Happy New Year!

The end of the year is always a good time for reflection on this year's ups and downs and preparation for what is coming next in the new year. We often start the new year with big plans, plans designed to help us become better people, whether that is through diet, exercise, or other such resolutions. It's a time of hope for the future and what joys it might bring, a time to start over and try again, that the dawn of the new year might bring new and better prospects to our lives.

One of the most helpful things to reach for in this time of preparation and change is, unsurprisingly, a book. Books help us learn, expand our minds, and reach beyond ourselves to all the possibilities of what we could be. Self help books and diet books are popular around the new year, and it's no surprise considering how many people are looking for advice on how to improve themselves and their lives. But we shouldn't ignore the merits of a good story either, one that can take us outside of ourselves and give us a new perspective.

So as we watch the glow of fireworks to welcome in the new year and say farewell to the old, consider the books that have made an impact on your life this year. Think of the stories that have stayed with you, the characters you've cared for, the authors who drew you in and refused to let go. And think of the new stories that will soon be sitting on a bookstore shelf, waiting to catch your eye, new stories to fill your mind with new perspectives and new ideas. We at CHB can't wait to see what amazing new stories 2016 brings, and we hope you all have a happy new year!

Check out the CHB Staff's 2015 bookish year in review below to see our favorite books of the year (there were so many excellent choices that some of us had trouble narrowing it down to just one book!) as well as the books we're most looking forward to in the coming year!

Our Favorite Books We Read in 2015:

Michelle: 2015 was the year I remembered how much I love comics!

Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson

Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue Deconnick

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson

Victoria: I read lots of YA fantasy series this year, and these three easily topped my favorites list!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

John: I was so happy to be a part of this huge literary event both as a reader and a bookseller!   Hayley: I really enjoyed the humor of this book!

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee



The Martian by Andy Weir


Our Favorite Books to Handsell in 2015:

Michelle: I read The Martian early this year and loved being able to so enthusiastically recommend it to all types of readers! Victoria: I really enjoyed reading The Accident Season this year and spent many book fairs highly recommending it to junior high and high school students!

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

John: This is a tie between The Girl in the Spider's Web and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - half the times I recommended Spider's Web, the person had not yet read Dragon Tattoo (unbelievable!), and I had to have them fix that immediately! Hayley: Having just started working at the bookstore late in the year, I recently discovered the Pete the Cat books! I enjoyed recommending them to kids who love the fun artwork and the sing-along songs!

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues by Kimberly & James Dean


Books We're Most Looking Forward to in 2016:

Michelle: I'm so excited to share this beautiful book with everyone! I read this in practically one sitting! Victoria: 2016 is going to be a year of highly anticipated sequels for me! I have several I'm looking forward to, but having just started Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle, I'm most looking forward to the conclusion to this exciting series!

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

John: I'm really looking forward to reading the new Justin Cronin book coming in May! Hayley: I loved The Book Thief when I first read it, and I'm very excited for the 10th Anniversary edition coming out in 2016, especially since we'll be getting signed copies!

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

The Book Thief 10th Anniversary Edition by Markus Zusak