Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Honoring International Authors and Their Translators

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

The shortlist of six finalists for the 2016 Booker International Prize has been announced. A younger sibling to the more well-known Booker Prize for Fiction (that longlist will be announced in July), it has been given every two years since 2005 to authors who are not citizens of the Commonwealth, for an entire body of work in any language (past winners have included Canadian Alice Munro and US citizens Philip Roth and Lydia Davis).

Now that the main Booker Award is open to all writers in English, regardless of citizenship, the International Award has been changed to one for individual novels in English translation, recognizing not only the authors, but also the translators, a change that the Guardian notes, “should help raise the profile of translated books.”

The judges call this shortlist “exhilarating,” praising its diversity.

9781609452865_92e01The finalist best-known in the US is Elena Ferrante for The Story of the Lost Child: Neapolitan Novels, Book Four, translated by Ann Goldstein (PRH/Europa Editions, Sept. 1, 2015; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample). All the titles in the author’s series have been best sellers here, with even the translator achieving celebrity status.

9780553448184_795d0Also having received attention here is The Vegetarian, by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith (PRH/Hogarth; Feb. 2, 2016; OverDrive Sample)

A profile of the author in the daily NYT Books section calls the novel, which was published ten years ago in South Korea,  a “mesmerizing mix of sex and violence.” The review in the NYT “Sunday Book Review” comes with the warning that nothing can “prepare a reader for the traumas of this Korean author’s translated debut in the Anglophone world.”

9780307700292_5f8d2The winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature is also among the finalists, Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk for A Strangeness in My Mind, translated by Ekin Oklap (PRH/Knopf, Oct. 20, 2015; BOT; OverDrive Sample)

Daily NYT reviewer Dwight Garner calls this a minor work, lacking the “the visceral and cerebral impact of Mr. Pamuk’s best novels.”

The other titles on the list are:
9780374289867_84b40A Whole Life, Robert Seethaler, translated by Charlotte Collins (Macmillan/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sept. 13, 2016) — “Like John Williams’ Stoner or Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams, A Whole Life is a tender book about finding dignity and beauty in solitude. It looks at the moments, big and small, that make us what we are.” — from the description on the Booker site

9780802124692_3795aThe Four BooksYan Lianke, translated by Carlos Rojas (Perseus/PGW/Legato/Grove Press, March 8, 2016; OverDrive Sample)– ” No other writer in today’s China has so consistently explored, dissected and mocked the past six and a half decades of Chinese communist rule.” — the Guardian

9780914671312_c2bb4A General Theory of Oblivion, Jose Eduardo Agualusa, translated by Daniel Hahn (PRH/Archipelago, Dec. 15, 2015; OverDrive Sample) — “a wild patchwork of a novel that tells the story of Angola through Ludo, a woman who bricks herself into her apartment on the eve of Angolan independence. For the next 30 years she lives off vegetables and pigeons, and burns her furniture to stay warm. ” — from the description on the Booker site..

The winner of the Prize will be announced on May 16th.

Melanie Townsend Diggs Wins Lemony Snicket Prize

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Snicket-Lanie Headshots-2 (3)In recognition of her efforts to aid the citizens of Baltimore during the 2015 protests that followed the death of  Freddie Gray while in police custody, Melanie Townsend Diggs, Pennsylvania Avenue Branch manager of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library is the recipient of the  2016 Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity, announced yesterday in a press release.

Ms. Diggs will receive $10,000, a certificate, and an “object selected from the personal collection of author Daniel Handler,” aka Lemony Snicket.

In the ALA press release Diggs says :

“in some ways it was a typical day, with people coming and going. But you also would have seen customers and community leaders coming in and thanking us for being open. A woman bringing us flowers, pastries. The media coming in to charge up their batteries, use the restrooms. You would have seen a young man coming in to fill out a job application online, and then coming back the next day to say that he had an interview scheduled for May 5. All of these things happened. If we had not opened our doors, we would have missed all those things.”

Handler adds, “During troubled times, we need open minds. Open minds need open books. Open books require an open library, and the work of Melanie Townsend Diggs provided such a necessary and hopeful beacon.”

Last year’s prize winner, Scott Bonner, was honored for keeping the library in Ferguson, Missouri open during protests there, and the 2014 winner Laurence Copel, was honored for her work in the Lower Ninth Ward Street Library of New Orleans.

Baileys Shortlist Announced

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Six authors made the leap from the longlist to the shortlist for Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the UK’s most prestigious award for women of all nationalities writing in English:

9780804188241_49c49 Ruby, Cynthia Bond (RH/Hogarth; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Bond’s debut novel was an Oprah pick last Feb. and made the NYT‘s bestseller list. It was also very much admired abroad with The Guardian offering: “Many will compare Ruby to the work of Toni Morrison or Zora Neale Hurston … It may be most apt to compare Bond to Gabriel García Márquez [as] Ruby is woven with magical realism.”

9780393352801_871b8The Green Road, Anne Enright (W. W. Norton; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample).

A Man Booker Prize winner, Enright was also on the Booker’s 2015 longlist for this title. When the hardback edition came out last May, People said, “With language so vibrant it practically has a pulse, Enright makes an exquisitely drawn case for the possibility of growth, love and transformation at any age.” It was one of  New York magazine’s 8 Books You Need to Read This May and an Indie Next pick.

9780804189064_9ddaa The Glorious Heresies, Lisa McInerney (PRH/Tim Duggan Books; Random House Audio).

Also a debut, this title is scheduled to hit shelves in the US on Aug. 9. It is set in contemporary, post-crash Ireland. On that side of the ocean McInerney has already gained considerable praise with The Irish Times writing that she is “arguably the most talented writer at work in Ireland today.” 

9781594206856_3b03aThe Portable Veblen, Elizabeth Mckenzie (Penguin Press; OverDrive Sample).

This was an Indie Next pick for Feb. 2016.  Bookseller Rico Lange, of Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA said: “This story of an engaged couple trying to navigate crazy family dynamics, betrayal, and professional dilemmas on their way to getting married is one of the funniest, most unique novels I’ve ever read.” Kirkus, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly all gave it starred reviews.

The Improbability of Love9781101874141_9e7a9 by Hannah Rothschild (RH/Knopf; OverDrive Sample) is the final of the three debuts on the list, written by the incoming chair of London’s National Art Galley. Rothschild (yes, one of THOSE Rothschilds) is the first woman to hold that position. Naturally, her first novel is inspired by one of her favorite artists, Jean-Antoine Watteau. It was both a LibraryReads and a Indie Next pick.

9780804172707_0fec7 A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara (RH/Doubleday; OverDrive Sample).

It is doubtful much more needs to be said about Yanagihara’s 2015 sensation. It was a National Book Award finalist and short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. As we wrote when it published, it enjoyed lavish attention. The LA Times’ review began, “I’ve read a lot of emotionally taxing books in my time, but A Little Life … is the only one I’ve read as an adult that’s left me sobbing.” Vogue said the book announces “the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.” Kirkus, in a starred review, claims “The phrase ‘tour de force’ could have been invented for this audacious novel.”

The award winner will be announced on June 8th.


Thursday, April 7th, 2016

9780316284943_96ec5James Hannaham has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his novel Delicious Foods (Hachette/Little, Brown, March 2015). It is his second novel, after God Says No.

An associate professor of writing at the Pratt Institute in New York, Hannaham told The Washington Post that winning one of the most literary of awards is a surprise for a book he terms as “visceral … It’s also nasty, and it’s not at all genteel.”

Indeed not, as the paper summarizes, it tells the story “of an African American boy who, despite losing his hands, tries to rescue his mother from a Southern produce farm where she’s kept in virtual slavery. It’s a harrowing depiction of drug addiction and the plight of migrant workers. Among the novel’s most radical qualities is that parts of it are narrated by the voice of crack cocaine itself.”

As we reported earlier, the short list included literary darling The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press, April 2015), Luis Alberto Urrea’s short story collection The Water Museum (Hachette/Little, Brown, April 2015), and two under the radar titles, Elizabeth Tallent’s short story collection, Mendocino Fire (Harper, Sept. 2015) and Julie Iromuanya’s debut novel, Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press, May 2015).

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

9780393081084_5fb39The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) has announced their awards for 2016 and the big winner is The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, J. Kenji López-Alt (Norton), which took home honors as both Cookbook of the Year and winner in the American category.

The book is already a hitl. It is a NYT Best Seller, entering the list at #4 in October and currently at #10 after 10 weeks.

9780316329514_088c59781101874868_41e4fFamiliar names Madhur Jaffrey and Andrew Weil also took home prizes. Jaffrey for Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking (PRH/Knopf), which won the Single Subject category and Weil for Fast Food, Good Food: More Than 150 Quick and Easy Ways to Put Healthy, Delicious Food on the Table (Hachette/Little, Brown), which won the Health & Special Diet category.

9780553447293_3cb3b9780714870472_106e5Tacos were big winners with Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothman winning the Chefs and Restaurants category for Tacos: Recipes and Provocations (PRH/Clarkson Potter) and Deborah Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena winning the Reference & Technical category for Tacopedia (Phaidon).

The winners in all the book categories are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, IACP 2016 Cookbook Awards.

Secret Author

Monday, March 14th, 2016

9781609452865_92e01The interest in the hidden identity of Elena Ferrante, author of the Neapolitan novels that have swept through the best seller lists, hit a boil this weekend, sending her titles soaring again on Amazon.

The real author behind the Ferrante pseudonym has rigorously kept her (or his) true identity private. She grants email interviews only and those exchanges pass through her publisher.

That only fuels speculation, and the latest, reports The New York Times, comes from an Italian author and professor who has conducted an historical and literary study of the books. He sets his eyes on a fellow professor from Naples named Marcella Marmo. Both Ms. Marmo and Ferrante’s publishers flatly deny it.

“It’s nonsense,” said the publishers and “I’m not Elena Ferrante,” said Ms. Marmo. Those predictable responses have not quelled speculation.

Holds and circulation remain high across the series that includes My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of The Lost Child (all published by Europa Editions)

Just last week, it was announced that Ferrante is on the longlist for the Man Booker International Prize, adding even more interest to this long-running literary parlor game.

Women’s Fiction Prize Longlist

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

The longlist of 20 titles for the Baileys’ Womens Prize for Fiction was announced on Tuesday, International Women’s Day. The prize was created in 1996 by a group of U.K. reviewers, librarians and others in the book world, to address the issue of  book prizes being disproportionately awarded to men. Now funded by R & A Bailey & Co, makers of Bailey’s Irish Cream, it is open to any woman writing in English

dictionary_detailWe were pleased to see one of the debuts on the list was part of our First Flights/Penguin Debut Authors program. Jackie Copleton, the author of  A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding (PRH/Penguin Books, Dec., 2015), a novel about survivors coping with the effects of the bombing of Nagasaki,  chatted with librarians in the program late last year.

Many authors with more novels under their belts, are on the list, including Elizabeth Strout, My Name Is Lucy Barton (a number one LibraryReads pick) Geraldine Brooks, The Secret Chord, Anne Enright, The Green Road, Kate Atkinson, A God in Ruins, and Attica Locke, Pleasantville

Also on the list is a second novel that received a great deal of attention last year, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.

Libraries own most of the titles (three have not been released in the U.S.). Attached is our spreadsheet of the titles, for use in creating displays, Baileys Longlist, 2016

PEN/Faulkner Finalists Announced

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

The PEN America Center offers so many awards that they can begin to blur, especially since many of the finalists have already appeared on end-of-the year best books lists, or have won other major national awards.

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction shortlist offers two correctives this year, bringing attention to a pair of titles that have slipped under most radars.

9780062410344_1107f9781566893978_87fbcDespite glowing praise in the NYT comparing her work to George Eliot, Elizabeth Tallent’s short story collection, Mendocino Fire (Harper, Sept. 2015), received scant additional attention. The same holds for Julie Iromuanya’s debut novel, Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press, May 2015), which received little notice beyond a mention in the NYT Sunday Book Review’s debut title round-up. As previously announced, it is also a finalist for the PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction.

The other PEN/Faulkner finalists fared better in the PR stakes.

9780316334372_fcd61Luis Alberto Urrea’s short story collection The Water Museum (Hachette/Little, Brown. April 2015) was on both the Washington Post ‘s and NPR’s best of the year lists. Urrea is well-known for his many other works, including Into the Beautiful North, one of 34 titles on NEA’s Big Read list. Showing particular relevance to today’s political discussions, as the Cleveland Plain Dealer says, The Water Museum “mines the tragedy, the dark comedy and the ultimate futility of erecting walls between cultures.”

9780316284943_96ec59780802123459_c9befThe other two books on the short list are true literary darlings. James Hannaham’s Delicious Foods (Hachette/Little, Brown, March 2015) and The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press, April 2015).

Both won major awards, or were on award short lists, and were on many end-of-year “best” lists. Showing remarkable range, The Sympathizer, called a “cerebral thriller about Vietnam and its aftermath” by the Washington Post, is also a nominee for a 2016 Edgar for Best First Novel as well as on the shortlist for the PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Earlier this year, it won ALA’s Carnegie Medal for Fiction.

The winners of the PEN/Faulkner Awards will be announced on April 5th.

Oscars By the Book

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Spotlight  Martian tie-in  The Revenant

Ironically, for a year in which most of the Oscar categories were dominated by literary adaptations, the Best Picture winner, Spotlight was one of the few not based on a novel. The film does, however, have a book connection. Based on the story of the Boston Globe‘s Pulitzer Prize winning investigation into charges of sexual abuse in the Catholic church, the articles were published in book form in 2003 and re-released as a tie-in, Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church: The findings of the investigation that inspired the major motion picture Spotlight, The Investigative Staff of the Boston Globe, (Hachette/Back Bay).

If the Oscars had a category for Book That Benefited Most from Film Adaptation, the winner this year would be Michael Punke’s The Revenant (Macmillian/Picador), which propelled the 2002 novel from obscurity to best seller lists. It also won in three official Oscar categories, Best Actor, Director and Cinematography.

The author, while able to attend the Oscars, is prohibited by his day job from appearing on the red carpet, the New York Times reports in a profile. As the United States ambassador to the World Trade Organization, he is not allowed to do any publicity for the movie, or even his own book.

Also benefiting from its film incarnation is Andy Weir’s The Martian (PRH/Broadway), which made its own unlikely journey from a series Weir offered for free on his web site to a best selling book, with the film adaptation bringing it to even wider readership. Despite its being nominated in six categories, the Academy passed over the movie, denying it a single win.

Both movies got special attention from Oscars host Chris Rock in the show’s opening parody.

Hamilton, Carter Win Grammys

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Hamilton, ChernowThe Grammy Awards are not known for celebrating books, but this year’s opening number has its roots in Ron Chernow’s biography Alexander Hamilton (Penguin, 2005), the inspiration for the hip hop musical Hamilton.

As a result, the book rose to #49 on Amazon’s sales rankings. Holds are growing in many libraries.

The cast recording went on to win Best Musical Theater Album, a category that included another musical adapted from a book Fun Home, based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel.

Hamilton‘s composer-lyricist-star Lin-Manuel Miranda accepted the award in rhyme:

This gives Miranda another footnote to add to his book, coming in April, about the musical’s improbable path to success, Hamilton: The Revolution (Hachette/Grand Central Publishing; Hachette Audio and Blackstone Audio)

9781442391055_17ee8The winner for Best Spoken Word Album is A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety by Jimmy Carter (S&S Audio). This is Carter’s second Grammy. He won in 2007 for Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis (S&S Audio).

The other nominees were:

Blood On Snow, Jo Nesbø, narrator, Patti Smith (Random House Audio)

Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, And Assorted HijinksDick Cavett (Macmillan Audio)

Patience And Sarah, by Isabel Miller; narrators, Janis Ian & Jean Smart (Audible/Brilliance)

Yes Please, Amy Poehler (HarperAudio)

Books Rule the Oscar Noms

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

In terms of Oscar nominations, the force is not with Star Wars, which only received nominations in technical categories, but it is with book adaptations. Of the eight nominees for Best Picture, five are based on books, and one other, Spotlight, has a book connection. It is about the Boston Globe‘s Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles, which were released in 2003 in book form, and re-released as a tie-in. UPDATE; There is one more book connection. Although Bridge of Spies is “an original screenplay and not based on any underlying source material,” there are books about the story, including the 1964 memoir by James B. Donovan, played by Tom Hanks in the move, Strangers on a Bridgerepublished last year by S&S/Scribner and Bridge of Spies by Giles Whittell, (PRH/Broadway, 2010)

Oscar Nominees — Adaptations (technical nominations not listed)

Revenant, Tie-in  9781250066626_c95c5

The Revenant – Best Picture, Director (Alejandro G. Iñárritu), Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Supporting Actor (Tom Hardy)

Won Golden Globe Awards for Drama and Best Actor in a Drama on Sunday. The movie has made a best-seller of the book originally released to middling success in 2002  It is currently at #2 NYT Paperback Trade Fiction Best Sellers list.

Tie-in:  The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke (Macmillian/Picador).

Martian tie-in  The Martian Weir

The Martian — Best Picture, Actor (Matt Damon), Adapted Screenplay

Won Golden Globes for Best Musical or Comedy as well as Best Actor, Musical or Comedy (if you are scratching your head over that designation, you are not alone). The paperback is currently #1 on the NYT Paperback Trade Fiction and #2 on the Paperback Mass-Market Fiction Best Sellers lists.

The Martian, Andy Weir, (PRH/Broadway; mass market pbk)

Big Short Te-in  Big Short
The Big Short
— Best Picture, Director (Adam McKay), Supporting Actor (Christian Bale), Adapted Screenplay

Tie-in:  The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, Michael Lewis, (Norton)

Currently at #1 on the NYT Paperback Nonfiction Best Sellers list.


Brooklyn tie-in  9781439148952_33d23

Brooklyn — Best Picture, Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Adapted Screenplay

Tie-in, currently at #3 on NYT Paperback Trade Fiction Best Sellers list:

BrooklynColm Toibin. (S&S/Scribner)

9780316391344_1779d  Room

Room — Best Picture, Director (Lenny Abrahamson), Actress (Brie Larson), Adapted Screenplay

Larson won a Golden Globe for Best Actress, Drama

Tie-ins: Room: A Novel, (Hachette/Back Bay), Mass MarketAudio CD


Carol Tie-in  9780393325997_041ef

Carol — Best Actress (Cate Blanchett), Supporting Actress (Rooney Mara), Adapted Screenplay;  based on Patricia Highsmith’s The Price Of Salt, 1952.

Tie-in: Carol, Patricia Highsmith, (Norton)

Publisher Norton has created a clever recommendation web site, Choose Your Highsmith, which also features a video of several authors, including Alison Bechdel, expressing their enthusiasm for Highsmith.


45 Years — Best Actress Charlotte Rampling

The movie is based on is in the lead story in the collection, In Another Country, (Biblioasis, June, 2015).

Jobs Trade Pbk  Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs — Best Supporting Actress (Kate Winslet), Actor (Michael Fassbender)

Winslet won a Golden Globe for Supporting Actress.

No tie-in, but the book was released in trade paperback around the time of the movie, (with the younger Jobs on the cover):

Steve JobsWalter Isaacson, (Simon & Schuster)

Danish Girl Tie-in  9780140298482_581f7

The Danish Girl — Best Supporting Actress (Alicia Vikander), Actor (Eddie Redmayne)

Tie-in: The Danish Girl, David Ebershoff, (PRH/Penguin)

TRUMBO tie-in  Trumbo

Trumbo — Best Actor (Bryan Cranston)

Trumbo (Movie Tie-In Edition), Bruce Cook, (Hachette/Grand Central)

Spotlight tie-in   Betrayal

Spotlight — Best Director (Tom McCarthy), Actor (Mark Ruffalo), Supporting Actress (Rachel McAdams), Best Original Screenplay

About the Boston Globe‘s  Pulitzer Prize winning series . The articles were later published in book form in 2003 and re-released as a tie-in:

Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church : The findings of the investigation that inspired the major motion picture Spotlight, The Investigative Staff of the Boston Globe, (Hachette/Back Bay)

THE BOOK OF ARON wins the Sophie Brody Medal

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

9781101874318_45db5Among the awards announced at the ALA Midwinter Conference is the prestigious Sophie Brody Medal, given for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature.

Jim Shepard’s novel The Book of Aron (PRH/Knopf; OverDrive Sample) is this year’s winner. In praising the book the committee says,

“This book is an eloquent blend of fiction and non-fiction that recounts the story of the Warsaw Ghetto through the unvarnished voice of a child.  Shepard’s narrator, Aron, gives a chilling and realistic depiction of the progressive deterioration of his world.  Shepard weaves Aron’s voice with that of Dr. Janusz Korczak, a heroic historical figure dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish children in his charge. This is a haunting story of the Holocaust.”

Further details and the list of the four selected honor books can be found in the RUSA/CODES press release.

2016’s Genre Bests

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

serveimageThe ever-popular RUSA/CODES Reading List for the best genre books was announced during the ALA Midwinter meeting last week in Boston.

The titles are chosen from eight genres covering “adrenaline (suspense, thrillers, and action adventure), fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, and women’s fiction.”

The winners, with annotations by the committee, are:


9780062429056_0a514Pretty Girls, Karin Slaughter (HarperCollins/Morrow; OverDrive Sample)

“Three sisters are driven apart in the aftermath of one’s disappearance. When a violent crime occurs new fears arise and relationships shift again. Long term effects of family grief are exploited by the compulsions of a psychopath. Brutal and disturbing, this is ultimately a story of love and empowerment.”



Uprooted, Naomi Novik (RH/Del Rey; OverDrive Sample)

“In this enchanted old-world fable, villagers threatened by a blighted magical wood allow the resident wizard to take one daughter into servitude for ten years. When he chooses klutzy Agnieszka, she faces an unexpected future and confronts the dangers of a wider political world and the roots of magical corruption.”

Historical Fiction:

9780062364838_a4cd3Crooked Heart, Lissa Evans (Harper; OverDrive Sample)

“Raised by his eccentric ex-suffragette godmother to be a free-thinker, young Noel is thrown into chaos when the London Blitz forces him into the home of a scam artist loyal only to her layabout son. Thrust together, the two oddballs are forced to find a way through the wartime landscape 


9781476782638_d985eThe Fifth House of the Heart, Ben Tripp (S&S/Gallery; OverDrive Sample)

“Flamboyant antiques dealer Asmodeus “Sax” Saxon-Tang made his fortune by accidentally killing a vampire with a horde of treasure. To protect the only person he loves, his niece, he’s forced to return to old Europe to assemble an eccentric team of vampire hunters in this gory, witty caper.”


9780062292438_8dbf8The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney (Harper/William Morrow; OverDrive Sample)

“Cold cases cast a twenty-five year shadow of grief and guilt on the lives of two survivors of traumatic teenage crimes. New leads and new cases bring them back to Oklahoma City as past and present intersect in this poignant and compelling story of lives forever changed by random violence.”



Taking the Heat by Victoria Dahl (HQN; OverDrive Sample)

“Sassy relationship advice columnist Veronica overcomes her commitment anxiety and gains confidence with the help of mountain-climbing librarian Gabe. Steamy romance evolves into a strong relationship as they scale a mountain of family conflicts and share secrets against a majestic Jackson Hole backdrop.”

Science Fiction:


Golden Son, Pierce Brown (RH/Del Rey; OverDrive Sample)

“Insurgent Darrow inveigled his way into high Gold society in 2014’s Red Rising. In this dramatic, high octane follow-up, conflicting loyalties and his own ambitions lure Darrow into an untenable web of deceptions. Bolstered by new alliances, Darrow battles to overthrow corrupt lunar leadership and bring freedom to Mars.”


Women’s Fiction:

Re Jane by Patricia Park (Penguin/Pamela Dorman Books; OverDrive Sample)

“Anxious to escape the strict upbringing of her uncle’s Flushing grocery, Korean-American Jane accepts an au pair position in the pretentious household of two Brooklyn academics and their adopted Chinese daughter. Park has created a bright comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living on one’s own terms.”

The RUSA press release also gives more fodder for readers advisors, with the four short-listed titles per category.

RUSA/CODES Audiobook Winners

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

ListenListThe titles selected for The Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration were announced at the ALA Midwinter meeting in Boston this past weekend.

The Listen List picks audiobook titles based on the appeal of their narration and offers a juried list of 12 notable suggestions along with listen-alike pairings, a particular boon for RA librarians.

Below are the winners and listen-alikes. Annotations can be found on the RUSA/CODES press release.

y648All Involved by Ryan Gattis. Narrated by Anthony Rey Perez, Marisol Ramirez, Jim Cooper, Adam Lazarre-White, and James Chen (HarperAudio).


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Narrated by Ta-Nehisi Coates. (Books on Tape/Random House Audio).

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg. Narrated by Rebecca Lowman, Tristan Morris, and Bronson Pinchot. (Books on Tape/Random House Audio).

Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets by Sudhir Venkatesh. Narrated by Reg Rogers, Sudhir Venkatesh, and Stephen J. Dubner. (HarperAudio).

9781427258090_5f831All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer. Narrated by Ari Fliakos and Juliana Francis Kelly (Macmillan Audio).


The Dinner by Herman Koch. Narrated by Clive Mantle. (Blackstone Audio).

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Narrated by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne. (Books on Tape/Random House Audio).

A Perfect Spy by John le Carré. Narrated by Michael Jayston. (Penguin Audio).

1494509091_66a38And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander. Narrated by Kate Reading (Recorded Books/Tantor Media).


The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber. Narrated by Heather Wilds. (Recorded Books/Tantor Media).

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. King. Narrated by Jenny Sterlin (Recorded Books).

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. Narrated by Rita Barrington. (Blackstone Audio).

9780553551624_0259dDead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. Narrated by Scott Brick (Books on Tape/Random House Audio).


Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing. Narrated by Simon Prebble. (Blackstone Audio).

The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman. Narrated by John Lee. (Recorded Books/Tantor Media).

A Night to Remember: The Classic Account of the Final Hours of the Titanic by Walter Lord. Narrated by Martin Jarvis. (Blackstone Audio).

DraculaDracula by Bram Stoker. Narrated by David Horovitch, Jamie Parker, Joseph Kloska, Alison Pettitt, and cast (Naxos AudioBooks).


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Narrated by Daniel Philpott, Chris Larkin, Roger May, and Jonathan Oliver. (Naxos AudioBooks).

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Narrated by Justine Eyre and Paul Michael. (Books on Tape/Random House Audio).

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Narrated by Martin Jarvis. (Blackstone Audio).

bhsj-square-240H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. Narrated by Helen MacDonald (Blackstone Audio).


Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert. Narrated by Elizabeth Gilbert. (Books on Tape/Penguin Audio).

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery. Narrated by Sy Montgomery. (Recorded Books/HighBridge Audio).

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. Narrated by Bernadette Dunne. (Books on Tape/Random House Audio)

y6481The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. Narrated by Davina Porter (HarperAudio).


A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Narrated by Roy Dotrice. (Books on Tape/Random House Audio).

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. Narrated by Casaundra Freeman. (Brilliance Audio.)

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan. Narrated by Kate Reading. (Macmillan Audio).

9780553551402The Jaguar’s Children by John Vaillant. Narrated by Ozzie Rodriguez and David H. Lawrence XVII (Books on Tape/Random House Audio).


Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Héctor Tobar. Narrated by Henry Leyva.(Recorded Books).

The Devil’s Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea. Narrated by Luis Alberto Urrea. (Hachette Audio).

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Narrated by Jonathan Davis. (Brilliance Audio).

9780553551013The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. Narrated by Katherine Kellgren (Books on Tape/Random House Audio).


The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. Narrated by Bernadette Dunne. (Books on Tape/Random House Audio).

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby. Narrated by Emma Fielding. (Books on Tape/Penguin Audio).

The Status of All Things by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Narrated by Amy McFadden. (Dreamscape Media).

9781622316342_fb5adThe Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter. Narrated by Alex Wyndham (Recorded Books/HighBridge Audio).


The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters. Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. (Recorded Books).

The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel by Anthony Horowitz. Narrated by Derek Jacobi. (Blackstone Audio/Hachette Audio).

The Perfect Murder by H.R.F. Keating. Narrated by Frederick Davidson. (Blackstone Audio).

1494504766_96d42‘Til the Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma. Narrated by Ron Butler and Bahni Turpin (Recorded Books/Tantor Media).


Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Narrated by Adjoa Andoh. (Recorded Books).

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique. Narrated by Cherise Boothe, Korey Jackson, Rachel Leslie, and Myra Lucretia Taylor. (Recorded Books).

Unburnable by Marie-Elena John. Narrated by Robin Miles. (Recorded Books).

y6483True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa by Michael Finkel. Narrated by Rich Orlow (HarperAudio).


Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson. Narrated by Scott Brick. (Books on Tape/Random House Audio).

Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation by Dean Jobb. Narrated by Peter Berkrot. (Recorded Books/HighBridge Audio).

Out of Orange by Cleary Wolters. Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. (Blackstone Audio/HarperAudio).

ALA Youth Media Awards Sell Books

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

The books that rose the highest on Amazon sales rankings since yesterday’s announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards are the Newbery and Caldecott Medalists.

9780399257742_291dbFinding Winnie

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, Lindsay Mattick and  Sophie Blackall– the Caldecott Medalist rose to #37  from #3,766.

Last Stop on Market Street, Matt De La Peña, Christian Robinson, (Penguin/Putnam) — Not only is this the Newbery Medalist, it is also one of the three Caldecott Honor Books as well as a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book. It rose to #48 from #7,857 and is liste as “temporarily out of stock” on Amazon as well as on wholesaler sites.

Winners Blackall and De La Peña were interviewed last night on NPR’s All Things Considered:

Two other titles also received bumps:


Waiting, Kevn Henkes, (HarperCollins/Greenwillow) — A Caldecott and a Geisel Honor Book, it rose to #201 from #494.

The War that Saved My Life, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, (Penguin/Dial)  — A Newbery Honor Book, as well as a co-winner of  the Schneider Family Book Award for Middle-School. In addition, the Listening Library audio won the Odyssey Award Medal. It rose to  #367 from #5,122. The author was featured in our Penguin Young Readers program (read the live chat with the author here).

Download our spreadsheet with full biblio. information on all the awards — ALA Youth Media Awards, 2016