Looking for something to get out from your library this Christmas - or to buy for someone else? We've put together a list of the best books for adults that we've read this year. Most were published in 2014; some are simply books we discovered and loved.
Samantha Cox, communications manager
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (Faber & Faber)
"Hard to believe a book about depression (in its many forms) could be so uplifting. But this very warm, very funny book is ultimately about families and how literature and art can soothe the soul and shape our lives. OK, it's very sad, but it also made me laugh - how many books can achieve that?"
Rose Goddard, project manager, World Book Night
Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy, edited by Neil Astley (Bloodaxe)
"This year I've loved reading our wonderful World Book Night books for 2015. We thought really carefully about how best to get a broad, balanced and brilliant list. There's a real range of genres from crime, non-fiction, Quick Reads, fantasy, sci-fi, historical and contemporary fiction, and fiction in translation, and this year I'm beyond thrilled that we were able to include a wonderful poetry title, Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy, edited by Neil Astley and published by Bloodaxe."
Sharon Hardwick, programme manager, promotions
Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik (Penguin)
"This is a cross-over science book, something I wouldn't have even thought about reading, but it won the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science and after reading the first chapter I was hooked by his style of writing about our material world. His explanations are clear and he uses humour and real-life examples rather than jargon. I've bought another copy as a Christmas present."
Karen McPherson, programme co-ordinator, promotions
We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride (Simon & Schuster)
"An accomplished debut novel that was chosen as part of the Radio 2 Book Club in July. It is moving, touching, harrowing in places, but ultimately hopeful and uplifting, and shows a side to Las Vegas, of regular families and regular lives, that we rarely get to see."
Katy Mendham, programme co-ordinator, partnerships
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Fourth Estate)
"I was swept along by this brilliantly satisfying novel which tackles (among other things) race, the complexity of relationships and the question of where home is."
Sarah Moulding, PA/executive support manager
Lists of Note by Shaun Usher (Canongate)
"This follows the same premise as Letters of Note, but with lists. It's a really unique, varied collection of lists from Disney's brainstorm on names for his dwarves to Einstein's demands for his estranged wife. A brilliant one to pick up and put down at your leisure."
Juliana Oliver, programme co-ordinator, children's
True Grit by Charles Portis (Bloomsbury)
"A classic western with one of the most distinct and engaging female narrators I've come across in quite some time."
Harpreet Purewal, website editor and digital projects
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit (Granta)
"The title essay in this collection inspired the portmanteau 'mansplaining'. In the essay, which you can read online, Solnit unpacks the 'archipelago of arrogance' that invites women to be silent and the harmful effects of this on our survival, dignity and liberty."
Andrea Reece, consultant, children's programmes
Requiem by Berlie Doherty (Cybermouse Multimedia)
"This book by double Carnegie medal winner Doherty has just been resissued and is a wonderful read. It probes the tragic-comedy of Irish convent Catholicism with a rare power and sensitivity."
Sushmi Shyam, programme assistant - partnerships
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (Serpent's Tail)
"This book has had an amazing year - it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. It's dark, analytical, revelatory and will keep you in its grasp long after you turn the last page."
Sue Wilkinson, chief executive
"Here are a few of mine - I've deleted a lot to get it down to five!"
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Canongate)
Ghana Must Go by Selasi Taiye (Penguin)
God's Traitors, Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England by Jessie Childs (Bodley Head)
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi (Picador)
Elizabeth's Bedfellows: An intimate History of the Queen's Court by Anna Whitelock (Bloomsbury Paperbacks)
Laura Venning, evaluation and impact research manager
Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (Fourth Estate)
"A collection of autobiographical essays, in places funny, in places touching, and overall very readable."
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Take a look at our Reading Groups for Everyone website, full of recommended reads and tips on how to set up a reading group.