Yippee! Readers and the librarians who love to serve them now have a new resource for selecting the latest fiction titles. On April 17 at its annual conference held in San Antonio, the Texas Library Association (TLA) unveiled its first reading list for adult readers. Developed by a task force of 13 public, school, and academic librarians who specialize in services and programming for adults, the Lariat List features 25 notable fiction works published in 2009.
"We want the list to be a handy RA tool for librarians everywhere," explains committee member and LJ fiction reviewer Keddy Ann Outlaw (retired, Harris County Public Library, Houston). "TLA has had success with the Bluebonnet and Lone Star reading lists for kids and teens. Now we want to provide a similar service for adults." The selection committee’s criterion for inclusion was books that were "a pleasure to read" and diverse in genres and appeal factors. Out of the more 300 titles suggested, the grouplast spring weeded the candidates down to 80 books and spent 12 months reading and discussing the nominees until they voted on the final 25 winners at the TLA conference. (The committee is already working on the 2010 list.)
Selected titles range the gamut from popular best sellers like Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire and Kathryn Stockett’s The Help to Kevin Wilson’s offbeat and intriguing collection Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories and Mary Beth Keane’s The Walking People, a richly evocative novel about Irish immigrants. There are also mysteries (Spencer Quinn’s Dog on It), thrillers (Linda Castillo’s Sworn to Silence), historical fiction (Bernard Cornwell’s Agincourt), romances (Kristen Higgins’s Too Good to Be True), and science fiction (William F. Fortschen’s One Second After) to please genre fans. Kudos to the Texas librarians who have rounded up an interestingly eclectic list that is sure to appeal to a diverse range of reading tastes.