Sunday, February 05, 2012


I have officially accepted my appointment for the ALA RUSA Reading List book award committee and will be heading into year seven of continuous reading award committees. My understanding is that this indicates I may indeed have a book award addiction. People think I am addicted to getting books from the publisher but that isn't it. In fact, I love it when I can get ebook versions instead. What I am addicted to is the challenge of reading hundreds and hundreds of books every year and being force to expand my reading of new authors and types of books.

A friend pointed out I had not yet posted this years winners anywhere except Twitter so here they are. The 2011 Best Genre fiction of the year.

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 2012 List


*Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson, Harper Collins, (9780062060556)
Each morning, Christine wakes with no memory. From the clues she left herself, she tries to piece together her identity and sort lies from the truth. The unrelenting pace thrusts the reader into the
confusion of a waking nightmare in which revelations of her past lead to a frantic crescendo.


The Likeness by Tana French
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
Memento (Summit Entertainment, 2000)

Short List

Now You See Me by S. J. Bolton, St. Martin’s (9780312600525)
Spiral by Paul McEuen, Dial Press, (9780385342117)
The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill, Harper Collins, (9780062060747)
*You’re Next by Gregg Hurwitz, St. Martin’s, (9780312534912)


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, (9780385534635)
Le Cirque des Rêves is utterly unique, disappearing at dawn in one town only to mysteriously reappear in another. At the heart of the circus are two young magicians, involved in a competition neither completely understands. The dreamlike atmosphere and vivid imagery make this fantasy unforgettable.


Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Prestige (Touchstone Pictures, 2006)

Short List

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Little, Brown, (9780316134026) 
The Magician King by Lev Grossman, Viking, (9780670022311)
*The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, DAW, (9780756404734)
*Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, Angry Robot, (9780857660558)

Historical Fiction

*Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell, Random House, (9781400068043)
In the early days of Dodge City, a genteel, tubercular Southern dentist forges a friendship with the infamous Earp brothers. Combining historical details and lyrical language, this gritty psychological portrait of gunslinger Doc Holliday reveals how the man became the legend.


Deadwood by Pete Dexter
Etta by Gerald Kolpan
Gunman’s Rhapsody by Robert B. Parker

Short List

Bright and Distant Shores by Dominic Smith, Pocket Books, (9781439198865)
*Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman, Putnam, (9780399157851)
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, Viking, (9780670022694)
*The Sea Captain’s Wife by Beth Powning, Penguin, (9780452296954)


*The Ridge by Michael Koryta, Little, Brown, (9780316053662)
The unexplained death of an eccentric lighthouse keeper in the isolated Kentucky woods, followed by a mysterious threat to a nearby large cat sanctuary prompt an investigation by a journalist and the local sheriff. Palpable evil and a sense of dread drive this chilling tale.


The Dead Path by Stephen Irwin 
Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman
Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Short List

The Last Werewolf  by Glen Duncan, Knopf, (9780307595089)
The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian, Crown, (9780307394996)
*Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory, Del Rey, (9780345522375)
The White Devil by Justin Evans, Harper Collins, (9780061728273)


The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino, Minotaur, (9780312375065)
An introverted mathematician matches wits with a brilliant former colleague to protect the neighbor he secretly adores from a murder charge. Although the reader knows the murderer’s identity from the beginning, this unconventional Japanese mystery remains a taut psychological puzzle.


Out by Natsuo Kirino
Think of a Number by John Verdon
Sherlock (BBC, 2010-2012)

Short List

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran, Houghton, Mifflin, (9780547428499)
*Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill, Minotaur, (9780312564537)
*The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, Knopf, (9780307595867)
A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny, Minotaur, (9780312655457)


Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase, Avon, (9780061632686)
Ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirot will do almost anything to secure the patronage of the Duke of Clevendon’s intended bride. Neither her calculated business plan nor his campaign of seduction can withstand the force of their mutual attraction. Witty banter and strong-willed characters make this a memorable tale.


Dangerous in Diamonds by Madeline Hunter
The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
Untie My Heart by Judith Ivory

Short List

*Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison, Berkley, (9780425241509)
A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran, Pocket, (9781451606935)
My One And Only by Kristin Higgins, Harlequin, (9780373775576)
*When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James, Avon, (9780062021274)

Science Fiction

*Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, Orbit, (9780316129084)
The missions of a jaded cop and a dedicated ice hauler officer collide as the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. A mystery adds a noir touch to this space opera featuring deeply flawed yet heroic characters, non-stop action, and Earth versus Mars politics.


Up Against It by M. J. Locke
Pandora’s Star by Peter Hamilton
The Quiet War by Paul J. McAuley

Short List

Embassytown by China Miéville, Del Rey, (9780345524492)
The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi, Tor, (9780765329493)
*Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Crown, (9780307887436)
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan, Algonquin, (9781565126299)

Women’s Fiction

*The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh Ballantine, (9780345525543)
A former foster child struggles to overcome a past filled with abuse, neglect and anger. Communicating through the Victorian language of flowers allows her to discover hope, redemption and a capacity for love. Damaged, authentic characters create an emotional tension in this profoundly moving story.


Like Family by Paula McLain (NF)
The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys
White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Short List

*Deep Down True by Juliette Fay, Penguin, (9780143118510)
Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister, Putnam, (9780399157127)
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown, Putnam, (9780399157226)
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, Penguin, (9780141043760)

* My personal favorites from the list.