Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Year of Skippyjon Jones

When I picked Skippyjon Jones up last year at 8 weeks old I should have known I was doomed. Apart from the extreme cuteness factor, he immediately imprinted on me and wouldn't even go back to say goodbye to the lovely gentleman who bottle fed his litter until they were ready to be weaned. The rescue organization is guessing his birthday was October 18th so I thought I would do a year of Skippyjon Jones montage.

Although he is now almost full grown at twelve pounds, he is still crazy cute and probably the most personable cat I have ever owned. While he likes the big cats, he loves people and follows us around chatting all the time, begging us to play fetch or looking out the window guarding us from invaders. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Help with Horror!

I am trying to pull together a list of good examples of novels for all of the horror sub-genres. Below is the list of sub-genres I have pulled from different websites. Anyone have suggestions for additional sub-genres or for the "perfect" novel for one or more of the categories?

  1. Adrenaline                                                                            John Saul
  2. Adventure                                            Blood Oath              Christopher Farnsworth
  3. African-American                                Minion                     L.A. Banks   
  4. Alternate History                          World War Z                                          Max Brooks
  5. American Gothic/Surreal Horror
  6. Apocalyptic                                          The Passage           Justin Cronin 
  7. Biography/Memoir                      The Lighthouse at the End of the World -Stephen Marlowe
  8. Chick-lit                                              
  9. Christian/Inspirational                                 
  10. Classic                                                 The Tell-Tale Heart         Edgar Allan Poe  
  11. Contemporary                                    
  12. Creepy Kids                            Something Wicked This Way Comes - Bradbury
  13. Crime                                                  
  14. Cross/Multi-Genre
  15. Cutting Edge                                        Purity                     Dougless Clegg
  16. English Gothic/Haunted Houses       The Haunting of Hill House      Shirley Jackson
  17. Erotic                                                   Dark Seductions         Alfonsi and Scognamiglio
  18. Dark Fantasy
  19. Dark Fiction                                        
  20. Fabulist                                                Islands                                          Sara Stamey
  21. Ghost Stories                                       Ghost Story                                  Peter Straub
  22. Graphic                                                Start with the Feast             Graham Masterson
  23. Historical                                             Those Who Hunt the Night      Barbara Hambly
  24. History
  25. Humor                                                  Suck                                 Christopher Moore
  26. Hauntings                                            The Amityville Horror                Jay Anson       
  27. Inspirational                                         Monster                                        Frank Peretti
  28. Literary                                                House of Leaves                 Mark Z Danielewski
  29. LGBT                                                   Lost Souls                                    Poppy Z. Brite
  30. Lovecraftian                                        The Call of Cthulhu                 H.P. Lovecraft
  31. Medical                                                Coma                                               Robin Cook
  32. Mind Control                                        Donovan’s Brain                          Curt Siodmak
  33. Monsters                                              Frankenstein                               Mary Shelley
  34. Multicultural                                         The Ring                                          Koji Suzuki
  35. Mystery                                                                                                    F. Paul Wilson
  36. Natural History                                     The Fog                             James Herbert
  37. Noir                                                      The Midnight Road                         Tom Piccirilli
  38. Nonfiction                                           
  39. Paranormal                                                     
  40. Plays                                                   
  41. Poetry                                                  Sharp Teeth                                   Toby Barlow 
  42. Psychological                                     Heart-Shaped Box                                 Joe Hill
  43. Quirky                                                 
  44. Rampant Animals                               Cujo                                              Stephen King
  45. Rampant Technology                          Dead Lines                                       Greg Bear
  46. Romance                                              Prince of Wolves                     Susan Krinard  
  47. Saga                                                      Interview with a Vampire             Anne Rice
  48. Satanic Bargins                                   The Picture of Dorian Gray            Oscar Wilde
  49. Science Fiction                                    Infected                     Scott Sigler
  50. Soft/Quiet                                                                                              Charles L Grant
  51. Splatterpunk/Extreme                           The Drive-In                             Joe Lansdale 
  52. Steampunk                                                              
  53. Supernatural                                        I Am Legend                        Richard Matheson 
  54. Time Travel                                                 
  55. True Crime                                                                                                   John Farris
  56. Urban Fantasy                                      Storm Front                           Jim Butcher      
  57. Werewolf                                              St Peter’s Wolf                       Michael Cadnum
  58. Western                                               
  59. Women’s Lives                                    Bitten                           Kelley Armstrong            
  60. Young Adult                                         Monstrumologist                        Richard Yancy

Blowback: The Fifth of the Enzo Files by Peter May

Scottish forensic biologist, Enzo Macleod, has bet he can do what no one else has been able to do and solve seven famous unsolved cold cases from Roger Raffin’s celebrated book. Enzo has now solved four of the seven murders and is now investigating murder number five, the murder of France’s top chef, Marc Fraysse. Brutally murdered on the eve of an important announcement amid rumors that he was about to lose his coveted four star Michelin rating leads to discoveries of everything from professional jealousy to adultery as a motive for murder and also opens old wounds from Enzo’s own past.

This is a mystery for Iron Chef crowd and the mystery puzzle enthusiasts alike. Solid mystery elements and a complicated puzzle make this book a winner.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Midnight Movie by Tobe Hooper and Alan Goldsher

Tobe Hooper has been invited to speak at the opening for a movie he made as a teenager. The problem, he doesn’t remember anything about the movie. After a small group of fans watch the movie at South by Southwest they start to become...strange. Soon the entire country is being affected by this strange epidemic manifesting is sexual obsession, violence, madness and yes, there are even zombies. When Tobe becomes aware that this began after watching his movie, he races to find the answers and save civilization.

Blog posts, twitter updates and email give this splatterpunk grindhouse style novel a fresh modern spin.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

You Are Too Old to Wear That!

Last week I was told I was too old to wear t-shirts with anything printed on them. Plain tee's are all that are left for me. When I questioned the rule, I was told because I didn't immediately tell them to mind their own business I didn't "own my choices" and that proved I shouldn't be wearing them. Until that moment in time it had never occurred to me that people might think I was trying too hard to look young by wearing a t-shirt with a SF saying on it or a wine comment. They just made me laugh and I just thought my other SF friends would get a kick out of it. Will I wear the T-Shirts again? Yes. Will I ever feel as happy wearing them as I did before? No. No matter how much I say other people's opinions don't matter, there will always be a small part of me that wonders who is judging my outfit and deciding I don't measure up.

The problem with rules like this is they seemed designed to punish people who don't do it right. I want my clothing choices and fashion moments to reflect my personality in a unique way, not make me more grown-up, dignified, fashionable or appropriate. I want to be able to be silly and quirky and fun, especially during my non-work hours and I truly don't understand how that can be defined by age. Although I do enjoy reading the fashion magazines I am tired of rules made up by some mythical fashion police. I am tired of conversations designed to judge clothing errors instead of complimenting what someone is doing right. I don't want to be one of those women who drags other women down instead of supports and encourages them. Women have it hard enough without having to worry about unwritten arbitrary rules for how they dress.  This is why I will never find the People of Walmart blog funny but instead will always wonder how the person profiled feels when they find they have been highlighted there and wish I could give them a hug. I am done participating in conversations that make fun of strangers clothing and I am done tearing other people down so I can feel better about my questionable clothing choices.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Exclusively Yours

Exclusively Yours - I have been having really good luck with new authors and e-books lately. When Keri Daniels boss finds out that reclusive author, Joe Kowalski, was a high school boyfriend, she demands that Keri get an exclusive interview... or lose her job. Of course, nothing is that easy. Joe and his entire family still hold a grudge because Keri chose a career after high school instead of marrying Joe and living happily ever after.

What I liked about this novel was how well adjusted and happy Joe's family was. He has great parents, siblings he loves and although there are problems, they talk them out and basically act like nice people who love each other. It was also nice to see girls enjoying "boy activities" like camping and four-wheeling. I do love my shoe shopping but it is nice to see some diversity in the kinds of activities women can and do enjoy.

My one quibble with this book is why Keri was so attached to such a crappy job with a crappy boss. I would have immediately started sending out resumes when it became clear the interview would cost a happy ending. It isn't like she was in a profession that wouldn't allow telecommuting after all.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My latest E-Read Reviews

Sweet as Sin - This morning on Twitter I was discussing this novel with a fellow romance reader. I enjoyed this tremendously because I thought Inez did a good job at creating a truly tortured hero. (Please note, I enjoy tortured heroes in literature. In real life they are not so much fun to date.) My fellow reader thought there were too many plot lines that distracted from the romance. While I do agree with my fellow reader, I do think this author does a good job at creating characters I care about.

John Murphy is a children's book author who uses his writing to manage the nightmares that still haunt him. His past has truly damaged his ability to trust and, if it weren't for his sister, he might have not learned to love at all. The heroine must get past some really unacceptable boyfriend behavior and learn to accept the less than perfect parts of this hero. Please note that he is in no way abusive in this book but instead uses emotional distance to protect himself. Abusive behavior is not something I want to read in my romance novels.

My final recommendation is to pick up this author if you enjoy fresh new voices who create compelling characters. If you read for plot, you may want to pass on this offering and try her again later when she has fine tuned her voice.

Phoenix Rising - I do love a good steam punk novel and this was a fun addition to my library. Once again, what I loved most about this novel was the hero. From the product description "Evil is most assuredly afoot—and Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade . . . and a librarian." Now how could I not pick this one up! Wellington Books is happy with his job as an archivist for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences until agent Eliza D. Braun drags him kicking and screaming into mystery and mayhem. Wellington was a joy to read about because he was deceptively mild mannered and ineffectual and his skills and talents are constantly being overlooked by his coworkers. As the book progresses however, the reader becomes more and more aware of how special he is. I found him a great hero that I wanted to get to know more about.

Eliza was a bit more problematic for me. I found her character a bit flat and would have liked to see more development of her less obvious flamboyant traits. Hopefully future novels will more fully develop her character.  All-in-all, if you like steam punk I would recommend picking up a copy of this new series.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I have a new foster kitten that has been staying with me but will be off to the adoption store soon, much to the dismay of SkippyJon Jones. He is lobbying quite hard for us to keep him. I have explained over and over about the reputation I am getting as a crazy cat lady but he seems blithely unconcerned about my my future dating prospects.

Meanwhile, Beetlejuice is settling in nicely and doesn't seem inclined to leave home either. He spends his days following SJJ around doing everything he does. To adopt this little guy fill out an application on this page. http://www.tarasdream.org/animals/detail?AnimalID=3493961

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Life Changes....Damn It!

I always hate it when bloggers post to say how very busy they have been but they promise to blog more in the future....so I won't say that. However, it is true to say that I have been quite busy lately. This is because of visits to family, library conferences in New Orleans and because my friends have not learned to schedule their major life changes in a way that is more convenient for me.

I have three friends moving this month. My best friend has already moved to California and his wife is moving there at the end of this month. It was kind of a two for one deal and I must say, losing two friends at once makes me very unhappy. Truly I am so happy Keith and Janet are pursuing their dream and I know they will love it but, but... what about me? Consequently, I am now in the market for new best friends and also, someone who will come get me if I break down on the side of the road at 2 am, who will come over and rake my leaves in the fall, who will remind me I need haircuts and then actually do it for me and who will indulge my passion for geeky board games. These roles may, or may not, be filled by the same applicant. Pay will be in books, lots and lots of books.

About three weeks later my friend Erin announced she is moving to Chicago. Once again, it is a fabulous job opportunity and it will be so much fun for her but I will miss her as well. The successful applicant for her position will go shopping with me, listen to my dating angst, oooh and awww over new kittens and help me brainstorm about work. Ideally this applicant should have an MLS or, at the very least, work in a library setting. She must also have impeccable taste in clothing and accessories.

Between Janet freaking out about packing and Erin freaking out about packing and me freaking out about them packing I am finding it difficult to find time for the little things. For example, another friend had her baby this week and I am still struggling to find a time to head over to her place to visit the baby and take tiny books to start her off right.

I am however booked to go to a house warming party for Brent, who has just purchased his first home, despite all my warnings.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Animal Rescue Alliance

Recently T.A.R.A., the animal rescue group I volunteer with, has suffered a setback and needs money quite badly to continue functioning. Below is their description of what has happened. I have gone ahead and installed a donation widget over to the right so that you can give a little help if you are so inclined.

Tara's Dream

Reduced adoption fees on all of our dogs in boarding.
Regular adoption fee is $150.
See Available Dogs

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we were set to lose our boarding facility on June 23; however, we have been given a small extension. There are 10 dogs left at our current location who need to be placed in temporary foster care or adopted into a new home as soon as possible.

We had found a new building to relocate our office and boarding facility, but it has fallen through. We are desperate for a new location! We need to continue to raise money to fund the relocation, construction, and purchase of supplies (including kennels, fencing, etc.) so we can get back to our mission of saving the homeless animals of Kansas City.

If you can help by fostering, donating your time or supplies, please contact us at email@tarasdream.org. If you can help with a monetary donation, please contribute to our Save TARA fund.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Romance Genre Study

Right now I am working on finding books within the Romance genre for a genre studies class and am needing some feedback from the Romance readers in the crowd. I am trying to find one book that does a good job of illustrating a subgenre AND will appeal to non-romance readers. I also want a combination of old and new titles.

Here is what I have right now. Please make comments if you think of additional categories, different books, better books or even just your personal favorite books. There are a few books I have used in other genre studies handouts so I am leaving some obvious choices (J.D. Robb) off the list.

Adventure Romance
African-American - Heart’s Secret by Adrianne Byrd
Category (Series) - Stranded with her Ex by Jill Sorenson
Chick-lit -Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes
Christian/Inspirational - Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren
Classic - Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer
Comedy - The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
Contemporary - Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Fantasy - Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughn
Futuristic - Driven by Eve Kenin
Gothic - Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
Historical - Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale
Interracial Romance - The Color of Love by Sandra Kitt
LGBT - Shining in the Sun by Alex Beecroft
Mainstream - Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
Menage a trois - Menage by Emma Holly
Military - Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann
Novel With Strong Romantic Elements     
Paranormal - Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Regency (Historical) - Marrying the Royal Marine by Carla Kelly
Romantic Suspense - Mr Perfect by Linda Howard
Romantica (Erotica Romance) - Coming Undone by Lauren Dane
Science Fiction - Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair
Steampunk - Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Sweet - Mrs Mike by Benedict Freedman & Nancy Freedman
Time Travel - Outlander by Diana Galadon
Urban Fantasy - Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
Western (Historical) - Always to Remember by Lorriane Heath
Yaoi (highly romanticized gay romance)
Young Adult

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I am getting a roommate. After a couple of years with no raise at either job, rising costs of, well, everything and a deep desire to stop working the second job at some point in my future is making me get more serious about financial planning. So I have been on a mad cleaning spree to get the house ready for her arrival and a few things have become apparent.

1. I have a very small wardrobe of clothes that are in good repair, fit right and are not dull as dishwater. My favorite person to swap clothes with could not attend my latest clothing/stuff (some silly excuse about now living in Iowa) and so I didn't net much in the way of goodies this time around. My apathy about shopping, my lack of non-work free time, my lack of enthusiasm for current clothing trends (really, who looks good in a blouse shaped like a bubble?) and my small budget have contributed to this sorry state.

2. I do not have one working flashlight in this house. This seems odd to me given my father and sister's obsession with buying family members flashlights. Does this mean they don't love me as much as they do each other? I mean I know Grandma and my nephew outrank me in the lifeboat but really, I am beginning to think I will be the first to get tossed if the boat starts to sink.

3. On the other hand, I have not been able to match the number of books going out of this house with the number of books coming in. This is a cardinal rule in the library business. Buy a new book, something has to go. I have not been a good steward of my bookshelf resources so I have boxed up a bunch and off they will go to the library booksale, the Half Price store or a womens shelter somewhere nearby.

4. I also seem to have a large number of large stockpots (just in case). If they weren't such good quality I would definitely donate them but I am waffling. Waffling when weeding is very unlike me so I am assuming I have developed an unhealthy attachment to stockpots. I may be seeking mental health help soon.

5. Three is a lot of cats. When the roommate comes there will be four. The good news is this means that I will no longer be the crazy cat lady because, while I have doubled the number of people, I have not doubled the number of cats. Now there are only two cats per person in my household. (Fosters don't count since they are only visiting.) Another sign I am not a crazy cat lady yet...I have also not resorted to creating cat hair sculpture in an effort to get a new Furminator like some people I know cough...Average Jane. Not that I wouldn't consider it. Those things are awesome but not exactly on my new finance conscious budget.

6. I found two rings I loved hidden in a kitchen cabinet. I remember taking them off before I went to Honduras four years ago and hiding them "somewhere a robber wouldn't look for them" if I was burgled while I was gone. Apparently I picked a good place because I certainly couldn't find them. On the other hand, if burglers wanted my 10 year old TV bad enough to drag it out of the house without my 90 year old neighbor noticing they were welcome to it.

7. I am going back to a world with cable in it, assuming the engineers cam find my house since I do not exist in the UVerse world. The new roommate seems to care about cable so in it goes. I am not that excited about it creeping back into my world but I am excited about wifi'ing up the house and having access to the Intertubez again.

That is it for now. Anyone else spring cleaning and if so, can I come shop at your house?
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kitten playing fetch

Just another chance to show how much cuter my kitten is than everyone elses.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Foster Kittens

It looks like I will be getting a litter of three new foster kittens and possibly one extra.  It will be interesting to see how Skippyjon Jones reacts to having a bit of competition for my time and attention.

On a positive note, Spike is finally starting to relax around Skippyjon Jones (and yes, I must write out his entire name or it isn't as funny.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Unveiled by Courtney Milan

Margaret Dalrymple has had everything taken from her by Ash Turner including her home, her family and her good name. Unaware of her identity, Ash moves into her family home and mistakes Margaret for her father’s nurse. She is bound and determined to seek revenge but as she gets to know Ash and his family, she starts to care for them and has to make a choice, revenge or a chance at love.

This book has one of my least favorite plots, the "destroy the family of the one who did me/mine wrong". But in this case, the author makes it work. She provides a nice twist by having a caretaker type hero be the one seeking revenge. Instead of coming across as dark and brooding he comes across as caring, kind and, with his own secret to make him venerable. His absolute faith in the heroine is touching and somehow believable.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another "Best of" list I did for work

If you read romance, you might find a book on this list you will enjoy.... http://www.kclibrary.org/blog/kc-unbound/thirteen-best-romance-novels-2010

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Foster Kitten News

It is entirely possible one of my current foster kittens might become a permanent member of my household. I am currently calling him SkippyJonJones after a children's book character. Tell me, could you resist this face?
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Reading List Press Release

* My personal favorites

The Reading List

Established in 2007 by the CODES section of RUSA, The Reading List seeks to highlight outstanding genre fiction that merit special attention by general adult readers and the librarians who work with them.
The Council, which consists of twelve librarians who are experts in readers’ advisory and collection development, selects one book from each of eight different categories. The eight genres currently included in the council’s considerations are adrenaline titles (suspense, thrillers, and action adventure), fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, and women’s fiction. However, the Council is constructed in such a way to be adaptable to new genres and changes in contemporary reading interest.
The Council announces the eight winning titles at the CODES Awards Reception. A short list of honor titles (up to four per genre) is also announced. All selected titles are published on the RUSA Web site following the event.
Members interested in serving on The Reading List Council should read about serving on the Council.
Authors or publishers interested in having their book considered for The Reading List should review the selection criteria and the submission guidelines.

The 2011 List


The Nearest Exit*The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer, Minotaur Books (9780312622879)
Burned-out spy Milo Weaver confronts layers of deceit as his career collides with his desire to reclaim his family and his humanity. The labyrinthine intrigues enhance a building atmosphere of paranoia in this dark and emotionally-charged classic espionage thriller.


The Quiet American by Graham Greene
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carré
Night Soldiers by Alan Furst

Short List

*Caught by Harlan Coben, E. P. Dutton (9780525951582)
*Crashers by Dana Haynes, Minotaur (9780312599881)
*Deep Shadow by Randy Wayne White, Putnam Pub. Group (9780399156267)
They’re Watching by Gregg Hurwitz, St. Martin’s (9780312534905)


Under Heaven*Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay, Roc (9780451463302)
Haunted by the ghosts of fallen warriors, Shen Tai is forced into the political machinations of the Emperor’s court when he receives a rare and valuable gift. Lyrical language and complex characterization draw readers into this elaborately unfolding epic set in a fantasy world that richly re-imagines 8th century Tang Dynasty China.


Black Ships by Jo Graham
Genghis: Birth of an Empire by Conn Iggulden
The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre

Short List

Finch by Jeff VanderMeer, Underland Press (9780980226010)
The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman, Tor Books (9780765325525)
*The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin, Orbit (9780316043915)
*Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton, Spectra (9780345520845)

Historical Fiction

The Invisible Bridge (Vintage Contemporaries)*The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, Alfred A. Knopf (9781400041169)
In this sweeping yet intimate portrait of a Hungarian Jewish family in Europe, two lovers become enmeshed in the turmoil of the Holocaust. With gorgeous prose and an exquisite evocation of Paris and Budapest, Orringer writes movingly of their strength and the bittersweet power of hope and love.


Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell

Short List

A Battle Won by S. Thomas Russell, Putnam (9780399156892)
*A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer, HarperCollins (9780061252518)
*The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon, Alfred A. Knopf (9780307593993)
The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Gunning, Morrow (9780061782145)


The Dead Path*The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin, Doubleday (9780385533430)
Guilt ridden Nicholas Close retreats to his family home in Australia after the tragic death of his wife, only to encounter an ancient malevolence lurking in the nearby woods. Childhood nightmares and fairytale motifs combine in this emotionally powerful tale of implacable evil. Arachnophobes beware!


It by Stephen King
Faerie Tale: A Novel of Terror and Fantasy
by Raymond Feist
Dark Hollow
by Brian Keene

Short List

The Caretaker of Lorne Field by David Zeltserman, Overlook (9781590203033)
*The Frenzy Way
by Gregory Lamberson, Medallion Press (9781605421070)
*Horns by Joe Hill, William Morrow (9780061147951)
So Cold the River
by Michael Koryta, Little Brown (9780316053648)


Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novels)*Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny, Minotaur (9780312377045)
Troubled by past mistakes, Chief Inspector Gamache, in his sixth outing, retreats to snowy and insular Quebec City where he becomes embroiled in intertwining investigations both old and new. Penny expertly delivers a layered story that is haunting, moody, and exquisitely drawn.


A Test of Wills by Charles Todd
Haunted Ground by Erin Hart
In the Bleak Midwinter
by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Short List

Faithful Place by Tana French, Viking (9780670021871)
The Taken
by Inger Ash Wolfe, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (9780151013531)
*Think of a Number
by John Verdon, Crown (9780307588920)
*Vermilion Drift
by William Kent Krueger, Simon & Schuster (9781439153840)


A Matter of Class*A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh, Vanguard Press (9781593155544)
A lady is ruined. A merchant’s son is trapped. Class differences loom large in this charming and playful take on the arranged marriage. Balogh’s Regency gem, where nothing is quite as it seems, is filled with affection and wit.


Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer
In for a Penny
by Rose Lerner
The Viscount Who Loved Me
by Julia Quinn

Short List

Barely a Lady by Eileen Dreyer, Hachette (Forever) (9780446542081)
The Forbidden Rose
by Joanna Bourne, Berkley (9780425235614)
*The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook, Berkley (9780425236673)
*Something About You by Julie James, Berkley Sensation (9780425233382)

Science Fiction

The Dervish HouseThe Dervish House by Ian McDonald, Pyr (9781616142049)
A terrorist bomb sets off a chain of events that, over the next five days, entangles the lives of six characters. McDonald brilliantly imagines a world in which the ultramodern exists side-by-side with the ancient, and he blends science and mysticism to embody the contradiction that is Istanbul in 2027.


Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
When Gravity Fails
by George Alec Effinger
The Windup Girl
by Paolo Bacigalupi

Short List

Ark by Stephen Baxter, ROC (9780451463319)
*Blonde Bombshell by Tom Holt, Hachette (9780316086998)
*Darkship Thieves by Sarah Hoyt, Baen (9781439133170)
*The Lifecycle of Software Objects
by Ted Chiang, Subterranean Press (9781596063174)

Women’s Fiction

Solomon's Oak: A Novel*Solomon’s Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson, Bloomsbury (9781608193301)
Recently widowed Glory Solomon collects stray animals and damaged souls. Facing bankruptcy, she creates a new life catering themed weddings. This deeply felt yet unsentimental novel explores grief, healing, and second chances.


Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch by Marsha Moyer
The Blessings of the Animals
by Katrina Kittle

Short List

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen, Bantam (9780553807219)
The Language of Sand
by Ellen Block, Bantam Books (9780440245759)
The Love Goddess’ Cooking School
by Melissa Senate, Gallery (9781439107232)
*Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff, Bantam (9780553807837)