2015 Reading List announced: Year’s best in genre fiction for adult readers

For Immediate Release
Sun, 02/01/2015

Contact:

Leighann Wood
Membership and Awards Program Specialist
Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)
American Library Association

CHICAGO — The Reading List Council has announced the 2015 selections of the Reading List, an annual best-of list composed of eight different fiction genres for adult readers.  The list was announced today during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.

The 2015 selections are:

Adrenaline

Winner
“Broken Monsters” by Lauren Beukes (Mulholland Books)

Detroit serves as the economically battered backdrop of this inventive, visceral suspense story about a series of bizarre murders that draws a group of memorable characters into a complex web of violence. Smart, stylish and addictive, this page-turner shows how the American Dream has failed many on a personal level.

Read-alikes
“Skin” by Kathe Koja (Delacorte)
“The Whisperer” by Donato Carrisi (Mulholland)
“True Detective” (TV series, HBO, 2014)

Short List
“Mr. Mercedes” by Stephen King (Scribner)
“The Runner” by Patrick Lee (Minotaur)
“The Son” by Jo Nesbo (Knopf)
“Those Who Wish Me Dead” by Michael Koryta (Little, Brown)

Fantasy

Winner
“The Goblin Emperor” by Katherine Addison (Tor)

Following the sudden, suspicious deaths of his entire family, exiled half-goblin Maia becomes emperor, a role requiring diplomacy and adherence to strict protocols. Focusing on the intricacies of court life, this elegant novel unfolds at a pace that allows readers to savor the rich tapestry of character, setting and plot.

Read-alikes
“The Spirit Ring” by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
“Cold Magic” by Kate Elliott (Orbit)
“The Ruins of Ambrai” by Melanie Rawn (DAW)

Short List
“Half a King” by Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey)
“Hot Lead, Cold Iron” by Ari Marmell (Titan)
“The Paper Magician” by Charlie N. Holmberg (47 North)
“Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen (HarperCollins)

Historical Fiction

Winner
Bitter Greens” by Kate Forsyth (Thomas Dunne)

Banished from the court of Versailles, spirited Charlotte-Rose de la Force meets a nun who weaves together the strands that form the Rapunzel fairy tale, revealing its surprising origins. A captivating marriage of history and folklore featuring characters true to their time periods, yet timeless in their dreams and desires.

Read-alikes
“In the Company of the Courtesan” by Sarah Dunant (Random House)
“The Girls at the Kingfisher Club” by Genevieve Valentine (Atria)
“The Moon and the Sun” by Vonda McIntyre (Pocket)

Short List
“Flight of the Sparrow” by Amy Belding Brown (NAL)
“Hild” by Nicola Griffith (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
“Wayfaring Stranger” by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster)
“The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress” by Ariel Lawhon (Doubleday)

Horror

Winner
“The Lesser Dead” by Christopher Buehlman (Penguin)

Beneath the streets of 1970s New York, Joey meets the merry children, a gang of ancient child vampires, and discovers that immortality isn't all fun and games. Gritty, clever and gonzo, this fresh take on the vampire mythos gets darker and creepier as the pages turn.

Read-alikes
“The Light at the End” by John Skipp and Craig Spector (Stealth Press)
“Enter Night” by Michael Rowe (ChiZine)
“Double Dead” by Chuck Wendig (Abaddon)

Short List
“Butcher’s Road” by Lee Thomas (Lethe Press)
“Horrorstor” by Grady Hendrix (Quirk)
“The Supernatural Enhancements” by Edgar Cantero (Doubleday)
“The Troop” by Nick Cutter (Orbit)

Mystery

Winner
“Murder at the Brightwell” by Ashley Weaver (Minotaur)

This classic English mystery follows Amory and her estranged husband, Milo, whose paths cross at a seaside resort, where suspicious deaths implicate Amory’s former fiance, Gil. A vivid mystery that sparkles with personality as Amory and Milo puzzle out the truth behind the murders and negotiate their own complicated relationship.

Read-alikes

Tommy and Tuppence Series by Agatha Christie (William Morrow)
“Cocaine Blues: A Phryne Fisher Mystery” by Kerry Greenwood (Poisoned Pen)
“Escapade” by Walter Satterthwait (St. Martin's Press)

Short List
“Wolf” by Mo Hayder (Atlantic Monthly)
“A Burnable Book” by Bruce Holsinger (William Morrow)
“Talus and the Frozen King” by Graham Edwards (Solaris)
“The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man” by W. Bruce Cameron (Forge)

Romance

Winner
“A Bollywood Affair” by Sonali Dev (Kensington)

Comic misunderstandings ensue when playboy Bollywood director Samir travels to America to secure an annulment for his brother, married at age four to Mili in a traditional arranged Indian wedding ceremony. Appealing protagonists, a diverse supporting cast and a colorful multicultural backdrop lend this charming story unexpected emotional depth.

Read-alikes
"Bride and Prejudice" (Miramax Films, 2004, dir. Gurinder Chadha)
“The Newlyweds” by Nell Freudenberger (Vintage)
“The Malhotra Bride” by Sundari Venkatraman (Flaming Sun)

Romance Short List:

“My Beautiful Enemy” by Sherry Thomas (Berkley Books)
“It Happened One Wedding” by Julie James (Jove)
“The Raider” by Monica McCarty (Ballantine)
“Three Weeks with Lady X” by Eloisa James (Avon)

Science Fiction

Winner

“The Martian” by Andy Weir (Crown, 9780804139021)

Stranded on Mars, wisecracking botanist Mark Watney proves that an astronaut has to be smart, resourceful and, perhaps, a little crazy to survive. Strong characterization, well-researched but accessible technical detail, and a deft blend of suspense and humor will please science enthusiasts and fans of survival stories on any planet.

Read-alikes
"Gravity" (Warner Brothers, 2013, dir. By Alfonso Cuarón)
“Packing for Mars” by Mary Roach (W.W. Norton)
“Farmer in the Sky” by Robert Heinlein (Baen)

Short List

“Annihilation” by Jeff Vandermeer (FSG Originals)
“Fortune’s Pawn” by Rachel Bach (Orbit)
“Lock In” by John Scalzi (Tor)
“Shovel Ready” by Adam Sternbergh (Crown)

Women's Fiction

Winner

My Real Children” by Jo Walton (Tor)

Patricia Cowan, an elderly woman suffering from dementia, remembers two different lives, two different careers, two different families and two different worlds. A striking novel of how tragedy turns to joy and heartbreak turns to love with a narrative twist that hooks the reader and never lets go.

Read-alikes

“Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson (Reagan Arthur)
"Sliding Doors" (Miramax Films, 1998, dir. Peter Howitt)
“The Time Travelers Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Short List
“After I Do” by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Washington Square Press)
“The House We Grew Up In” by Lisa Jewell (Atria Books)
“How To Build A Girl” by Caitlin Moran (Harper)
“The Story Hour” by Thrity Umrigar (Harper)

The winners were selected by the Reading List Council whose members include up to 12 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 Gillian Speace, NoveList, chair; Victoria Carlson Kemp, Flower Mound (Texas) Public Library, vice-chair; Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos (California) Library; Nanette Donohue, Champaign (Ill.) Public Library; Jennifer Hendzlik, Anythink Libraries (Colorado); Jared L. Mills, Seattle Public Library; Janet Schneider, The Bryant Library (Roslyn, N.Y.); Ann Chambers Theis, Henrico County (Va.) Public Library; Valerie Taylor, Librarian (retired)

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about the association at www.ala.org/rusa.

Comments

The movie, "Moon", starring Sam Rockwell would be a good "read-alike" in the science fiction category.