya. I longed to get back to reading and being drawn into Kya’s world yet didn’t want it to end. Outstanding in every way! Good if you liked ‘Poisonwood Bible’ or ‘Secret Wisdom of the Earth.’”

Best Literary Fiction

“Ohio” by Stephen Markley

Recommended by Bartas Urba, Technical Support Manager

“Ohio is pitch dark, beautiful, and unputdownable. It’s an accurate portrayal of post-9/11 America under the skin. Opioid-fueled teenage love, bittersweet nostalgia and the pros and cons of war are all amalgamated in this brilliant, shocking mystery.”

Best Narrative History

“Presidents of War” by Michael Beschloss

Recommended by Ryan Miller, bookseller since 2013

“This book is great! It’s informative without being too dense, and true to history without the ideology. Beschloss’ compelling storytelling about wartime chief executives from 1812 to Vietnam is awesome for students and history buffs alike.”

Best Feel-Good Book

“Less” by Andrew Sean Greer

Recommended by Makena Burner, Marketing Manager

“Startlingly introspective, humorous, and full of heart, ‘Less’ will take your breath away and warm your soul. Greer has written an enlightened and intelligent coming-of-age story set in midlife with a protagonist who will charm you from page one. Right on the line between light and literary, ‘Less’ is the perfect read for anyone looking for a little levity in the midst of crisis. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss this.”

Best Cookbook

“How to Eat a Peach” by Diana Henry

Recommended by Sara Copenhaver, Chef de Cuisine

“Diana Henry is a foodie’s best friend. Through storytelling and innovation, she builds 25 mouth-watering menus for complete, seasonal meals. She takes care of every detail while keeping it simple—providing recipes for appetizers, sides, mains and dessert packaged together in an easy-to-navigate and gorgeous format. Just feel the cover and you can’t resist this cookbook!”

Best Coffee Table Book

“Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks” by Betsy and Bud Knapp

Recommended by Christopher Green, Operations Manager

“This is a spectacular and important volume from the team behind ‘Architectural Digest’ and ‘Bon Appetit’ magazines. It’s a thoughtful consideration of land stewardship, design excellence and the future of environmentally friendly luxury. Beautiful photography and language tell the story of Knapp Ranch, from its geologic origins to its contemporary uses. A must for lovers of art books by John Fielder and Ralph Lauren.”

Best Teen Read

“Neverworld Wake” by Marisha Pessl

Recommended by Mackenzie Koffenberger, Programs Manager

“This non-stop thriller keeps you guessing until the end. Five friends with dark pasts find themselves stuck in Neverworld—reliving the same day that they all died. To get out of Neverworld, they have to vote who lives. Before they do, they spend their endless days trying to figure out the real reason for the mysterious death of their friend. Buckle up, this book is awesome!”

Best Book for Families

“Ski Soldier” by Louise Borden

Recommended by Sandy Fuller, bookseller since 2007

“The absolute perfect introduction to the history of Vail for all ages! Large historical photographs compliment the simple verse style in this biography of Pete Seibert, the 10th Mountain Division and the founding of our home ski hill. A great family read-aloud!”

Best Picture Book

“What Would You Do with a Chance?” by Kobi Yamada

Recommended by Nicole Magistro and family

“This is a beautiful, inspirational book that we absolutely love. The symbolism touches young and old alike. It’s a beautiful story of reaching for your dreams and bearing the adversity along the way. An adventure awaits as one abandons fear and meets a chance!”