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:
Chick Lit grows up
Issue-Driven Women‟s 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 www.shelfrenewal.com, and follow her blog with
Karen Kleckner at www.libraryjournal.com/shelfrenewal.
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
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
(http://bfgb.wordpress.com) 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
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.