Each year, groups of librarians from across the country hole up in a room (this year, a virtual room) to discuss and select the best books from the year before. The Notable Books List features literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; the Listen List is all about outstanding audiobooks; and The Reading List, which I want to tell you about today, highlights outstanding genre fiction in eight genres: Adrenaline (aka thrillers, adventure stories), Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Relationship Fiction, Romance, and Science Fiction.
While each genre has a winner, it also has a four-title shortlist of runners up. Taken together, the five books in each genre represent a range of the types of stories a reader can find in that genre, with the idea that both longtime fans and folks new to the genre can find a title of interest. If you are looking to branch out into new areas of fiction reading, it is a great place to start. Check out the 2021 winners (for books published in 2020) below, with annotations from the ALA Reading List Council, or in our catalog.
Anne Manx is an honest detective, maybe the last one remaining in the star system. And because of this, when a sudden insurrection within the police force puts the entire system on the edge of anarchy, she finds herself on the wrong end of a gun barrel. But this is not where Anne Manx’s story ends. For this end is merely a beginning, and like the mythical cat with nine lives, Anne Manx is one hard cat to kill. A fast-paced romp through space full of campy fun, this fully-staged radio production is an homage to radio serials of old, like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, mixed with the satirical adult humor of Barbarella.
From the team that brought you the new sci-fi cult classic novel and audiobook, Ready Player One, author Ernest Cline and narrator Wil Wheaton, have reteamed to create another ode to the 80’s in Armada! This fast-paced science fiction adventure is the perfect blend of two 80’s Sci-Fi classics, Jonathan R. Betuel’s film, The Last Starfighter and Orson Scott Card’s novel, Ender’s Game. High school senior Zack Lightman is doing what he does most days in class, staring out the window and daydreaming, when suddenly he sees something that he certainly couldn’t have seen. If you asked him what he saw, he wouldn’t tell you. Absolutely not. Because if he did, you’d think he was going crazy. Just like his dearly departed dad. Because, what he saw in the sky that day wasn’t a bird, or a plane, or even a super-man, but a spaceship. A very specific spaceship, as a matter of fact. A spaceship from his favorite game, Armada. But that can’t be right. Because that would be crazy. Continue reading “Science Fiction 4 All Seasons”
Tired of looking longingly out your window while stuck inside? Then escape into these fantastic worlds each offering endless hours of aural pleasure! Each of these first books in their respective series represent a different flavor in the enormous fantasy pie. Have a slice, or better yet try them all! Happy listening.
This epic fantasy classic is filled to the brim with all of the tropes and archetypes that have come to define the epic fantasy genre. The book opens with an excerpt from an ancient text- a historical accounting of sorcerers and magic, gods and mortals, and a wondrous orb of untold power. Then the story begins in earnest on a small farm in a serene countryside. There an orphan boy named Garion is about to take his first steps towards fulfilling his destiny. On his journey, fraught with danger and secrets waiting to be revealed, he will be guided by his Aunt Pol, an old vagrant storyteller who he calls Mister Wolf, and an ever-growing cast of adventurers. Following in the footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring and Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara, David Eddings’ The Pawn of Prophecy rightfully takes its place on the shelf aside those masterworks of epic fantasy. Continue reading “Four Flights of Fantasy for Your Listening Pleasure”
Are you a reader who would like to explore some new genres, but don’t know where to start? Fret not, librarians have got you covered. At the American Library Association Midwinter conference in January, a number of different committees met to discuss and honor books published in 2019. There was the Notable Books List, honoring literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; the Listen List, highlighting outstanding audiobooks; the Sophie Brody Medal, for achievement in Jewish Literature; the Stonewall Book Award for LGBTQIA+ books; and many more. But today I want to talk about The Reading List, which highlights outstanding genre fiction across eight genres: Adrenaline (thrillers, adventure stories), Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Relationship Fiction, Romance, and Science Fiction.
While each genre has a winner, it also has a four-title shortlist. Among those five books are a range of what a reader can find in the genre, different types of stories for different readers, with hopes that everyone from a diehard fan to a new reader can find a title of interest. Check out the list, below, or in our catalog.
Coordinated by the American Library Association, each year a group of librarians from across the country form The Reading List Council with the goal to identify the year’s best books across eight genres. Here are the 2019 winners (for books published in 2018) in Adrenaline, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, and Women’s Fiction, plus the short list of runners up in each category. Find new titles in the genre you love, or branch out and find something new to try. You can also find this full list in our library catalog.
Safe Houses by Dan Fesperman
Managing CIA safe houses in 1979 West Berlin, Helen overhears a secret conversation that sends her on the run. Thirty-five years later, a tragedy leads Helen’s daughter to dig into her mother’s secret past, unaware that her mother’s old enemies are still watching. Continue reading “The best of genre reading in 2018”