Chances are some of you haven’t heard of ALA’s Reading List Council, but trust me on this one: Their annual list of top books in several genres is a book lover’s gem. They pick the best in eight genres — including mystery, science fiction, and adrenaline (read: suspense/heart-thumping-page-turner) for adult readers. Librarians love that the Reading List is selected by readers advisory librarians who offer suggestions for similar titles. Readers love getting a list of genre favorites that includes winners and finalists.
To get you started with your holds, here are the 2018 winners (for books published in 2017). And be sure to check the full Reading List where you’ll find sixty-four (64!) reading recommendations.
Fierce Kingdomby Gin Phillips
Joan and her four-year-old son, Lincoln, are enjoying an afternoon outing at the zoo when the unthinkable happens–a mass shooting. Trapped and in tremendous danger, Joan must rely on her bravery and survival instincts to make it out alive. This terrifyingly plausible thriller unfolds in real time.
This past November, Seattle swore in a new Mayor and City Councilmember, and we here at ShelfTalk thought this would be a great opportunity to continue our series of posts in which we invited your representatives to share books that have meant a lot to them. This time, we asked them “What book was most influential in your life or career and why?” Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, District 7, reflects on a book that is much beloved by many, and soon to be discovered by many more.
What book was most influential in your life or career and why?
You’ve given me an especially tough challenge to identify ONE book that had a profound impact on me and my career. I can tell you about one book LIST called something like “100 of the best books you should have read before you went to college but didn’t”. After law school I read every book on that list and the list’s creator was right — I learned so much from those writers who wrote honestly and shared their wisdom through their hearts and experiences. Continue reading “City Council Reads – Sally Bagshaw, District 7”
Some of the most exciting and fresh voices in science fiction and fantasy are coming out in short form. While short stories have long been where authors develop their craft and where innovation happens in the genre, novellas are currently a hot commodity for authors who are challenging the status quo. Novellas are where women, writers of color and LGBTQIA voices and characters are breaking through what has long been a white, male-dominated genre.
Octavia Butler is a giant in science fiction and fantasy and her legacy is far-reaching. Her importance to the genre cannot be overstated. In honor of the recent Door to a Pink Universe Flash Fiction contest, I wanted to highlight some authors who are following in Butler’s footsteps and changing the definitions of science fiction and fantasy.
Nnedi Okorafor, a Nigerian-American author, combines complex political and social issues with African-based science fiction and fantasy for riveting fiction that explores the world we live in and those we might. Her most recent book, The Book of Phoenix, is a prequel to her World Fantasy Award-winning book Who Fears Death, and is set in a future Africa where the effects of technology, colonialism, racism, and war are explored with stunning beauty and intensity. It’s not necessary to read the books in order; both will blow you away. Okorafor has also written several young adult novels that deal with similar themes. She is currently working on a sequel to Akata Witch, a Junior Library Guild Selection book and a YALSA 2011 Best Book of the year. Continue reading “Beyond and After Butler”