The 2011 List

The 2011 List

Adrenaline

The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer, Minotaur Books (9780312622879)
Burned-out spy Milo Weaver confronts layers of deceit as his career collides with his desire to reclaim his family and his humanity. The labyrinthine intrigues enhance a building atmosphere of paranoia in this dark and emotionally-charged classic espionage thriller.

Read-Alikes

The Quiet American by Graham Greene
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carré
Night Soldiers by Alan Furst

Short List

Caught by Harlan Coben, E. P. Dutton (9780525951582)
Crashers by Dana Haynes, Minotaur (9780312599881)
Deep Shadow by Randy Wayne White, Putnam Pub. Group (9780399156267)
They’re Watching by Gregg Hurwitz, St. Martin’s (9780312534905)

Fantasy

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay, Roc (9780451463302)
Haunted by the ghosts of fallen warriors, Shen Tai is forced into the political machinations of the Emperor’s court when he receives a rare and valuable gift. Lyrical language and complex characterization draw readers into this elaborately unfolding epic set in a fantasy world that richly re-imagines 8th century Tang Dynasty China.

Read-Alikes

Black Ships by Jo Graham
Genghis: Birth of an Empire by Conn Iggulden
The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre

Short List

Finch by Jeff VanderMeer, Underland Press (9780980226010)
The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman, Tor Books (9780765325525)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin, Orbit (9780316043915)
Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton, Spectra (9780345520845)

Historical Fiction

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, Alfred A. Knopf (9781400041169)
In this sweeping yet intimate portrait of a Hungarian Jewish family in Europe, two lovers become enmeshed in the turmoil of the Holocaust. With gorgeous prose and an exquisite evocation of Paris and Budapest, Orringer writes movingly of their strength and the bittersweet power of hope and love.

Read-Alikes

Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell

Short List

A Battle Won by S. Thomas Russell, Putnam (9780399156892)
A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer, HarperCollins (9780061252518)
The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon, Alfred A. Knopf (9780307593993)
The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Gunning, Morrow (9780061782145)

Horror

The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin, Doubleday (9780385533430)
Guilt ridden Nicholas Close retreats to his family home in Australia after the tragic death of his wife, only to encounter an ancient malevolence lurking in the nearby woods. Childhood nightmares and fairytale motifs combine in this emotionally powerful tale of implacable evil. Arachnophobes beware!

Read-Alikes

It by Stephen King
Faerie Tale: A Novel of Terror and Fantasy by Raymond Feist
Dark Hollow by Brian Keene

Short List

The Caretaker of Lorne Field by David Zeltserman, Overlook (9781590203033)
The Frenzy Way by Gregory Lamberson, Medallion Press (9781605421070)
Horns by Joe Hill, William Morrow (9780061147951)
So Cold the River by Michael Koryta, Little Brown (9780316053648)

Mystery

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny, Minotaur (9780312377045)
Troubled by past mistakes, Chief Inspector Gamache, in his sixth outing, retreats to snowy and insular Quebec City where he becomes embroiled in intertwining investigations both old and new. Penny expertly delivers a layered story that is haunting, moody, and exquisitely drawn.

Read-Alikes

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd
Haunted Ground by Erin Hart
In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Short List

Faithful Place by Tana French, Viking (9780670021871)
The Taken by Inger Ash Wolfe, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (9780151013531)
Think of a Number by John Verdon, Crown (9780307588920)
Vermilion Drift by William Kent Krueger, Simon & Schuster (9781439153840)

Romance

A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh, Vanguard Press (9781593155544)
A lady is ruined. A merchant’s son is trapped. Class differences loom large in this charming and playful take on the arranged marriage. Balogh’s Regency gem, where nothing is quite as it seems, is filled with affection and wit.

Read-Alikes

Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer
In for a Penny by Rose Lerner
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

Short List

Barely a Lady by Eileen Dreyer, Hachette (Forever) (9780446542081)
The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne, Berkley (9780425235614)
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook, Berkley (9780425236673)
Something About You by Julie James, Berkley Sensation (9780425233382)

Science Fiction

The Dervish House by Ian McDonald, Pyr (9781616142049)
A terrorist bomb sets off a chain of events that, over the next five days, entangles the lives of six characters. McDonald brilliantly imagines a world in which the ultramodern exists side-by-side with the ancient, and he blends science and mysticism to embody the contradiction that is Istanbul in 2027.

Read-Alikes

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Short List

Ark by Stephen Baxter, ROC (9780451463319)
Blonde Bombshell by Tom Holt, Hachette (9780316086998)
Darkship Thieves by Sarah Hoyt, Baen (9781439133170)
The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang, Subterranean Press (9781596063174)

Women’s Fiction

Solomon’s Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson, Bloomsbury (9781608193301)
Recently widowed Glory Solomon collects stray animals and damaged souls. Facing bankruptcy, she creates a new life catering themed weddings. This deeply felt yet unsentimental novel explores grief, healing, and second chances.

Read-Alikes

Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch by Marsha Moyer
The Blessings of the Animals by Katrina Kittle

Short List

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen, Bantam (9780553807219)
The Language of Sand by Ellen Block, Bantam Books (9780440245759)
The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate, Gallery (9781439107232)
Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff, Bantam (9780553807837)