Media continue to hold sway in library collections, and the variety of products available will entice the visually and aurally obsessed to scout out new adventures and options. The best audiobooks of 2016 include a LibraryReads pick and an LJ Top Ten best book, while video features classics, top TV fare, and lots of O.J. Simpson. Civilization and Pokémon will get gamers psyched for action, with music favorites HOPELESSNESS, Lemonade, and Bruno Mars hitting all the right notes. We thank our reviewers and columnists for once again paring down a year’s worth of materials into their must-haves so their colleagues won’t have to.
LJ’s video reviewer/Fast Scans columnist Jeff T. Dick rounds up his favorite discs in a varied list that necessarily omits streaming-only titles from Netflix, Amazon, et al., and primarily favors recent releases over titles originally shown in the prior calendar year. Documentaries are limited to popular programs in lieu of arguably more worthy educational material. The biggest takeaway this year? Sixteen-plus hours—two miniseries—devoted to O.J. Simpson.
We thank our hardworking reviewers for coming up with a list of the top 20 audiobooks of the year, among them Tracy Chevalier’s hard-hitting At the Edge of the Orchard and Helen Oyeyemi’s interconnected tales in What Is Not Your Is Not Yours, as well as Jennifer Boylan’s story of her transition, She’s Not There, with an afterword written and read by Richard Russo, and Matthew Desmond’s LJ Top Ten Best Book Evicted, about precarious housing in Milwaukee.
Music columnists Robin Bradford and Steve Kemple score their Top Five albums of 2016, which include artists Beyoncé, Nick Cave, and Bruno Mars, along with a slew of Honorable Mentions to keep users glued to their devices. Will we ever see the end of Hamilton?
This year was a challenging year for games, gamers, and gaming everywhere, according to LJ’s gaming columnist M. Brandon Robbins. Some controversial releases that failed to deliver on developers’ promises cast a dark shadow on what would have otherwise been a stellar year. Fortunately, we still have a lot of great titles that came out in 2016, and they’re definite must-haves for your gaming collection. As you move into next year, be sure to pick up these essentials for your patrons to enjoy.