Yes, I know everyone is VERY excited about the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz
awards all announced yesterday. I like them too, but not for who wins. Rather, I get very excited that these are the only librarian generated awards lists that get the entire publishing world and even the regular person on the street excited about books awards. I am proud of my profession for being such an important part of the general pop culture conversation, at least for a few days each year.
However, those of us who work with adult readers also had much to be excited about yesterday, and it makes me sad that this news always gets lost in the shuffle. But, since I have a platform to discuss it, I can at least do something about it.
RUSA, the Reference Users Service Division of the ALA, announced many of their best lists. Here are the links for the Listen List
(best audio book narration with annotations and readalikes!) and the Notable Books List
(fiction and nonfiction).
But my favorite list by far is the Reading List. Here is the description of this honor
The Reading List annually recognizes the best books in eight genres: adrenaline (including suspense, thriller and adventure), fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction and women’s fiction. This year’s list includes novels that will please die-hard fans, as well as introduce new readers to the pleasures of genre fiction. Librarians can use the lists as resources for reader recommendations and collection development at their own libraries, or to build their personal to-be-read lists.
The "pleasures of genre fiction," are too often forgotten by "best lists." But we librarians know that those genre titles are what the vast majority of our readers are craving. The Reading List
is our only guidance to a general consensus of "the best" of all genres in one place, picked by our colleagues.
And this award list is EVEN BETTER because the committee includes the winner and provides backlist readalikes for that title as well as the standard runner-up titles. As a result for each genre, you get 8 reading options!!
This is an awards list you could use with a wide range of patrons; it is also a great collection development tool. Go check your catalog records to make sure you have the winner and the short-list titles. I do hope though that you have at least one copy of Gone Girl
See for yourself
. I have included the entire list below. You can also access the press release of the 2013 winners here
or past year's lists here
. For any of the other awards mention in this post, go back and use the embedded links above.
“Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (Crown, 9780307588364)
It’s her fifth wedding anniversary: where’s Amy? Assumptions are dangerous in this chilling psychological thriller. The dark and twisty plot, unbearable levels of tension, and merciless pacing will rivet readers.
“The Talented Mr. Ripley” by Patricia Highsmith
“Before I Go to Sleep” by SJ Watson
“Defending Jacob” by William Landay
“The Fear Artist” by Timothy Hallinan (Soho Crime, 9781616951122)
“Into The Darkest Corner” by Elizabeth Haynes (HarperCollins, 9780062197252)
“The Survivor” by Gregg Hurwitz (St. Martin’s Press, 9780312625511)
“The Inquisitor” by Mark Allen Smith (Henry Holt, 9780805094268)
“The Rook” by Daniel O’Malley (Little, Brown, 9780316098793)
When Myfanwy wakes up with no memory, surrounded by corpses, she must immediately impersonate herself in order to unravel the conspiracy at the heart of a secret supernatural intelligence agency. This offbeat debut combines the fast pacing and suspense of a thriller with the gritty, detailed world-building of urban fantasy.
“The Demi-Monde: Winter” by Rod Rees
“The Eyre Affair” by Jasper Fforde
“The Domino Men” by Jonathan Barnes
“The Troupe” by Robert Jackson Bennett (Orbit, 9780316187527)
“The Steel Seraglio” by by Mike Carey, Linda Carey, and Louise Carey (ChiZine, 9781926851532)
“The Killing Moon” by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit, 9780316187282)
“Alif the Unseen” by G. Willow Wilson (Grove, 9780802120205)
“Bring Up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel (Henry Holt, 9780805090031)
Ambitious royal advisor Thomas Cromwell is at the pinnacle of his power and uses it to subtly engineer the downfall of his enemies, including the Queen, Anne Boleyn, and her inner circle. This intricately plotted character study presents a fresh perspective on the ever popular Tudor Court.
“Mary, the Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley” by Alison Weir
“A Man for All Seasons” by Robert Bolt
“I, Claudius” by Robert Graves
“Sarah Thornhill” by Kate Grenville (Grove, 9780802120243)
“The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller (Ecco, 9780062060617)
“Sutton” by J.R.Moehringer (Hyperion, 9781401323141)
“The Cove” by Ron Rash (Ecco, 9780061804199)
“The Ritual” by Adam Nevill (St. Martin’s, 9780312641849)
In the remote forests of Sweden, the friendship between four men disintegrates when they wander off the hiking trail and find themselves stalked by an unseen and increasingly violent menace. “Blair Witch” meets black metal in this dark and suspenseful horror novel.
“The Ruins” by Scott Spencer
“Deliverance” by James Dickey
“Neverland” by Douglas Clegg
“Breed” by Chase Novak (Mullholland Books, 9780316198561)
“The Haunting of Maddy Clare” by Simone St. James (New American Library, 9780451235688)
“This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously Dude, Don’t Touch It” by David Wong (St. Martin’s Press, 9780312546342)
“The Return Man” by V. M. Zito (Orbit, 9780316218283)
“The Gods of Gotham” by Lyndsay Faye (Putnam, 9780399158377)
The discovery of a mass grave of child prostitutes spurs “copper star” Timothy Wilde to hunt a killer through the seamy underbelly of 1840s New York City. Colorful period slang enlivens this carefully researched story about the dawn of modern policing.
“The Yard” by Alex Grecian
“The Alienist” by Caleb Carr
“Gangs of New York” (film, Miramax, 2002)
“Don’t Ever Get Old” by Daniel Friedman (Putnam, 9780312606930)
“Trickster’s Point” by William Kent Krueger (Atria Books, 9781451645675)
“The Chalk Girl” by Carol O’Connell (Putnam, 9780399157745)
“The Beautiful Mystery” by Louise Penny (Minotaur, 9780312655464)
“Firelight” by Kristen Callihan (Grand Central, 9781455508594)
Bartered as a bride to the masked nobleman Benjamin Archer, Miranda Ellis – a woman with a supernatural secret – becomes his only defender when he is accused of a series of murders. This is a dark and smoldering Victorian paranormal where love redeems two complex and damaged characters.
“When Beauty Tamed” the Beast by Eloisa James
“Second Sight” by Amanda Quick
The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley
“The Black Hawk” by Joanna Bourne (Berkley, 9780425244531)
“At Your Pleasure” by Meredith Duran (Pocket Star, 9781451606959)
“Lucky in Love” by Jill Shalvis (Forever, 9781455503728)
“A Lady Awakened” by Cecelia Grant (Bantam, 9780553593839)
“Caliban’s War” by James S. A. Corey (Orbit, 9780316129060)
One wants control; one wants vindication; one wants his daughter back; and one wants revenge (and maybe a new suit). The shifting points of view of these four distinctive characters, an electrifying pace, and the threat of an evolving alien protomolecule propel readers through this grand space adventure.
“Hellhole” by Brian Herbert and Keven J. Anderson
“Gardens of the Sun” by Paul McAuley
“The Ghost Brigades” by John Scalzi
“The Hydrogen Sonata” by Iain M. Banks (Orbit, 9780316212373)
“11/22/63” by Stephen King (Scribner, 9781451627282)
“After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall” by Nancy Kress (Tachyon, 9781616960650)
“Exogene” by T.C. McCarthy (Orbit, 9780316128155)
“The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns” by Margaret Dilloway (Putnam, 9780399157752)
Galilee Garner’s carefully managed routine of teaching, rose breeding, and kidney dialysis is disrupted when her teenage niece moves in. Readers will root for the growth of this prickly character as she discovers the importance of cultivating human connections.
“Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout
“The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
“As Good as it Gets” (film, Columbia Tristar, 1997)
“Wife 22” by Melanie Gideon (Ballantine, 9780345527950)
“A Grown Up Kind of Pretty” by Joshilyn Jackson (Grand Central, 9780446582353)
“The Secret Keeper” by Kate Morton (Atria Books, 9781439152805)
“I’ve Got Your Number” by Sophie Kinsella (Dial Press, 9780385342063)
The winners were selected by the The Reading List Council: Megan McArdle, chair, Berkeley Public Library; Alicia Ahlvers, Kansas City Public Library; Stephanie Chase, Seattle Public Library; Craig Clark; Kathleen Collins, University of Washington; Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library; Gillian Speace, Novelist; Valerie Taylor, Great Falls Library; Kimberly Wells, Denton (Texas) Public Library; Jody Wurl, Hennepin County Library; and Michelle Young, Hawaii State Public Library System.