The Top 5 of the Top 5 Womens Fiction

By Laurie Fox,2014-05-07 14:00
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The Top 5 of the Top 5 Womens Fiction

    The Top 5 of the Top 5: WOMEN’S FICTION

5 must-know Women’s Fiction authors:

    Danielle Steel; Barbara Delinsky; Barbara Taylor Bradford; Jennifer Weiner; Maeve


5 up-and-coming authors:

    Katherine Center; Emily Giffin; Allison Winn Scotch; Laura Moriarty; Hester Browne.

5 books that will get you up to speed on what Women’s Fiction is all about:

    Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner Mommy Lit;

    Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky Issue-Driven;

    Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews Humor;

    Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston Marriage;

    Always and Forever by Cathy Kelley Friendship.

5 trends in Women’s Fiction:

    Crafty Women


    Chick Lit grows up

    Issue-Driven Women‟s Fiction

    Ensemble Fiction

5 of Rebecca’s personal favorites:

    Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner; Jemima J by Jane Green; Circle of Friends by Maeve

    Binchy; Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani; Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian


    Rebecca Vnuk is the author of 2 Reader‟s Advisory nonfiction titles for Libraries Unlimited, Read On…Women’s Fiction, and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide. A reviewer and

    collection development article writer for Library Journal, she was named their Fiction Reviewer of the Year in 2008. She is currently the chair of the ALA RUSA CODES RA Committee, and is

    this year‟s recipient of PLA‟s Allie Beth Martin Award. Recently, Rebecca left the land of public libraries to consult, write, and admire her cute baby but she‟s available for workshops and presentations. You can contact her through, and follow her blog with

    Karen Kleckner at

    The Top 5 of the Top 5: HUMOR

5 Classic Humor authors:

    Mark Twain; P.G. Wodehouse; Dorothy Parker; Bill Bryson; David Sedaris;

5 Up-and-Coming Authors:

    Jonathan Tropper, Lisa Lutz, Sam Lipsyte, Jess Walter, John Hodgman. No - that‟s wrong: Toby

    Young, Sarah Vowell, Josh Bazell, James Hamilton Patterson, Craig Ferguson. No, wait strike

    that: Sarah Silverman, Gideon Defoe, Chris Elliott, John Swartzwelder, Jack Handey…

5 Must-Know Books:

    Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis: The funniest book ever written.

    Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams: The funniest book ever written.

    Love in a Cold Climate, by Nancy Mitford: Quite possibly the funniest book ever written.

    Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole: Undoubtedly the funniest book ever written.

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson: The funniest book ever written?

5 Trends in Humor:

    The Blog as Book: Also Twitter, Facebook, etc.

    The Cringe Factor: Dysfunctional delights.

    Mass Comedia: Comedy Central, NPR and other crossover sensations.

    The Lighter Side of Genres: “But are they funny zombies?” The Lighter Side of Classics: “But are they funny Regency zombies?”

5 of David’s Personal Favorites:

    How I Became a Famous Novelist, by Steve Hely

    Evolution Man, or How I Ate My Father, by Roy Lewis

    The Highly Effective Detective, by Richard Yancey

    Diary of a Nobody, by George and Weedon Grossmith

    The Lazlo Letters, by Don Novello

    David Wright, Reader‟s Advisory Librarian, Seattle Public Library: When not serving and advising readers in the Fiction Department of Seattle‟s Central Library,

    David is helping people find the restrooms and picking up stray bits of paper. He also loosely

    edits Shelf Talk, the library blog, teaches at the University of Washington, and writes columns

    and reviews for Booklist, NoveList, Library Journal, Alki, and other places, and can occasionally

    be heard reading stories on NPR‟s All Things Considered.

    The Top 5 of the Top 5: CRIME/MYSTERY

5 must-know crime fiction writers:

    Dorothy Sayers; Robert B. Parker; P. D. James; Walter Mosley; Anne Perry.

5 Up-and-Coming writers:

    Ariana Franklin (Mistress of the Art of Death) Louise Penny (Still Life)

    Michael Genelin (Siren of the Waters) Charles Todd (A Test of Wills)

    Colin Cotterill (The Coroner’s Lunch)

5 must-know crime fiction books:

    Roseanna Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

    The Mysterious Affair at Styles Agatha Christie The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler

    Indemnity Only Sarah Paretsky

    A Morbid Taste for Bones Ellis Peters

5 trends in crime fiction:

    Paranormal Crime Fiction

    Historical Mysteries

    Contemporary Cozies

    Hobby Mysteries

    Police Procedurals

    Barry’s top 5 personal favorite crime novels: Time’s Witness Michael Malone

    Gaudy Night -- Dorothy Sayers

    Lead so I Can Follow Harold Adams

    Murder Duet Batya Gur

    Chourmo Jean-Claude Izzo

Barry Trott, Adult Services Director, Williamsburg Regional Library.

    Barry Trott received his MSLS from The Catholic University of America School of Library and

    Information Science in 1997, and has worked at the Williamsburg Regional Library as reference

    librarian and as readers‟ services librarian prior to becoming division director. Barry is the past-

    chair of the RUSA CODES Readers‟ Advisory Committee for ALA, edits the readers‟ advisory

    column for RUSQ, and writes for the NoveList readers‟ advisory database. He is the author of Read On . . . Crime Fiction (Libraries Unlimited 2008) and is series editor for the Read On

    Series. In 2007, Barry was awarded both the Public Library Association‟s Allie Beth Martin

    Award and the ALA Reference and User Services Association‟s Margaret E. Monroe Library

    Adult Services Award in recognition for his work in readers‟ advisory services.

    Top 5 of the Top 5: Fantasy

    5 Must-Know Authors or for sheer popularity, an alternate 5 Lois McMaster Bujold Terry Brooks

    Neil Gaiman Terry Goodkind

    Robin Hobb Robert Jordan

    Guy Gavriel Kay Mercedes Lackey

    Terry Pratchett R. A. Salvatore

5 Up-and-Coming Authors or is it…?

    Joe Abercrombie Daniel Abraham

    Gail Carriger Libba Bray

    K. J. Parker Kristin Cashore

    Brandon Sanderson David Anthony Durham

    Brent Weeks Ken Scholes

5 Must-Know Series

    Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, starting with Storm Front

    Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series, starting with Dead until Dark George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, starting with Game of Thrones J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, starting with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, starting with The Fellowship of the Ring

5 Trends in the Genre

    Urban fantasy/paranormal fantasy

    Darker epic fantasy

    Young adult fantasy

    Cross-genre/interstitial work

    Series launches

Neil’s Personal Favorites (beyond those listed above!)

    The Innkeeper’s Song by Peter S. Beagle

    Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, starting with Lord Foul’s Bane, by Stephen R. Donaldson Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, starting with The Briar King, by Greg Keyes The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

    Troy series, starting with Lord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell

Neil Hollands is an adult services librarian specializing in readers’ advisory at Williamsburg

    Regional Library in Virginia. His two books are Read On… Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: A Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2010), both from Libraries Unlimited. He contributed a chapter on the future of RA to Research-Based Readers’ Advisory by Jessica Moyer (ALA, 2010). He blogs for WRL’s Blogging for a Good Book

    ( and Booklist’s Book Group Buzz


    Top 5 of the Top 5: HORROR

5 Must-Know Classic Authors

    Edgar Allan Poe; Stephen King; John Saul; Dean R. Koontz; Anne Rice.

5 Up-and-Coming Authors

    Joe Hill; Chelsea Cain; Christopher Ransom; Alexandra Sokoloff; Gary Braunbeck.

5 Must-Know Books

    Dracula by Bram Stoker

    Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

    Pet Sematary by Stephen King

    Suffer the Children by John Saul

    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

5 Trends

    Comic Horror: Dark and dry wit; just add „zombie‟ and it‟s funnier and scarier

    Women as Evil Protagonists: Hell really hath no fury like a woman mildly annoyed with a razor

    sharp knife and a syringe

    Your environment is trying to kill you: Cell phones, the family dog, germs, computer games, etc.

    Bloody fingers in other genres: Cross over into thrillers/mysteries/literary fiction

    Blood is the new Black: a timeless quality to horror: Everything old is new and scary again

5 of Kaite’s Personal Favorites

    Ghost Radio by Leopold Gout

    The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom

    Audrey Rose by Frank DeFelitta

    Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

    Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

    Kaite Mediatore Stover, Head of Readers‟ Services, The Kansas City Public Library. Kaite manages to fit her day job in between writing “He Reads, She Reads” with David Wright

    for Booklist, contributing columns and reviews to Booklist, NoveList, Present magazine,

    blogging for Book Group Buzz, and writing chapters for other people‟s books. Sometimes she can be heard on the local Kansas City airwaves with the Book Doctors. She doesn‟t let any of

    this get in the way of her porch redecorating, spelling bees, or hula hoop contests. Oh, and she

    co-edited a book this year, The Readers’ Advisory Toolkit.

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