The American Library Association released its 2014 Reading List last month, with winners and runners-up in eight categories. What I especially like about the Reading List — besides the fact that it covers romance, mystery, science fiction and other genres that make up the bulk of what most of us read — is that the tireless librarians on the selection committee also offer “read alike” suggestions for similar books. Read-alikes are handy both ways: If I like the winning title, I can go on to read the three mentioned on the read-alike list. If I’ve never heard of the winning title, I still get an idea if it’s the right book for me based on whether I liked any on the read-alike list. Sometimes this approach is a better fit for my reading tastes than if I read through the finalists in an awards category.
And the other thing I especially like about the Reading List is that our own Jared Mills read about 300 books — cover to cover or on audio. Jared estimates that 3,000 books were read when you look at everything the committee read and considered.
And now for the top romantic novel, as chosen by the American Librarian Association Reading List Council:
Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare
Desperate for grandchildren, the Duchess of Halford strikes a bargain with her only son, Griff: pick a woman–any woman. If she can transform her son’s choice into duchess material, he must marry the girl. Griff picks the least likely candidate in bluestocking barmaid Pauline, only to quickly realize he has no idea who he is dealing with. A humorous and clever historical romance with engaging characters you won’t soon forget.
Tessa Dare has been a favorite here on Shelf Talk. See Marlene’s post on Bluestockings in Romance — all about intellectual women, where our heroine has a mind of her own and likes to read. Our kind of woman, for sure.
Read-alikes for ‘Any Duchess Will Do’ by Tessa Dare:
Romance Short List:
These are the four titles The Reading List Council wants to make sure you read, too: