The Reading List’s Most Recent Selections

2009

Established in 2007 by the CODES section of RUSA, The Reading List Council seeks to highlight outstanding genre fiction that merits special attention by general adult readers and the librarians who work with them. This inaugural juried list features established voices and debut novelists and suggests titles that will thrill avid fans and entice new readers.

The 2009 List

Adrenaline

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.

Read-Alikes

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

Shortlist

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

Fantasy

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?

Read-Alikes

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

Shortlist

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 by Jim 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.

Read-Alikes

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

Shortlist

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 by David Liss, Random House, 9781400064205

Horror

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.

Read-Alikes

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

Shortlist

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

Mystery

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.

Read-Alikes

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

Shortlist

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

Romance

The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne, Berkley, 9780425219607
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.

Read-Alikes

Scandal by Amanda Quick
It’s in His Kiss by Julia Quinn
Seduced by a Spy by Andrea Pickens

Shortlist

My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne, Berkley, 9780425222461
Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas, Bantam Books, 9780440244318
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig, Dutton, 9780525950332
Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta 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.

Read-Alikes

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

Shortlist

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

Women’s Fiction

Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy, Algonquin Books, 9781565125414
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.

Read-Alikes

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

Shortlist

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