Best genre fiction titles named to 2009 Reading List

Contact: Liz Markel
Marketing Specialist, RUSA/ASCLA
(312) 280-4398

For Immediate Release
February 3, 2009

DENVER—The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has announced its selection for the 2009 Reading List award.

The Reading List annually recognizes the best books in eight genres: adrenaline (which includes 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.

The winning titles were selected by the Reading List Council, whose members include Neal Wyatt, chair, Richmond, Va.; Joyce Saricks, vice-chair, Downers Grove, Ill.; Jennifer Baker, The Seattle Public Library; Arlene Griffin, LSSI Library North Jackson Madison County Library; Mirja Johanson, Perrot Memorial Library; Lucy Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library District; Robert Renwick, Brooklyn Public Library; Jacqueline Sasaki, Ann Arbor District Library; Sharron Smith, Kitchener Public Library; Tapley Trudell, San Antonio Public Library; and Alan Ziebarth, Chicago Public Library.

Authors of these selected titles will be invited to speak at the Literary Tastes Breakfast, a ticketed RUSA event at the ALA Annual Conference. Find out more about RUSA events at the conference—scheduled for July 9-15 in Chicago—at

The 2009 winners are:


Blue Heaven by C.J. Box, St. Martin, 9780312365707

In this relentlessly paced story two children witness a murder, elude crooked ex-cops, and find refuge with a taciturn rancher. The evocative landscape and emotional depth, along with the engaging characters and provocative story line, combine to create an unforgettable novel.

Killer Weekend by Ridley Pearson
Nothing to Lose byLee Child
Hombre by Elmore Leonard

The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner, Dutton, 9780525950660
Hold Tight by Harlan Coben, Dutton, 9780525950608
L.A. Outlaws by T. Jefferson Parker, Dutton, 9780525950554
Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich, Doubleday, 9780385524063


Veil of Gold by Kim Wilkins, Tor, 9780765320063

The discovery of a golden bear in the walls of a derelict St. Petersburg bath house lifts the veil between the real world and that of fairy tales. Treachery is rampant and death is ever-present: stories aren’t safe, and love can’t rescue anyone—or can it?

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
Forests of the Heart by Charles de Lint

The House of the Stag by Kage Baker, TOR Books, 9780765317452
Ink and Steel by Elizabeth Bear, Roc, 9780451462091
Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost, Ballantine, 9780345497581
Small Favor byJim Butcher, Roc, 978045146189

Historical Fiction

The Steel Wave by Jeff Shaara, Ballantine, 9780345461421

In this riveting tale of D-Day and its aftermath, Shaara closely follows events through the lives common soldiers and generals, Allies and Axis alike. A journalistic style underscores the drama of events, and the engaging warts-and-all portrayals add to the immediacy of the novel.

Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell
An Army at Down: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 by Rick Atkinson
Killing Rommel bySteven Pressfield

Shortlist         Â
Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell, Random House, 9781400-64717
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane, William Morrow, 9780688163181
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows, Dial Press, 9780385340991
The Whiskey Rebels byDavid Liss , Random House , 9781400064205


Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow, Harper, 9780061430220

The insiders’ perspective and lyrical language of this haunting free verse novel offer a sympathetic glimpse into the lives of urban werewolves, a nightmarish noir world where violence and heartbreak go hand in hand.

Bitten byKelley Armstrong,
The Wolfman by Nicholas Pekearo
The Joe Pitt series by Charlie Huston

Coffin County by Gary A. Braunbeck, Leisure, 9780843960501
Infected by Scott Sigler, Crown, 9780307406101
The Killing Circle byAndrew Pyper , St. Martin’s Minotaur, 9780312384760
The Wolfman byNicholas Pekearo , Tor , 9780765320261


The Garden of Evil by David Hewson, Bantam Dell, 978-0385339575

In contemporary Rome an unknown lascivious painting by Caravaggio, grisly murders, and a heart-stopping chase mark series detective Nic Costa’s return. The perfidious villains can only be outwitted by inventive police work and an unexpected ally in this masterfully crafted puzzler.

The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez Reverte
Dressed for Death by Donna Leon
The Death Artist byJonathan Santlofer

The Black Tower by Louis Bayard, William Morrow, 9780061173509
The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe, Harcourt, 9780151013470
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny, St. Martin’s Press, 9780312352578
Vienna Blood by Frank Tallis, Random, 9780812977769


The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne, Berkley

Take a British spymaster and a resourceful French agent, spice with clever banter, toss in a refreshing and unexpected plot, add a heaping measure of sexual chemistry, and the result is an irresistible read with Napoleon’s ambitions for England hanging in the balance.

Scandal by Amanda Quick
It’s in His Kiss byJulia Quinn
Seduced by a Spy byAndrea Pickens

My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne, Berkley, 9780425222461
Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas, Bantam Books, 9780440244318
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose byLauren Willig, Dutton , 9780525950332
Your Scandalous Ways byLoretta Chase,Avon Books , 9780061231247

Science Fiction

Hunter’s Run by George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham, Eos, 9780061373299

On a dangerous backwater planet, a criminal outcast stumbles across an alien race in hiding in this relentless and gritty adventure. Forced into a life-threatening hunt, he is irrevocably changed and learns what it means to be truly human.

Downward to the Earth byRobert Silverberg
Enemy Mine by Barry B. Longyear
Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan

The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez, Tom Doherty, 9780765318343
City at the End of Time byGreg Bear , Ballantine , 9780345448392
Matter byIain M.Banks, Orbit , 9780316005364
A World Too Near byKay Kenyon , Pyr Books , 9781591026426

Women’s Fiction

Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy, Algonquin Books

Set against the richly textured landscape of rural Vermont, Maloy’s optimistic and heartwarming novel chronicles one woman’s experience of widowhood as she remembers the pains and pleasures of her long marriage and moves into a new phase of her life.

Broken for You byStephanie Kallos
The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys
The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg

Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos, William Morrow, 9780061240270
Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner, Atria Books, 9780743294256
The Sugar Queen bySarah Addison Allen , Bantam Dell, 9780553805499
Thank You for All Things bySandra Kring , Bantam , 9780553591491

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