Award-Winning Fiction of All Kinds!

Susan Withee, Adult Services Department Manager

Hands down, the most popular books with adults in public libraries are what we in the biz call “genre fiction” – mysteries, romances, westerns, science fiction, and so on.  And every spring and summer, various national writers’ organizations hold their conventions and give out awards for the best books written in those different fiction genres during the past year.  For enthusiastic readers, the nominated books and authors can be an instant reading list of the newest and “best of the best,” and checking into that group’s online archive of prize-winners and nominees from previous years can keep you reading happily for a good long time.  Here are just a sample of this year’s nominees.

THE EDGAR AWARDS (Mystery Writers of America) – 2014 nominees for best mysteries in different categories:  “How the Light Gets In” by Louise Penny; “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger; “Sandrine’s Case” by Thomas H. Cook; “Standing in Another Man’s Grave” by Ian Rankin; “The Humans” by Matt Haig; “Until She Comes Home” by (Manhattan’s own!) Lori Roy; “The Resurrectionist” by Matthew Guinn; “Ghostman” by Roger Hobbs; “Rage Against the Dying” by Becky Masterman; “Reconstructing Amelia” by Kimberly McCreight;   “The Guilty One” by Lisa Ballantyne; “Almost Criminal” by E. R. Brown; “Joe Victim” by Paul Cleave; “The Wicked Girls” by Alex Marwood; “Brilliance” by Marcus Sakey.

THE AGATHA AWARDS (Malice Domestic: writers of traditional mysteries with no explicit sex, no excessive gore, no gratuitous violence) – Nominees are:  “Through the Evil Days” by Julia Spencer-Fleming; “Pagan Spring” by G. M. Malliet; “Clammed Up” by Barbara Ross; “The Wrong Girl” by Hank Ryan; “Heirs and Graces” by Rhys Bowen; “Death in the Time of Ice” by Kaye George; “A Friendly Game of Murder” by JJ Murphy; “Murder in Chelsea” by Victoria Thompson; “A Question of Honor” by Charles Todd; “Death Al Dente” by Leslie Budewitz; “You Cannoli Die Once” by Shelley Costa; “Kneading to Die” by Liz Mugavero; “Front Page Fatality” by LynDee Walker.

THE SPUR AWARDS (Western Writers of America) – “Redemption: Hunters” by James Reasoner; “Tucker’s Reckoning” by Matthew Mayo; “The Orchardist” by Amanda Coplin; “Greasy Grass: A Story of the Little Big Horn” by Johnny D. Boggs; “Crossing Purgatory” by Gary Schanbacher; “Destiny Made Them Brothers” by Andrew J. Fenady; “Country of the Bad Wolfes” by James Carlos Blake; “The Secret of Lodestar” by Tim Champlin.

RITA AWARDS (Romance Writers of America) – Nominees for best romances of the past year:  “Beach House No. 9” by Christie Ridgway; “Promise to Return” by Elizabeth Byler Younts; “Crazy Thing Called Love” by Molly O’Keefe; “Fix You” by Beck Anderson; “Homecoming Ranch” by Julia London; “Rumor Has It” by Jill Shalvis; “The Second Chance Café” by Alison Kent; “The Sweet Spot” by Laura Drake; “Any Duchess Will Do” by Tessa Dare; “The Autumn Bride” by Anne Gracie; “The Countess Conspiracy” by Courtney Milan; “Darius” by Grace Burrowes; “The Luckiest Lady in London” by Sherry Thomas; “The Devil’s Heart” by Cathy Maxwell; “The Firebird” by Susanna Kearsley; “Heart of Obsidian” by Nalini Singh; “His Clockwork Canary” by Beth Ciotta.

NEBULA AWARD (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) – Nominees for best novel:  “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler; “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman; “Fire with Fire” by Charles Gannon; “Hild” by Nicola Griffith; “Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie;  “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker.

HUGO AWARD (World Science Fiction Society) – Nominees for 2014 Best Science Fiction or Fantasy novel: “Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie; “Neptune’s Brood” by Charles Stross; “Parasite” by Mira Grant; “Warbound” (The Grimnoir Chronicles vol. 3) by Larry Correia.

For additional information about writers’ organizations and the complete archives of past prize winners in your favorite fiction genre, take a look at these websites: Mystery Writers of America:; Malice Domestic:; Western Writers of America:; Romance Writers of America:; Science Fiction Writers of America:

Manhattan Public Library staff share your love of reading from ALL fiction categories and we’ll be happy to help you find lots of great books to read.

Posted in: Adult Services, Mercury Column, News

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