Books That Buzzed at the American Library Association Conference in Las Vegas

Look at the titles flying out of the publishers’ booths at the American Library Association conference in Las Vegas, and you’ll get a good idea of what folks will be reading across America in the coming scallymonths. It’s not surprising that high-profile works like Lauren Oliver’s Rooms and Deborah Harkness’s The Book of Life got attention, but the rush for debuts like Sarah Creech’s Season of the Dragonflies and Caitlin Doughty’s Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory is significant. Here’s a list of titles, by publisher, that spoke to people on the floor.


Jessie Burton, The Miniaturist

Alix Christie, Gutenberg’s Apprentice

Sarah Creech, Season of the Dragonflies

Richard Kadrey, The Getaway God: A Sandman Slim Novel

Dennis Lehane, The Drop

Lauren Oliver, Rooms

Lisa Turner, The Gone Dead Train The Gone Dead Train



T. Jefferson Parker, Full Measure

Rainbow Rowell, Landline

Kat Spears, Sway

Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation & Authority (from the “Southern Reach Trilogy”)



Diane Ackerman, The Human Age

Cathy Barrow, Mrs. Wheelbarrow, Practical Pantry

Caitlin Doughty, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (galleys ran out at each signing)

Jules Feiffer, Kill My Mother

Ann Hood, An Italian Wife

Leslie S Klinger, ed., The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft

Lucy Knisley, An Age of License (Fantagraphics)

John Lahr, Tennessee Williams

Stephen Merritt & Roz Chast, 101 Two-Letter Words

Ed Piskor, Hip-Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphics)



Popular galleys:

Tana French, The Secret Place

Lev Grossman, The Magician’s Land

Deborah Harkness, The Book of Life (hands down, the hottest title)

Jan Karon, Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good

Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies (galleys & books)

Jojo Moyes, The Ship of Brides

Jojo Moyes, Silver Bay

Cherie Priest, Maplecroft

Sarah Waters, The Paying Guests

Popular books:

Chris Abani, The Secret History of Las Vegas (an older title, but people came looking for it)

Sophia Amoruso, #GIRLBOSS

Ace Atkins, Forsaken

Joel Dicker, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

A.S.A Harrison, The Silent Wife

Marjia Mills, The Mockingbird Next Door

Jojo Moyes, One Plus One

Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You

Thomas Sweterlitsch, Tomorrow and Tomorrow

M.D. Waters, Prototype

Naomi Wood, Mrs. Hemingway


Perseus Books Group

Jonathan Beckman, How To Ruin a Queen: Marie Antoinette and the Diamond Necklace Affair

Cecilia Ekbäck, Wolf Winter

Ben Mezrich, Seven Wonders

Ramita Navai, City of Lies: Sex, Death, and the Search for Truth in Tehran

Scout, Lessons in Balance: A Dog’s Reflections on Life (interest based on the poster)

Adam Tanner, What Stays in Vegas: The World of Personal Data—Lifeblood of Big Business—and the End of Privacy as We Know It

Chris Taylor, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise

Kenneth Turan, Not To Be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites from a Lifetime of Film



Allen Eskens, The Life We Bury

Michel Faber, The Book of Strange New Things

Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven

Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time


Simon & Schuster

Jason Boog, Born Reading

Caroline Kepnes, You

Natalia Sanmartin Fenoliera, The Awakening of Miss Prim

Garth Stein, A Sudden Light Matthew Thomas, We Are Not Ourselves

Colm Tóibín, Nora Webster



Lin Enger, The High Divide

Tim Johnston, Descent

Michelle Raffin, The Birds of Pandemonium: Life Among the Exotic and Endangered (folks flocked back to the booth to say they loved it)


Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.


  1. Susan Long says:

    From the Midpoint Distribution Booth, we were very excited to run out of the 100 Signed Hardcovers we had for Confessions of a Self-Help Writer-The Journal of Michael Enzo (The most wished for book on Indie Bound for over 14 weeks) in 20 minutes on Friday night. Especially, since the booth was buried in the “food serving line.” Also, because the author’s mother was a lifetime educator and librarian, he insisted we donate as many books as possible to anyone who might not have the funding to take a chance on a “tiny book” and after we ran out of Hardcovers, many walked away with multiple paperbacks. Although the subject matter of the book is definitely of an adult nature- a fascinating impromptu debate between a wonderful 82 year old librarian from Upstate New York (a new friend of ours) and the author Benjamin DeHaven, brought to light a fascinating fact, I had not even previously noticed. This amazing woman stated, “The flow of the first few chapters of Confession’s are “choppy”–I counted and none of the sentences are over 140 characters.” The author smiled and replied, “I figured if I could restrict the sentences to the size of a twitter feed, and put enough “dirt” in the book, I might be able to grab someone’s attention long enough, to drive them to read books that actually mattered.” This wonderful woman (who wanted to remain anonymous) then attended the author’s next signing event which was held at the Hustler Club on Dean Martin drive, in Las Vegas, NV. Whatever it takes to get someone to read! What an amazing event overall, we were blessed to be a part of it and for the first time in many years are so positive about the amazing new projects other publishers are putting out, the strength of the Library system, and the wisdom of the educators before us.