LJ Best Books 2017

It's time again for LJ’s annual Top Ten Best Books of the year, selected by our editors, as well as Top Five lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry and literature, graphic novels, and SELF-e titles.   SEE WHO MADE THE LIST

Best Books 2015: Graphic Novels

Out on the wireAbel, Jessica (text & illus.). Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio. Broadway: Crown. ISBN 9780385348430. pap. $17. COMMUNICATION/MEDIA
Abel reports with visual finesse the complicated creative process behind public radio journalism. Drawing on research and interviews relating to Snap Judgment and seven other shows, she illustrates how ideas, character, story structure, voice, and editing fit together. These techniques apply to all storytelling, regardless of medium. Indispensable for communications collections and for anyone considering a career in media. (LJ 11/15/15)—MC

Hayden, Jennifer (text & illus.). The Story of My Tits. Top Shelf. ISBN 9781603090544. pap. $29.99. MEMOIR
Hayden combines coming of age with coming of illness to chronicle family loves and lives. She and her mother both survive breast cancer, while the girlfriend of her husband’s dad dies of it, and her husband’s mom from lung cancer. With poignantly detailed drawings, Hayden reveals life’s chaotic backdrop as people adjust to change—in social mores, romantic ties, and health. (LJ 9/1/15)—MC

McCloud, Scott (text & illus.). The Sculptor. First Second. ISBN 9781596435735. $29.99. F
Down-and-out sculptor David Smith’s childhood dream for an artistic superability comes true, at a price: he has only 200 days to use it, and then he’ll die. But his plans for this time don’t include falling for an aspiring actress. A heartbreaking story of love, loss, and the meaning of creativity; a masterpiece with rare depth, resonance, and humanity.—SR

Roca, Paco (text & illus.). Wrinkles. Knockabout. tr. from French by Nora Goldberg. ISBN 9780861662371. pap. $19.95. F
Emile scams his neighbors, ­Joseph believes himself a foreign legionnaire, and Mrs. Rose thinks she’s riding the Orient Express. And these are the saner residents of the facility in which Ernest has been placed owing to early Alzheimer’s. This distressing yet humorous story offers an empathetic glimpse of the brave humanity of aging people and the challenges in caring for them. (LJ 5/15/15)—MC

Stevenson, Noelle (text & illus.). Nimona. Harper Teen. ISBN 9780062278234. $17.99. F
A heroic villain, a dishonest hero, and a lovable shape-shifter clash unpredictably in a satire of both sword-and-sorcery clichés and real-world totalitarian regimes. Stylish color art, the humorous fantasy/sf mashup, and complex characters make this picaresque fable appealing across age groups. (LJ 11/15/15; SLJ 4/15)—MC