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”
If you’re already a mystery or thriller fan, you don’t need our help — this square is a freebie! But what if you don’t usually read crime novels? Not to worry — we have you covered: just find the kind of books you like below, and get reading!
- Classics: The Shooting Party, by Anton Chekhov. The great playwright and short story writer’s only novel revolves around the mysterious death of a young woman, and the tangled web of suspects surrounding her.
- Cookbooks: Recipes for Love and Murder, by Sally Andrew. This culinary cozy mystery set in dry rolling hills of South Africa’s Klein Karoo region comes complete with recipes!
- Fantasy: The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardinge. Seeking her father’s murderer, young Faith finds a tree that feeds on lies, and bears truthful fruit.
- Gaming: The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss, by Max Wirestone. In this offbeat series, our snarky heroine’s addiction to massively multiplayer online role-playing games draws her into a real life murder mystery.
- Graphic Novels: The Graphic Canon of Crime & Mystery, volume 1: From Sherlock Holmes to A Clockwork Orange to Jo Nesbo, Russell Kick, editor. The title pretty much says it all: a fantastic collection of short graphic crime.
Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2018 : A Mystery or Thriller”
Susan Glaspell was just 24, working her first job out of college as a reporter for the Des Moines Daily News when she was called to the scene of a grisly crime that would shape her artistic destiny. Late on the night of December 1, 1900, John Hossack had been bludgeoned to death with an axe as he lay in bed. Margaret, his wife of 33 years, slept on beside him during the murder, or so she claimed.
Despite her children’s protests, she was arrested and charged with murder. The trial became a sensation, and Glaspell’s reporting on the case and its surprising outcome was eagerly devoured well beyond Iowa. To say that the case became a referendum on domestic abuse would be to rewrite history, but the sympathies aroused by the stoic Margaret Hossack were indicative of a gradual change in the popular understanding of women’s rights and legal status. Continue reading “The Feminist and the Axe Murderer”
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 Kingdom by 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.
Continue reading “A genre reading list for library insiders”
Arriving at our fifth and final post suggesting twenty essential Seattle books, after posts highlighting history, race, place, and Northwest classics, we finish with a handful of novels evocative of our city and its culture.
There are several good mystery series set in Seattle, but when a fictional detective has been on our rain-soaked streets for three decades his casebook offers real perspective. Homicide detective J.P Beamont made his debut in 1985 in J.A. Jance’s Until Proven Guilty, hunting the twisted killer of a young girl while frequenting such vanished local landmarks as the Doghouse. Over twenty titles later, Beaumont still patrols Seattle’s seamy side, most recently in Dance of the Bones. (For readers who prefer a lighter touch, check out G.M. Ford’s classic Who the Hell is Wanda Fuca? starring wisecracking Seattle P.I. Leo Waterman.) Continue reading “20 Essential Seattle Books, Part 5 – Tales of the City”