2017 Reading List Announced

The Reading List Council has announced the 2017 selections of the Reading List, an annual best-of list comprised of eight different fiction genres for adult readers. A shortlist of honor titles, up to 4 per genre was also announced. The list was announced today during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting held in Atlanta.

The 2017 selections are:

Genre: Adrenaline

Winner: “Orphan X” by Gregg Hurwitz. Minotaur, an imprint of Macmillan.

Evan Smoak was trained from childhood to be a lethal, efficient assassin, and provided with the skills and equipment to survive a variety of difficult missions. He was the best at what he did–until he used his skills to escape from the program. Now someone from his past has tracked him down, and Evan must figure out who is after him and what they want before it’s too late.

Short List:
“Daisy in Chains” by Sharon Bolton. Minotaur, an imprint of Macmillan.
“Livia Lone” by Barry Eisler. Thomas & Mercer, an imprint of Amazon.
“The One Man” by Andrew Gross. Minotaur, an imprint of Macmillan.
“Security” by Gina Wohlsdorf. Algonquin Books, a division of Workman Publishing.

Genre: Fantasy

Winner: “Stiletto: A Novel” by Daniel O’Malley. Little, Brown, a division of Hachette Book Group.

Magical agents prop up the English government, while their bio-engineered foes prosper in Europe’s Low Countries. A fragile truce may revert to war unless two unlikely young women can put aside their initial enmity and find the source of a series of bizarre attacks. Secret organizations, messy splatter, and British humor hallmark this imaginative novel.

Short List:
“Borderline” by Mishell Baker. Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
“Children of Earth and Sky” by Guy Gavriel Kay. New American Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
“Ghost Talkers” by Mary Robinette Kowal. Tor, a Tom Doherty Associates book.
“A Green and Ancient Light” by Frederic S. Durbin. Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Winner: “The Last Days of Night: A Novel” by Graham Moore. Random House, a division of Penguin Random House.

In 1888 an inexperienced yet capable lawyer finds himself defending George Westinghouse in a patent lawsuit against Thomas Edison. The competitive Westinghouse and arrogant Edison each fight for control of electrical current, and to sway the genius Nikola Tesla to their side. Rich historical and technical details illuminate this swiftly paced novel.

Short List:
“Homegoing: A Novel” by Yaa Gyasi. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House.
“News of the World: A Novel” by Paulette Jiles. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
“The Risen: A Novel of Spartacus” by David Anthony Durham. Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House.
“To the Bright Edge of the World: A Novel” by Eowyn Ivey. Little, Brown, a division of Hachette Book Group.

Genre: Horror

Winner: “Hex” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. Tor, a Tom Doherty Associates book.

Though she can appear during your intimate moments, her mouth and eyes stitched closed, townsfolk have an uneasy alliance with the witch. But when a group of tech savvy teenagers grow tired of being bound to the witch and the town, they discover her awful vengeance is limitless in this epic horror that turns the terror dial to 11 and keeps right on going.

Short List:
“The Family Plot” by Cherie Priest. Tor, a Tom Doherty Associates book.
“The Fireman: A Novel” by Joe Hill. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
“My Best Friend’s Exorcism: A Novel” by Grady Hendrix. Quirk Books.
“Suicide Motor Club” by Christopher Buehlman. Berkley, an imprint of Random House.

Genre: Mystery

Winner: “Darktown” by Thomas Mullen. 37Ink/Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

In 1948 Atlanta, two of the city’s first African American cops try to unravel the murder of a young black woman, all while battling racist police, an ambivalent black community and a society built on their oppression. A powerful historical police procedural that holds an unflinching mirror to modern truths.

Short List:
“Angels Burning” by Tawni O’Dell. Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
“IQ” by Joe Ide. Mulholland Books, an imprint of Little, Brown.
“Revolver” by Duane Swierczynski. Mulholland Books, an imprint of Little, Brown.
“Splinter the Silence: A Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Novel” by Val McDermid. Atlantic Monthly Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic.

Genre: Romance

Winner: “Forbidden” by Beverly Jenkins. Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Eddy, a forthright African-American woman, suffers one more hard knock when she finds herself stranded in Nevada and beholden to Rhine, a successful businessman passing as white. Eddy has always dreamed of California, but finds herself pulled in by the welcoming community and drawn to Rhine, despite the danger he poses.

Short List:
“Hold Me” by Courtney Milan. Courtney Milan.
“Out of Nowhere” by Roan Parrish. Dreamspinner Press.
“A Promise of Fire” by Amanda Bouchet. Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks.
“The Soldier’s Scoundrel” by Cat Sebastian. Avon Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Genre: Science Fiction

Winner: “Arkwright” by Allen Steele. Tor, a Tom Doherty Associates book.

With the Arkwright Foundation, golden age science fiction author Nathan Arkwright secures his, and his family’s, legacy. Inheriting his dream to construct and launch the starship Galactic, Arkwright’s descendants face a project bigger than themselves: building a hopeful future in a world reluctant to let go of past prejudices.

Short List:
“Behind the Throne” by K.B. Wagers. Orbit, an imprint of Hachette Book Group.
“Crosstalk” by Connie Willis. Del Rey, an imprint of Random House.
“The Medusa Chronicles” by Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds. Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
“Time and Time Again” by Ben Elton. Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press.

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Winner: “I Almost Forgot about You” by Terry McMillan. Crown, a division of Penguin Random House.

As she approaches her fiftieth birthday, Dr. Georgia Young’s life is smooth sailing on the surface. When she learns about an old flame’s death, a desire for more than the status quo is sparked within her. With the support and encouragement of her family and friends, she revisits her past lovers and seeks out her future.

Short List:
“The Assistants” by Camille Perri. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
“The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living” by Louise Miller. Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
“The Mothers” by Brit Bennett. Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
“The Opposite of Everyone” by Joshilyn Jackson. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The winners were selected by the Reading List Council whose members include 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; Lauren Kage, NoveList, Vice Chair; Jessi Barrientos, Westminster Public Library; Meagan Day, High Plains Library District; Nanette Donohue, Champaign Public Library; Amy Gornikiewicz, Eagle Valley Library District; Emily Hamstra, Seattle, WA; Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Library; Jared L. Mills, Seattle Public Library; Tammy Ryan, Phoenix Public Library; Janet Schneider, Peninsula Public Library.

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