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Readers’ advisory experts announce 2016 Reading List: Year’s best in genre fiction for adult readers

BOSTON—The Reading List Council has announced the 2016 selections of the Reading List, an annual best-of list comprised of eight different fiction genres for adult readers. A shortlist of honor titles was also announced. The list was announced today during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting held in Boston.

The 2016 selections are:

Adrenaline

Winner
“Pretty Girls: A Novel” by Karin Slaughter. William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins.
Three sisters are driven apart in the aftermath of one’s disappearance. When a violent crime occurs new fears arise and relationships shift again. Long term effects of family grief are exploited by the compulsions of a psychopath. Brutal and disturbing, this is ultimately a story of love and empowerment.

Read alikes
“Jack Caffery” series by Mo Hayder. Atlantic Monthly.
“The Hand that Feeds You” by A.J. Rich. Scribner.
“Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn. Crown/Shaye Areheart.

Short List
“The Cartel” by Don Winslow. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
“Descent: A Novel” by Tim Johnston. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
“The Killing Lessons” by Saul Black. St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan Publishers.
“Palace of Treason: a Novel” by Jason Matthews. Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Fantasy

Winner
“Uprooted” by Naomi Novik. Del Rey, an imprint of Ballantine Books.
In this enchanted old-world fable, villagers threatened by a blighted magical wood allow the resident wizard to take one daughter into servitude for ten years. When he chooses klutzy Agnieszka, she faces an unexpected future and confronts the dangers of a wider political world and the roots of magical corruption.

Read alikes
“The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker. Harper.
“Tearling”  trilogy by Erika Johansen. Harper.
“Wild Girl” by Kate Forsyth. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne.

Short List
“The Aeronaut’s Windlass: The Cinder Spires” by Jim Butcher. Roc, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
“A Darker Shade of Magic” by V. E. Schwab. Tor Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.
“The Fifth Season: The Broken Earth: Book One” by N. K. Jemisin. Orbit, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company.
“Sorcerer to the Crown” by Zen Cho. Ace Books, an imprint of The Berkley Publishing Group.

Historical Fiction

Winner
“Crooked Heart: A Novel” by Lissa Evans. Harper.
Raised by his eccentric ex-suffragette godmother to be a free-thinker, young Noel is thrown into chaos when the London Blitz forces him into the home of a scam artist loyal only to her layabout son. Thrust together, the two oddballs are forced to find a way through the wartime landscape.

Read alikes
“All Clear” (#1) and “Blackout” (#2) by Connie Willis. Spectra Books.
“Night Watch by Sarah Waters. Riverhead.
“Paper Moon” (movie, Paramount, 1973).

Short List
“Jam on the Vine: a Novel” by LaShonda Katrice Barnett. Grove Press.
“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. St. Martin’s Press.
“Paradise Sky” by Joe R. Lansdale. Mulholland Books, a division of Little, Brown and Company.
“The Truth According to Us: a Novel” by Annie Barrows. The Dial Press.
“Girl Waits with Gun” by Amy Stewart. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Horror

Winner
“The Fifth House of the Heart: A Novel” by Ben Tripp. Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster.
Flamboyant antiques dealer Asmodeus “Sax” Saxon-Tang made his fortune by accidentally killing a vampire with a horde of treasure. To protect the only person he loves, his niece, he’s forced to return to old Europe to assemble an eccentric team of vampire hunters in this gory, witty caper.

Read alikes
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (TV, Mutant Enemy Productions, 1997-2003)
“Parasol Protectorate” (#1) series by  Gail Carriger. Orbit.
“Stoker’s Manuscript” by Royce Prouty. G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Short List
“A Head Full of Ghosts” by Paul Tremblay. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.
“Little Girls” by Ronald Malfi. Kensington Publishing Corp.
“The Silence” by Tim Lebbon. Titan Books.
“When We Were Animals: a Novel” by Joshua Gaylord. Mulholland Books, a division of Little, Brown and Company.

Mystery

Winner
“The Long and Faraway Gone” by Lou Berney. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Cold cases cast a twenty-five year shadow of grief and guilt on the lives of two survivors of traumatic teenage crimes. New leads and new cases bring them back to Oklahoma City as past and present intersect in this poignant and compelling story of lives forever changed by random violence.

Read alikes
“Case Histories” by Kate Atkinson. Little, Brown.
“In the Woods” by Tana French. Viking.
“Mystic River” by Dennis Lehane. Morrow.

Short List
“Gun Street Girl: a Detective Sean Duffy Novel” by Adrian McKinty. Seventh Street Books.
“Land of Careful Shadows” by Suzanne Chazin. Kensington Books.
“Last Ragged Breath” by Julia Keller. Minotaur Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.
“Little Black Lies” by Sharon Bolton. Minotaur Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.

Romance

Winner
“Taking the Heat” by Victoria Dahl. HQN, Harlequin Books.
Sassy relationship advice columnist Veronica overcomes her commitment anxiety and gains confidence with the help of mountain-climbing librarian Gabe. Steamy romance evolves into a strong relationship as they scale a mountain of family conflicts and share secrets against a majestic Jackson Hole backdrop.

Read alikes
“Can’t Buy Me Love” by Molly O’Keefe. Bantam.
“Natural Born Charmer” by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Morrow.
“Veiled Desire” (#1) by Alisha Rai. Samhain.

Short List
“A Desperate Fortune” by Susanna Kearsley. Sourcebooks Landmark.
“Ever After: a Nantucket Brides Novel” by Jude Deveraux. Ballantine Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.
“Rumor Has It” by Cheris Hodges. Dafina Books.
“When a Scot Ties the Knot: Castles Ever After” by Tessa Dare. Avon Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins.

Science Fiction

Winner
“Golden Son” by Pierce Brown. Del Rey, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Insurgent Darrow inveigled his way into high Gold society in 2014’s Red Rising. In this dramatic, high octane follow-up, conflicting loyalties and his own ambitions lure Darrow into an untenable web of deceptions. Bolstered by new alliances, Darrow battles to overthrow corrupt lunar leadership and bring freedom to Mars.

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. Scholastic.
“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. Tor.
“Dune” (#1) Dune Chronicles by Frank Herbert. Hodder & Stoughton.

Short List
“Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits” by David Wong. Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan Publishers.
“Seveneves” by Neal Stephenson. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Slow Bullets” by Alastair Reynolds. Tachyon.
“The Water Knife” by Paolo Bacigalupi. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.

Women’s Fiction

Winner
“Re Jane” by Patricia Park. Pamela Dorman Books, an imprint of Penguin Books.
Anxious to escape the strict upbringing of her uncle’s Flushing grocery, Korean-American Jane accepts an au pair position in the pretentious household of two Brooklyn academics and their adopted Chinese daughter. Park has created a bright comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living on one’s own terms.

Read alikes
“The Nanny Diaries” by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. St. Martin’s.
“Brooklyn” by Colm Tóibín. Scribner.
“The Newlyweds” by Nell Freudenberger. Knopf.

Short List
“Days of Awe: a Novel” by Lauren Fox. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
“The Royal We” by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group.
“This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!: a Novel” by Jonathan Evison. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
“A Touch of Stardust” by Kate Alcott. Doubleday.

The winners were selected by the Reading List Council whose members include twelve expert readers’ advisory and collection development librarians. The eight genres currently included in the Council’s considerations are adrenaline, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, and women’s fiction. However, the Council is adaptable to new genres and changes in contemporary reading interest.

The Council consists of Ann Chambers Theis, Henrico County Public Library, chair; Valerie Morgan Taylor, co-chair; Phillip Ballo, National University; Jessica D. Barrientos, Westminster Public Library; Amy Gornikiewicz, Eagle Valley Library District;  Rebecca Greer, Poinciana Library; Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Library; Lauren Kage; EBSCO; Tammy Ryan, Phoenix Public Library; Janet Schneider, Oceanside Library.

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Dartmouth Medal for excellence in reference awarded to “Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law”

BOSTON– The winner of the 2016 Dartmouth Medal for most outstanding reference work, an annual award presented by the expert reference and collection development librarians of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of ALA, is the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law, Editor-in-chief: Brent Strawn, published by Oxford University Press.

Comprehensive, entries from scholars from all points on the religious spectrum include topics such as Marriage, Divorce, Testimony and Witness, and Gender. Extensive bibliographies and suggestions for further research make this a useful and balanced resource for library shelves. This work is part of the Oxford Encyclopedias of the Bible series, consisting of eight sets with essays by scholars from many countries and with a wide variety of perspectives.

Honorable mention is awarded to Worldmark Global Business and Economy Issues, published by Gale Cengage. This two-book set (V1: Business & Management; V2: Economy) helps the reader understand, contextualize, and analyze the issues and concepts surrounding international business and economics. This work is useful for anyone learning economic principles beyond their area of expertise.

The Dartmouth Medal, established in 1974, honors the creation of a reference source of outstanding quality and significance. The award is given to the best new reference source published in the previous year (more precisely, the previous December 1 to December 1, as the source needs to be available for a sufficient amount of time to be adequately reviewed). It is awarded to a new publication, not a new edition.

The Dartmouth committee, made up of reference subject experts from academic, public, and sometimes school and other libraries, receives nominations from librarians, editors, and publishers and spends countless hours reviewing copies throughout the latter half of the year.

The Dartmouth Medal selection committee includes: Nicolette Warisse Sosulski, Portage District Library, chair; Angela Courtney, Indiana University; Patricia Gregory, Saint Louis University; Kathleen Kern, National Defense University; Janet Pinkley, California State University, Channel Islands; and Dave Tyckoson, Fresno State University.

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Book & Media Awards Ceremony and Reception – 2016 Midwinter Meeting

Book & Media Awards Ceremony and Reception
Sunday, January 10, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Boston Park Plaza, Grand Ballroom A

For the first time, the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction will be announced during this Midwinter Meeting event by the selection committee’s inaugural chair, Nancy Pearl, reflecting the new calendar for these awards. As always, RUSA will unveil this year’s Notable Books List, Reading List, Listen List and Outstanding Reference Sources selections, the Dartmouth Medal for excellence in reference, the Sophie Brody Medal for Jewish literature, the Zora Neale Hurston Award for achievement in promoting African-American literature and the Louis Shores Award for book reviewing. Join us for this celebratory evening as we announce the best books and resources of the year and a chance to win some of this year’s best books! All MW attendees are welcome, no tickets required. The event is from 5-7pm, Boston Park Plaza, Grand Ballroom A. The event is sponsored in part by NoveList. More information about these awards can be found at www.ala.org/rusa/awards.

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Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Shortlist Announced!

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The American Library Association today announced the six books shortlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, awarded for the previous year’s best fiction and nonfiction books written for adult readers and published in the United States. The two medal winners will be announced by selection committee chair Nancy Pearl at the RUSA’s Book and Media Awards event at ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Boston on Sunday, January 10.

2016 shortlisted titles include:

Nonfiction

H is for Hawk,” by Helen Macdonald, published  by Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, and distributed by Publishers Group West.

Hold Still: A Memoir in Photographs,” by Sally Mann, published by Little, Brown, and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World,” by Andrea Wulf, published by published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, LLC. New York.

Fiction

The Book of Aron,” by Jim Shepard, published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, LLC. New York.

A Little Life: A Novel,” by Hanya Yanagihara, published by Doubleday, a division of Random House, LLC. New York.

The Sympathizer,” by Viet Thanh Nguyen, published by Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, and distributed by Publishers Group West.

This is the first time the Carnegie Medal winner announcements will be made at Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, reflecting a new calendar for the awards, with the shortlist announced in October, the winners in January, and the popular celebratory event continuing at ALA Annual Conference each year. Winning authors each receive $5,000, and the four finalists each receive $1,500.

The awards, established in 2012, recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year and serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material. They are the first single-book awards for adult books given by the American Library Association and reflect the expert judgment and insight of library professionals who work closely with adult readers.

The Medals are made possible, in part, by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York in recognition of Andrew Carnegie’s deep belief in the power of books and learning to change the world, and are co-sponsored by ALA’s Booklist Publications and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

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