All throughout 2016, the ten of us on the GNB team — Lindsey Mead, Nina Badzin, Jess Vealitzek, Hallie Sawyer, Stacey Loscalzo, Pamela Hunt Cloyd, Katie Noah Gibson, Julia Munroe Martin, Jessica Flaxman, and Jennifer King — have read a lot of books! Some of us make notes in margins when we read or write down quotes we love from books we read in 2016. This week, we want to share them here at with you!

We worked hard to each try and pick our favorite book from 2016 (last week’s post). Between the ten of us, we’ve read over 400 books this year. It hasn’t been an easy task to choose just one favorite line apiece. But after long deliberation, these are our favorite lines from books read in 2016 …



Lindsey’s pick: 

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates



My work is to give you what I know of my particular path while allowing you to walk your own. – Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

To be alive is by definition messy, always leaning towards disorder and surprise. How we open or close to the reality that we never arrive at safe enduring stasis is the matter, the raw material, of wisdom. – Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise

I can’t choose between them!

Read more from Lindsey by clicking here.

Lindsey can also be found on Twitter @lemead.


Nina’s pick: 

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

IN OTHER WORDS by Jhumpa Lahiri


“If I want to understand what moves me, what confuses me, what pains me–everything that makes me react, in short–I have to put it into words. Writing is my only way of absorbing and organizing life. Otherwise it would terrify me, it would upset me too much.

What passes without being put into words, without being transformed and, in a certain sense, purified by the crucible of writing, has no meaning for me. Only words that endure seem real. They have a power, a value superior to us.” ~ Jhumpa Lahiri, In Other Words


Read more from Nina by clicking here.

Nina can also be found on Twitter @ninabadzin.


Jess’s pick: 

The Ancient Minstrel by Jim Harrison




“In a lifetime of walking in the woods, plains, gullies, mountains I have found that the body has no more vulnerable sense than being lost…it’s the best state of mind for a writer whether in the woods or the studio…you have acquired humility by accident. Feeling bright-eyed, confident, and arrogant doesn’t do this job unless you’re writing the memoir of a narcissist. You are far better off being lost in your work and writing over your head. You don’t know where you are as a point of view unless you go beyond yourself.” – Jim Harrison, The Ancient Minstrel

Read more from Jess by clicking here.

Jess can also be found on Twitter @jessvealitzek.


Stacey’s pick: 

A Little Life


A LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanagihara

“You won’t understand what I mean now, but someday you will: the only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you are—not smarter, not cooler, but kinder, and more generous, and more forgiving—and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and to try to listen to them when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad—or good—it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well.”― Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life

Read more about Stacey by clicking here.

Stacey can also be found on Twitter @staceyloscalzo.


Pamela’s pick: 

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

FATES AND FURIES by Lauren Groff

Grief is for the strong who use it as fuel for burning. – Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff

Read more from Pamela by clicking here.

Cathy can also be found on Twitter @pamelahuntcloyd.


Katie’s pick: 

Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett


BECOMING WISE by Krista Tippett


Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)

is the human voice,

and are we not of interest to each other?

These lines by Elizabeth Alexander (from her poem “Ars Poetica #100: I Believe”) appear in Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett. In a year when our world seems especially plagued by violence, fear and hatred, these words have kept ringing in my head over and over again.

Read more from Katie by clicking here.

Katie can also be found on Twitter @katiengibson.


Julia’s pick: 



ANOTHER BROOKLYN by Jacqueline Woodson


“My mother had not believed in friendships among women. She said women weren’t to be trusted. Keep your arm out, she said. And keep women a whole other hand away from the farthest tips of your fingernails. She told me to keep my nails long. But as I watched Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi walk past our window, I was struck with something deeply unfamiliar—a longing to be a part of who they were, to link my own arm with theirs and remain that way. Forever.”  Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn

Read more from Julia by clicking here.

Julia can also be found on Twitter @jmunroemartin.


Jessica’s pick: 

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by Elizabeth Strout


In My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, Lucy narrates that when she was in the hospital after having her appendix removed, she would watch from the window and see women on the pavement below:

“their blouses rippling in the breeze. I thought how when I got out of the hospital I would never again walk down the sidewalk without giving thanks for being one of those people, and for many years I did that — I would remember the view from the hospital window and be glad for the sidewalk I was walking on.”

This resonated with me — both the gratitude and the sadness of those who have been sick but are now well.

Read more from Jessica by clicking here.

Jessica can also be found on Twitter @msflaxman.


Jennifer’s pick: 





“I refuse to assume a long, dreary life. I would prefer to spend every last penny, if need be … I would place all my faith in something mysterious and joyful and surprising, even if it fails me in the end. And well it might. I have sense enough to know that I might delude myself, that in all likelihood this lies beyond my ability and artistry, perhaps beyond my faith, but then I think of Allen and know precisely what he would say — nothing is impossible. Take on step, and then another, and see where the path leads. Don’t think of the obstacles, only the way around them.” — Sophie Forrester, To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

Read more from Jennifer by clicking here.

She can also be found on Twitter @JenniferLynKing.


At GNB, we’re delighted to say we’ve officially recommended 52 great books in 2016, which means we have over 200 books we think you’ll love to read here on our site. Please browse our archives and find a few books to add to your to-read stack. And subscribe (on the right sidebar) to our weekly email to receive each new weekly recommendation direct in your inbox.

More than anything, we enjoy getting to share and talk great books with you. We’re glad you’re here with us!

For You: We’d love to hear about the favorite line from a book you’ve read in 2016 (old or new) — please share your best lines and book with us in the comments below. Thank you for joining us this year at GNB!