“And the Award Goes to…”
This year’s program will feature the best of the best in our collection. No matter what type of fiction or nonfiction you enjoy, there is a category here for you. Register for the Adult Winter Reading Program and enjoy exploring award winners in a variety of genres.
The program will start January 2 and run through March 4. The deadline for submitting the number of books read will be March 11, 2019. To qualify for prizes, patrons must read at least 10 titles from the provided reading list.
Included in the program are books from 10 categories featuring a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction. Patrons may elect to enjoy the program by category or by individual title. Wolfner Library would like to thank the Library Users of Missouri for funding this year’s Adult Winter Reading Program.
Table of Contents
Man Booker Award
National Book Award
Named after Agatha Christie, the Agatha Award honors books written in the cozy mystery genre. Cozy mysteries feature amateur sleuths, little sex or violence, and are set in socially intimate communities.
Death al Dente by Leslie Budewitz
Read by Donna Davis. Reading time: 9 hours 1 minute.
When Erin Murphy takes over her family's century-old general store, she turns it into a boutique market filled with local delicacies. But Erin's freshly booming business might go rotten when a former employee turns up dead. Includes recipes. 2013 Best First Novel subcategory winner.
Dreaming Spies: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes by Laurie R. King
Read by Terry Donnelly. Reading time: 13 hours 33 minutes.
On board ship in 1924, Russell and Holmes encounter a blackmailing earl, his wife, and a young Japanese woman who tutored the foreigners on her country. Russell suspected that Miss Sato Haruki was not all that she seemed--and a year later, the intrigue surrounding her continues. Mary Russell series, book 13. 2015 Best Historical Novel subcategory winner.
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her
by Melanie Rehak
Read by Martha Harmon Pardee. Reading time: 10 hours, 17 minutes.
Chronicles the history of the Nancy Drew mystery series from its 1930 creation by book mogul Edward Stratemeyer and original series writer Mildred Benson. Discusses the Stratemeyer Syndicate under daughter Harriet's leadership and explains how the books highlight the social era in which they were written. Edgar Award. 2005 Best Nonfiction subcategory award winner for both the Agatha and Edgar Awards.
Glass Houses by Louise Penny
Read by Louise Penny and Robert Bathurst. Reading time:
13 hours, 34 minutes.
BR 22095; 5 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4. Volume 5.
When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are curious but wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead. After the figure vanishes overnight, a body is discovered. Chief Inspector Gamache series, book 13. Unrated. 2017 Best Contemporary Novel subcategory winner.
In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen
Read by Jack Fox. Reading time: 9 hours, 31 minutes.
LP 33267; 495 pages.
England, 1941. Although an airplane crash kept Ben Cresswell out of battle, he is working for MI5 searching for spies. When a failed parachute jump leaves a suspicious corpse in his neighbors' Farleigh Place field, Ben investigates. Meanwhile, Pamela Sutton from Farleigh is secretly a government codebreaker. Some strong language. 2017 Best Historical Novel subcategory winner.
Long Upon the Land by Margaret Maron
Read by Margaret Maron. Reading time: 6 hours 47 minutes.
Judge Deborah Knott's father, Kezzie, makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Investigating the crime, Deborah's husband, sheriff's deputy Dwight Bryant, soon uncovers a long-simmering hostility between Kezzie and the slain man over a land dispute. Unrated. 2015 Best Contemporary Novel subcategory winner.
Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer
Read by Kerry Stubbs. Reading time: 9 hours 4 minutes.
Private Investigator Liz Talbot is a modern Southern belle. When her grandmother is murdered, Liz high-tails it back to her South Carolina island home to find the killer. Unrated. 2012 Best First Novel subcategory winner.
The Semester of Our Discontent by Cynthia Kuhn
Read by Pat Jonietz. Reading time: 7 hours, 12 minutes.
LP 33233; 341 pages.
English professor Lila Maclean is thrilled about her new job at prestigious Stonedale University, until she finds one of her colleagues dead. She soon learns that everyone, from the chancellor to the detective working the case, believes Lila--or someone she is protecting--may be responsible for the horrific event, so she assigns herself the task of identifying the killer. 2016 Best First Novel subcategory winner.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Read by Kristin Allison. Reading time: 9 hours, 31 minutes.
LP 32935; 503 pages.
BR 20172; 4 volumes. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4.
England, 1950. Eleven-year-old aspiring chemist Flavia de Luce overhears her father in a heated argument with a stranger, who turns up dead in the garden of the de Luces' decaying estate. When Flavia's father is charged with murder, she seeks clues in their village and his past to exonerate him. Flavia de Luce series, book 1. 2009 Best First Novel subcategory winner.
Truth Be Told by Hank Phillipi Ryan
Read by Martha Harmon Pardee. Reading time: 12 hours 54 minutes.
Boston reporter Jane Ryland is covering the removal of an evicted family's belongings when the police find a dead body in the closet. Meanwhile, one bank employee is secretly stopping foreclosures, while another is exploiting them. Jane and Detective Jake Brogan juggle these investigations with a cold-case confession. Strong language. 2014 Best Contemporary Novel subcategory winner.
Named for Catherine Marshall’s novel Christy, The Christy Award features the best of Christian Fiction. Subcategories of the award include contemporary, historical, gentle romance, and suspense books written from a perspective of faith.
Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
Read by Kristin Allison. Reading time: 9 hours, 24 minutes.
Boston, 1891. Lydia Pallas works as a translator for the Navy Yard. When Lieutenant Alexander Banebridge requires Lydia's skills for a case, she becomes his assistant. As Lydia is drawn deeper into Bane's mission to end the opium trade, a relationship develops between them. Winner of the 2013 Historical Romance Christy subcategory and the 2013 RITA Inspirational Romance subcategory.
Chasing Fireflies: A Novel of Discovery by Charles Martin
Read by Frank Coffee. Reading time: 11 hours, 14 minutes.
Glynn County, Georgia. A suicidal woman ousts a boy from her car before fatally colliding with a train. Reporter Chase Walker follows up with the orphan--"Snoot"--whose history of abuse and neglect echoes Chase's childhood. Snoot, an artistic prodigy who does not speak, soon captures the reporter's heart. 2008 Contemporary Standalone subcategory winner.
The Cure by Athol Dickson
Read by Michael Scherer. Reading time: 9 hours, 55 minutes.
Alcoholic, divorced former minister Riley Keep has been living on the streets since a devastating missionary experience. Now Riley returns to his hometown of Dublin, Maine, where hordes of homeless people seek a rumored cure for addiction. But it may not be the miracle they hope for. 2008 Suspense subcategory winner.
Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews
Read by Catherine Byers. Reading time: 15 hours, 9 minutes.
Ishma has already faced numerous challenges in her young life when she joins the household of the prophet Isaiah. There, she meets Prince Hezekiah. When their love matures, Isaiah adopts Ishma and changes her name to Hephzibah. She will need all of her strength to be a partner to Hezekiah. 2018 Historical subcategory winner.
June Bug by Chris Fabry
Read by Jill Fox. Reading time: 10 hours, 38 minutes.
Nine-year-old June Bug and her dad travel around the country in their beat-up RV. One day June Bug sees a missing-person poster with her face on it and realizes her father may be lying to her. Meanwhile, in Dogwood, West Virginia, a grandmother continues her seven-year search. 2010 Contemporary Standalone subcategory winner.
Luther and Katharina: A Novel of Love and Rebellion by Jody Hedlund
Read by Erin Jones. Reading time: 11 hours, 55 minutes.
BR 21381; 4 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4.
Nun Katharina von Bora escapes the convent she has lived in since the age of five. Enthralled by the words and actions of Martin Luther, she goes to follow him. They form a bond, but outside forces threaten both Luther and Katharina. Some violence. 2016 historical Romance subcategory winner.
Outlaw by Ted Dekker
Read by Nicola Barber. Reading time: 10 hours, 59 minutes.
1963. Julian Carter and her two-year-old son Stephen leave Atlanta, Georgia, and set sail to spread the gospel around the world. After they are shipwrecked off Australia, Stephen is presumed lost at sea and Julian is enslaved by a jungle tribe. Unrated. 2014 Suspense subcategory winner.
Though Waters Roar by Lynn H. Austin
Read by Gabriella Cavallero. Reading time: 13 hours, 44 minutes.
Pennsylvania, 1900s. Harriet follows in the steps of her great-grandmother who participated in the Underground Railroad, her grandmother who fought for Prohibition, and her mother, who marched for the women's suffrage movement. When she is arrested for helping a poor bootlegger, Harriet asks for God's guidance. 2010 Historical subcategory winner.
The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck
Read by Catherine Byers. Reading time: 12 hours, 2 minutes.
The wedding chapel Jimmy Westbrook built for Collette, the love of his life, has been empty for over sixty years. Now Collette's niece, Taylor, has returned to town, disenchanted with her own marriage. Jimmy and Taylor will discover whether the chapel has the power to mend wounded hearts. 2016 winner of both the Contemporary Romance and Suspense subcategories.
Where Mercy Flows by Karen Harter
Read by Gabriella Cavallero. Reading time: 8 hours, 28 minutes.
Washington State. Broke, unemployed, and sickly, single mom Samantha Dodd retreats with her young son to her hometown, where she hopes to make amends with her family. Samantha is depressed over past mistakes and her life-threatening heart condition, until childhood friend Donnie Duncan encourages her to fight. Christy Award. 2007 First Novel subcategory winner.
Named after the father of the detective mystery tale, Edgar Allan Poe, the Edgar Award honors the best in mystery fiction or non-fiction published in the previous year.
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
Read by JD Jackons. Reading time: 9 hours, 27 minutes.
Black Texas Ranger Darren Mathews travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders--a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman--have stirred up a hornet's nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes before Lark's long-simmering racial tensions erupt. Unrated. 2018 Best Novel subcategory winner.
Blue Heaven by C.J. Box
Read by David Hartley-Margolin. Reading time: 11 hours, 55 minutes.
BR 17714; 3 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3.
When twelve-year-old Annie and her ten-year-old brother witness a man's murder near their north Idaho town, they are spotted and become the next targets. The killers are retired L.A. cops who deviously volunteer to head up the search party and find the hiding kids. Violence and strong language. 2009 Best Novel subcategory winner.
The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale
Read by David Toney. Reading time: 9 hours, 12 minutes.
East Texas, 1930s. Young Harry Collins and his sister discover the body of a brutally murdered African American woman in a riverbed. When their father, a constable, investigates a string of killings, local racial tensions hinder him. Strong language and some violence. 2001 Best Novel subcategory winner.
California Girl by T. Jefferson Parker
Read by Christopher Walker. Reading time: 11 hours, 19 minutes.
LP 32615; 463 pages.
In 1968 Playboy centerfold Janelle Vonn is murdered in Orange County, California. Her neighbors, the Becker boys--a minister, a reporter, and a detective--each does his part to bring the killer to justice. Decades later the brothers must face their mistakes. Strong language and some violence. Bestseller. 2005 Best Novel subcategory winner.
Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
Read by Jim Zeiger. Reading time: 14 hours, 59 minutes.
Joe Coughlin's dad is a Boston cop, but Prohibition turns Joe into a small-time hood. He survives prison and becomes a crime boss in Florida and Cuba--but his fate is shaped by his choice in women. Violence, explicit descriptions of sex, and some strong language. 2013 Best Novel subcategory winner.
The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton
Read by MacLeod Andrews. Reading time: 12 hours, 42 minutes.
Teenager Michael Smith, who experienced a trauma at age eight that left him mute, has the ability to open any locked door or safe. Blackmailed to work on burglary jobs for a Detroit mobster, Michael struggles to regain his speech--and his life. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. 2011 Best Novel subcategory winner.
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 17 hours, 46 minutes.
LP 30180; 661 pages.
BR 21599; 5 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4. Volume 5.
Job-fair applicants are mowed down by a man in a stolen Mercedes--and eight die. The killer later sends a letter to ex-cop Bill Hodges, who--with the help of two others--is determined to find him before he strikes again. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. Bill Hodges trilogy, book 1. 2015 Best Novel subcategory winner.
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Read by Graham Halstead. Reading time: 11 hours, 44 minutes.
BRC01746; 4 volumes of web-braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4.
Minnesota, 1961. Thirteen-year-old Frank Drum's summer is steeped in death: a neighborhood boy hit by a train, a hobo found dead--and then a member of Frank's family is murdered. Frank is determined to seek vengeance and can't understand why his younger brother isn't. Some violence and some strong language. 2014 Best Novel subcategory winner.
The Red Scream by Mary Willis Walker
Read by Carole Jordan Stewart. Reading time: 12 hours, 44 minutes.
A decade after confessing to the murder of Texas socialite Tiny McFarland, serial killer Louie Bronk faces execution. But journalist Molly Cates, who wrote a book on his crime, is beginning to have doubts about his guilt: Tiny's widower's second wife has been murdered, and so has a key player in Bronk's conviction. Now Bronk is changing his story--or is it just his death-row red scream? Strong language, violence, and some descriptions of sex. 1995 Best Novel subcategory winner.
Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann
Read by Robert Sams. Reading time: 16 hours, 32 minutes.
Hollywood chronicler, whose works include Hello Gorgeous (DB 75700), reexamines the 1922 murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association. Discusses Tinseltown crimes and power struggles of that era, and the diverse cast that surrounded Taylor, including three ambitious actresses. 2015 Best Fact Crime subcategory winner.
Named in honor of the St. Louis Arch, the Gateway Award honors the best of young adult literature as chosen yearly by Missouri high school students.
Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Read by Mark Delgado. Reading time: 9 hours, 36 minutes.
After the Yellowstone super volcano erupts--destroying his city and its surroundings--fifteen-year-old Alex journeys from Iowa to Illinois, searching for his parents and sister. To survive, he must adjust to the transformed landscape and new society. Some violence and some strong language. Ashfall Trilogy, book 1. For senior high and older readers. 2013-2014 Gateway Third Place winner.
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Read by Chris Patton. Reading time: 6 hours, 43 minutes.
New York City. A humiliated witch casts a spell on popular Kyle Kingsbury and transforms him into a beast. Banished from his home, Kyle prowls at night, waiting for true love's kiss to break his curse. The Kendra Chronicles series, book 1. For senior high and older readers. 2009-2010 Gateway Third Place Award winner.
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Read by Bruce Huntey. Reading time: 16 hours, 14 minutes.
BR 21177; 6 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4. Volume 5. Volume 6.
Fifteen-year-old Eragon bonds with the baby dragon, Saphira, that hatches from a mysterious blue stone. They train in magic and martial arts and, refusing to serve the evil king, sally forth to encounter warriors, dwarves, and others battling the empire. Some violence. For grades 6-9 and older readers. 2005-2006 Gateway Frist Place winner.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Read by Kate Rudd. Reading time: 7 hours, 16 minutes.
LP 002278; 363 pages.
A miracle drug may have given sixteen-year-old cancer patient Hazel a few more years, but she is still depressed. Then Hazel meets cute Augustus during a support-group meeting and her world shifts in unexpected and inspiring ways. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2014-2015 Gateway First Place winner.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Read by Kristin Allison. Reading time: 10 hours, 41 minutes.
In a world where some people are born with an extreme and often-feared skill, Katsa struggles with hers--the "grace" of killing. When she first encounters Prince Po, whose grace is incompatible with hers, she doesn't foresee the bond that will form between them. Seven Kingdoms series, book 1. Some violence. For senior high readers. 2010-2011 Gateway Second Place winner.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Read by Erin Jones. Reading time: 9 hours, 14 minutes.
LP 002028; 485 pages.
BR 18488; 3 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3.
In a future North America, Panem's rulers maintain control through a televised survival competition pitting teens from twelve districts in a fight to the death. Sixteen-year-olds Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are this year's girl and boy contestants from District Twelve. Some violence. Hunger Games series, book 1. For junior and senior high readers. 2010-2011 Gateway First Place winner. Also the 2010-2011 Truman Award First Place winner.
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
Read by Margaret Strom. Reading time: 5 hours, 36 minutes.
LP 002648; 481 pages.
BR 18565; 2 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2.
Cellist and Juilliard hopeful Mia clings to life after a car accident kills her family. While observing herself during an out-of-body experience, Mia flashes through her past to determine whether to fight for survival or die. If I Stay series, book 1. Some strong language. For junior and senior high readers. 2011-2012 Gateway Third Place winner.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Read by Jill Fox. Reading time: 10 hours, 45 minutes.
LP 030661; 511 pages.
BR 14806; 3 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3.
Susie Salmon, a fourteen-year-old girl murdered by a neighbor, watches over her family and friends from heaven. While adjusting to a new world, she reaches out to them as she observes their struggle to survive their grief. Some descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. Bestseller. 2004-2005 Gateway First Place winner.
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Mayberry
Read by Alec Volz. Reading time: 12 hours, 57 minutes.
In a post-apocalyptic world, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura has to find a job or forfeit half of his food rations. After debating his options, Benny follows in his brother's footsteps and trains to kill zombies. Violence. For senior high and older readers. Rot & Ruin series, book 1. 2012-2013 Gateway First Place Award winner.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
Read by Ann Hodapp. Reading time: 6 hours, 7 minutes.
LP000933; 395 pages.
BR 13765; 2 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2.
Four fifteen-year-olds, "Bridget the athlete, Lena the beauty, Tibby the rebel, and Carmen...the one with the bad temper," have been friends since childhood. During this first summer apart, they share a pair of used jeans that magically fits each of them perfectly and helps them through tough times. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, book 1. For senior high readers. 2003-2004 Gateway First Place winner.
Named after Hugo Gernsback, a pioneer in the science fiction genre, the Hugo Awards honors the best in science fiction and fantasy.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Read by Fred Major. Reading time: 18 hours, 32 minutes.
BR 21682; 8 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4. Volume 5. Volume 6. Volume 7. Volume 8.
On his way to his wife's funeral, ex-convict Shadow meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who has an uncanny knowledge of Shadow's life. Accepting Wednesday's job offer throws Shadow into a supernatural world where ancient gods abound. Explicit descriptions of sex, violence, and strong language. 2002 Best Novel.
Among Others by Jo Walton
Read by Jill Tanner. Reading time: 10 hours, 48 minutes.
BR 19657; 4 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4.
1979. After a dangerous confrontation with her unstable mother, science-fiction fanatic Mori Phelps injures her leg--and loses her twin sister. Mori's father sends her to boarding school, where she discovers fairies and begins to practice magic. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. Nebula Award. 2012 Best Novel.
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller
Read by John Horton. Reading time: 11 hours, 50 minutes.
BR 08614; 3 volumes of braille. Web-braille not available.
This futuristic novel is set in a monastery after the destruction of the present civilization. The central theme is the church's role as preserver of wisdom and spiritual life. Some violence. 1961 Best Novel.
The City & the City by China Mieville
Read by Mark Ashby. Reading time: 11 hours, 16 minutes.
BR 19313; 3 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3.
Inspector Tyador Borlú's investigation of a woman's murder in the rundown European city of Beszel takes him over the heavily policed border of neighboring Ul Quoma. The delicate relationship between the two cities is threatened as Borlú uncovers the victim's secrets. Violence and strong language. 2010 Best Novel.
The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guinn
Read by George Eda. Reading Time: 13 hours, 52 minutes.
A brilliant but naive physicist attempts to open interplanetary relations between two disparate societies, but neither shares his idealism. For high school and adult readers. 1975 Best Novel.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Read by Robin Miles. Reading time: 15 hours, 29 minutes.
Essun is a woman living in a world ruled by the violent tectonic activity it experiences. She comes home to find her husband has killed her son and kidnapped her daughter, all for the secret ability Essun and her children have to control the Earth. Strong language, some violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Broken earth series, book 1. 2016 Best Novel.
The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick
Read by Tom Weiner. Reading time: 8 hours, 27 minutes.
BR 09889; 2 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2.
The Axis powers have won World War II and jointly occupy the United States. A German faction attempts to warn the Japanese about an impending nuclear attack. A subversive novel and a fortune-telling device guide characters’ decisions in this alternate history. Some strong language. 1962 Best Novel.
Redshirts by John Scalzi
Read by Jim Zeiger. Reading time: 9 hours, 25 minutes.
BR 19600; 3 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3.
Ensigns serving on the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid have a nasty habit of dying while on missions. Linguistics Department ensign Andrew Dahl investigates and discovers a stunning secret behind the deaths. Strong language and some violence. 2013 Best Novel.
Ringworld by Larry Niven
Read by James DeLotel. Reading time: 11 hours, 5 minutes.
BR 21219; 4 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4.
A motley band of humans and aliens is sent from known space to unlock the mysteries of a vast, ring-shaped world built around a distant sun by a defunct civilization. 1971 Best Novel. Also the winner of the 1970 Nebula Award.
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
Read by Christopher Hurt. Reading time: 8 hours, 26 minutes.
BR 21102; 4 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4.
Thousands of years in the future, a young man joins mobile infantry and fights in an interplanetary war against insect-like aliens. 1960 Best Novel.
Man Booker Award:
For lovers of international fiction, the Man Booker prize is awarded yearly to one novel published in English within the United Kingdom and its Commonwealth, Ireland and South Africa and is the equivalent of the American Pulitzer.
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Read by David Hartley-Margolin. Reading time: 9 hours, 23 minutes.
This novel, which shared the 1992 Booker Prize, is set in Italy during the final days of World War II. Four people occupy an abandoned villa--the "English patient," badly burned in a parachute jump; a former spy and thief who was tortured by the Nazis; an exhausted nurse; and a bomb-disposal expert. The members of this disparate quartet reveal their pasts while forming new connections to one another. Some strong language. 1992 winner; originally published in Canada.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Read by Gabriella Cavallero. Reading time: 11 hours, 17 minutes.
A story of class struggle, family crisis, and coming of age in Kerala, India. Born to prosperity, twins Estha and Rahel are isolated from the squalor and political unrest around them. The events of a single day in 1969 alter their lives and relationships forever. Descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 1997 winner; originally published in India.
Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Read by Corrie James. Reading time: 6 hours, 21 minutes.
An English girl in India recounts the story of Olivia, her grandfather's first wife, who was seduced by the Nawab, an Indian prince, in 1923. The parallels between the two women's experiences explore the English attraction to the exotic Indian culture. 1975 winner; originally published simultaneously in the United Kingdom and Germany.
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
Read by Yolande Bavan. Reading time: 13 hours, 23 minutes.
BR 17319; 3 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3.
Himalayas, 1986. Retired judge Jemubhai Patel lives with his cook and sixteen-year-old granddaughter, Sai. An Indian-Nepalese insurgency makes Jemubhai confront his past and interrupts Sai's romance with her Nepali tutor. Meanwhile, the cook worries about his son in America. Strong language, some explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence. 2006 winner; originally published in India.
Life & Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee
Read by Gordon Gould. Reading time: 6 hours, 32 minutes.
Portrait of South Africa, a land and a people beset by violence and siege. Centers on a handicapped young man, Michael K. and his dying mother, who set out on a journey without the required transit passes so that she can return to her birthplace in the veld. 1983 winner; originally published in South Africa.
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
Read by Graeme Malcolm. Reading time: 8 hours, 5 minutes.
Ten-year-old Paddy Clarke lives in Barrytown, Ireland, with his da and ma and younger siblings. He and his friends are constantly busy (often cruelly) giving each other dead legs, setting fires, and tormenting others, especially Paddy's little brother. But a pall is cast on his enjoyable life when his parents' arguing begins to escalate. Paddy is amazed at the changes in himself as he tries to will them to stop. Strong language. 1993 winner; originally published in Ireland.
Rites of Passage by William Golding
Read by John Horton. Reading time: 7 hours, 45 minutes.
The shipboard journal of well-born English bachelor Edmund Talbot, who sails to the Antipodes early in the nineteenth century. Snobbish Edmund observes and misjudges the oddities of the ship's officers, crew, and his fellow passengers as they move toward inevitable tragedy. 1980 winner; originally published in the United Kingdom.
Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
Read by Ed Blake. Reading time: 14 hours, 29 minutes.
BR 09689; 4 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4.
In 1939, Oskar Schindler, a young, wealthy, enterprising German interested in drinking and women, is a less-than-exemplary Catholic. In this "nonfiction novel," Keneally tells the story of his transformation into a man who, at great personal risk, saves hundreds of Jews from death during World War II. Some strong language. Violence. 1982 winner; originally published in Australia.
Staying On by Paul Scott
Read by Patrick Horgan. Reading time: 8 hours, 53 minutes.
Novel about an elderly British couple who stay on in India for twenty-five years after the country's independence. Vainly trying to maintain tradition on a dwindling income, they are oppressed by the suspicion that their genteel contributions to the civilized community were a waste. 1977 winner; originally published in the United Kingdom.
Troubles by J. G. Farrell
Read by Patrick Horgan. Reading time: 15 hours, 57 minutes.
BR 08645; 4 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4.
It is July of 1919 and Major Brendan Archer, recovering from shell shock, travels by train to Kilnalough, Ireland. Archer's destination is the Majestic, a decaying resort hotel owned by his fiancée’s father. The hotel becomes the center of life for the Major and the battleground for the Black and Tans and Irish rebels. The plot reaches its climax as the local gentry attend a great ball, all unaware that their world is collapsing. 1970 winner; originally published simultaneously in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
National Book Award:
The National Book Foundation presents yearly awards for the best books in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. The award aims to celebrate the best in American literature and each winner must be a United States author.
Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape by Barry Holstun Lopez
Read by Bruce Huntey. Reading time: 16 hours, 28 minutes.
An evocative journey into the awesome wilderness landscape of the Arctic. Rich in detail and based on extensive research and travel, this work captures the animals and people who inhabit the harsh region, as well as the exploits of explorers. Bestseller. 1986 Nonfiction subcategory winner.
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Read by Robert Sams. Reading time: 18 hours, 19 minutes.
A wounded Confederate soldier leaves the war on an arduous trek to his mountain home and the woman he aims to marry. Meanwhile, his intended struggles to work her deceased father's hardscrabble farm. Depicts hardship, peril, and courage in the wartime South. Strong language and violence. Bestseller. 1997 Fiction subcategory winner.
The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen
Read by Masha Gessen. Reading time: 16 hours, 48 minutes.
LP 033282; 879 pages.
Russian journalist and biographer examines the issues her native country has recently faced. Follows four different individuals born at the promised dawn of democracy, and charts the effects of the new autocracy on their lives as the old Soviet order reemerged. Unrated. 2017 Nonfiction subcategory winner.
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
Read by David Hartley-Margolin. Reading time: 12 hours, 39 minutes.
1856. Henry "Onion" Shackleford is a ten-year-old slave when abolitionist John Brown rolls into town. Henry's father is killed in a scuffle and John Brown takes in Henry, believing him to be "Henrietta." Living as a girl, Henry bears witness to Brown's reign of terror. National Book Award Winner, 2013. Violence and strong language. 2013 Fiction subcategory winner.
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nat Philbrick
Read by Brian Conn. Reading time: 11 hours, 2 minutes.
Relying mainly on the cabin boy's journal discovered in 1960, the author recounts the disastrous 1819 voyage of the whaling ship Essex. He describes the attack of an eighty-five-foot bull sperm whale, and the ensuing starvation, dehydration, and cannibalism that befell the shipwrecked survivors. Bestseller. 2000 Nonfiction subcategory winner.
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
Read by Lou Harpenau. Reading time: 11 hours, 31 minutes.
Harvard humanities professor, author of Will in the World (DB 59294), reconstructs the life of Poggio Bracciolini, a Renaissance book hunter who rediscovered the lost poem On the Nature of Things (DB 37721) by Lucretius. Emphasizes the importance of Bracciolini's find and its impact on Western culture. Nat 'l Bk Award, Pulitzer. Bestseller. Descriptions of Sex. 2011 Nonfiction subcategory winner. Also the 2012 Nonfiction Pulitzer Prize winner.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Read by Bahni Turpin. Reading time: 10 hours, 45 minutes.
LP 030823; 417 pages.
BR 21819; 4 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4.
Cora, a third-generation slave, flees the plantation where she lives. She escapes with a man who claims to know how to get to the Underground Railroad. Once there, she discovers it is an actual railroad, and every stop shows her moments of horror and joy. Oprah's Book Club. Strong language, violence, and descriptions of sex. 2016 Fiction subcategory winner.
Waiting by Ha Jin
Read by Nick Sullivan. Reading time: 8 hours, 46 minutes.
In 1960s China, Manna Wu falls in love with married doctor Lin Kong. His tradition-bound wife Shuyu refuses to divorce him, but if Lin can forbear through eighteen years of separation, the court will dissolve the marriage. 1999 Fiction subcategory winner.
World's Fair by E. L. Doctorow
Read by Merwin Smith. Reading time: 9 hours, 27 minutes.
BR 06338; 2 volumes of braille. Web-Braille not available.
Nostalgic recreation of the first decade in a sensitive boy's life evokes New York during the 1930s. Captures the universals of childhood experience, the sights and sounds of growing up during the Great Depression, and reports on the intimacies of Jewish family life. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 1986 Fiction subcategory winner.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Read by Anne Hancock. Reading time: 5 hours, 26 minutes.
Writer reflects on her emotional response to the unexpected death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne, after a visit to their comatose daughter. Discusses the shock of suddenly facing a crisis, the memory of their time together as a family, and the meaning of marriage. Bestseller. 2005 Nonfiction subcategory winner.
One of the five categories of Pulitzer Prizes awarded each year is the Pulitzer Prize in Literature. Within that category are subcategories for the best fiction, drama, history, biography, poetry, and general nonfiction books written by American authors.
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Read by Kimberly Schraf. Reading time: 13 hours, 56 minutes.
BR 12711; 3 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3.
New York, 1870s. Newland Archer anticipates a safe, conventional future with his socially impeccable fiancée, May Welland, until the arrival of May's exotic cousin, Countess Ellen Olenska. Archer finds himself torn between his attraction to Ellen and his security in a bland, but proper, marriage to May. 1921 Fiction subcategory winner.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Read by Jill Fox. Reading time: 16 hours, 3 minutes.
LP 030224; 771 pages.
When Paris is invaded by the Nazis, Marie-Laure LeBlanc's father evacuates her to St. Malo to stay with her great-uncle. Blind since the age of six, Marie-Laure must learn the town by the scale model her father has left. Then, the Germans arrive. Violence and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2015 Fiction subcategory winner.
The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss
Read by Conrad Feininger. Reading time: 14 hours, 21 minutes.
Author of The Orientalist (DB 60073) pens a biography of General Alex Dumas (1762-1806), mixed-race father of French novelist Alexandre Dumas. Traces the general's roots in Saint-Domingue, his military career during the French Revolution and under Napoleon, and the rivalry that led to his fall. 2013 Biography subcategory winner.
Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King
Read by Bob Moore. Reading time: 16 hours, 41 minutes.
Details the events that led to the Supreme Court's 1951 decision in Shepherd v. Florida, which overturned the convictions of three black men accused of raping a white teenager. Highlights the role played by NAACP attorney--and future Supreme Court justice--Thurgood Marshall. Violence and strong language. 2013 General Nonfiction subcategory winner.
Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People by Elizabeth A. Fenn
Read by Kerry Dukin. Reading time: 16 hours, 14 minutes.
BR 20780; 8 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4. Volume 5. Volume 6. Volume 7. Volume 8.
Historian Elizabeth Fenn examines discoveries in archaeology, anthropology, geology, climatology, and epidemiology to retrieve the history of the Mandan Indians, a tribe of Plains people who lived along the upper Missouri River. Twenty-first century archaeological finds are referenced to demonstrate how the Mandan society thrived and later collapsed. 2015 History subcategory winner.
Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Read by Mariska Hargitay. Reading time: 6 hours, 5 minutes.
An account of the creation of the hugely successful musical about an unlikely topic: founding father Alexander Hamilton. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages, chronicle Hamilton from its start as a performance at the White House. Includes the full libretto with commentary from Miranda. Unrated. 2016 Drama subcategory winner.
Honey in the Horn by H. L. Davis
Read by Robert Donley. Reading time: 15 hours, 42 minutes.
A story of Oregon in the homesteading period at the beginning of the century features memorable characters, a wide range of country, and a restless, lusty life. Some strong language. 1936 Fiction subcategory winner.
Olio by Tyehimba Jess
Read by Joe Peck. Reading time: 6 hours, 39 minutes.
BR 22053; 2 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2.
Collection of poems and prose exploring African American history from the Civil War to World War I, paying particular attention to the lives of those participating in minstrel shows--from which vaudeville evolved. Historical personalities include Scott Joplin, sculptor Edmonia Lewis, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, and "Blind Tom" Wiggins. 2017 Poetry subcategory winner.
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
Read by Christopher Hurt. Reading time: 11 hours, 49 minutes.
BR 09612; 3 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3.
National Book Award-winner by the author of Postcards (DB 35489). The story centers around Quoyle, a lowly newspaper reporter. When his wife, Petal Bear, runs off with another man and gets killed, Quoyle's aunt convinces the distraught man to move with his two daughters to an abandoned family home in Newfoundland. Quoyle goes to work for a shady local paper covering the shipping news and learns to fit right in. Strong language. 1994 Fiction subcategory winner.
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
Read by Pam Ward. Reading time: 12 hours, 6 minutes.
Larry Cook owns a thousand acres of Iowa farmland that is unmortgaged and some of the richest soil around. At a party given in celebration of the return of Jess Clark, a local man, after an absence of thirteen years, Cook announces that he is retiring and dividing the land among his three daughters. But the gift soon begins to tear the family apart, and secrets, long hidden, begin to surface. Some strong language. 1992 Fiction subcategory winner.
Named after romance author Rita Clay Estrada, the RITA Award honors the best in romance fiction. With subcategories for contemporary, historical, inspirational, paranormal, and young adult, there is a wide variety from which to choose in this category.
Boys Like You by Juliana Stone
Read by Mare Trevathan. Reading time: 6 hours, 10 minutes.
In an attempt to shake her out of a lingering depression, Monroe's parents send her off to spend the summer at her grandmother's Louisiana plantation. There Monroe meets Nathan, and the two bond over feelings of loss and guilt. Strong language and descriptions of sex. For senior high readers. 2015 Young Adult Romance subcategory winner.
Crazy Thing Called Love by Molly O'Keefe
Read by Carol Dines. Reading time: 11 hours, 57 minutes.
Morning television host Madelyn Cornish is determined to make it to the big network shows. When her producer suggests a makeover story, Madelyn is not sure how to handle the proposed subject: bad-boy hockey star Billy Wilkins--her ex-husband. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. 2015 Contemporary Romance subcategory winner.
A Duke to Remember by Kelley Bowen
Read by Polly Lee. Reading time: 11 Hours, 45 Minutes.
Every evening, Elise deVries captivates Regency London theater audiences, but she has a secret life as an agent at Chegarre & Associates, helping members of the aristocracy to clean up their scandals. Her new assignment is to find the missing Duke of Ashland. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. Season for Scandal, book 2. 2017 Historical Romance subcategory winner.
Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureano
Read by Erin Jones. Reading time: 8 hours, 28 minutes.
Instead of heading to Tahiti for her dream vacation, thirty-year-old Andrea Sullivan is sent to the Isle of Skye to land celebrity chef James MacDonald as a client for her hospitality consulting firm. She soon realizes God works in mysterious ways. 2014 Inspirational Romance subcategory winner.
The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Read by Jill Fox. Reading time: 9 hours, 48 minutes.
London, 1922. Working as a temp, Sarah Piper is assigned to assist ghost investigator Alistair Gellis. Alistair has discovered an apparition who will only talk to women and needs Sarah to uncover the mystery behind the ghost's death. Explicit descriptions of sex and some violence. 2013 winner of both Best First book and Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements.
His at Night by Sherry Thomas
Read by Annie Wauters. Reading time: 10 hours, 5 minutes.
England, 1897. Lord Vere hides his vocation as a secret agent by acting as an "amusing idiot" in society. But while investigating Miss Elissande Edgerton's uncle, Lord Vere and Elissande become entangled in a marriage of convenience. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2011 Historical Romance subcategory winner.
How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal
Read by Dale Allen. Reading time: 11 hours, 30 minutes.
Bakery owner Ramona Gallagher of Colorado Springs is struggling financially. When her daughter Sofia's husband is wounded in Afghanistan and Sofia leaves for Germany to tend to him, Ramona takes in her thirteen-year-old step-granddaughter and falls in love with a long-lost friend. Includes recipes. 2012 Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements subcategory winner.
The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel
Read by Emily Woo Zeller. Reading time: 12 hours, 43 minutes.
In the court of the Chinese emperor Taizong, Mei has been chosen to be one of the fifteen concubines who serve the Inner Court. Though her command of traditional womanly skills is not the best, she draws the eye of both the emperor and his son. Some violence and some descriptions of sex. Empress of Bright Moon, book 1. 2017 Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance subcategory winner.
One in a Million by Jill Shalvis
Read by Angéle Masters. Reading time: 8 hours, 49 minutes.
Wedding planner Callie returns to her hometown of Lucky Harbor, only to find her high school crush, Tanner, is as sexy as she remembers. Meanwhile, deep-sea diver Tanner is trying to live down his wild past and deal with having his teenaged son back in his life. Unrated. 2014.2015 Mid-Length Contemporary Romance subcategory winner.
The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Read by Mare Trevathan. Reading time: 12 hours, 33 minutes.
After spending years suffering in foster care, Mallory gradually reemerges at a new public school. There she is reunited with a boy who had protected her years before. They rediscover the bond that brought them together, and let it turn into something more. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2017 Young Adult Romance subcategory winner.
If books set in the American West are your favorite, then the Spur Awards are for you. This award honors westerns and other books set in America’s frontier.
Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West by Hampton Sides
Read by Butch Hoover. Reading time: 20 hours, 52 minutes.
Author documents U.S. government efforts in the nineteenth century to drive Mexico out of the Southwest and California and simultaneously to decimate the Navajo nation. Focuses on the role of frontiersman Kit Carson, a comrade of Native Americans, who eventually became instrumental in their defeat. Some violence. 2017 Nonfiction Historical subcategory winner.
Buffalo Wagons by Elmer Kelton
Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 6 hours, 1 minute.
LP 032224; 317 pages.
1873. The plains are almost devoid of buffalo. Only one large herd remains, but it is in Comanche territory. Gage Jameson joins a group of skinners desperate enough to venture into the hostile land and risk their lives. 1957 Best Western Novel.
Crossing Purgatory by Gary Schanbacher
Read by Joe Wilson. Reading time: 10 hours, 34 minutes.
A young farmer in 1858 sets out across the American frontier in an attempt to deal with his guilt at not being home to prevent a devastating family tragedy. He finds himself tested in ways he hadn't imagined. Some violence and some strong language. 2013 Traditional Western subcategory winner.
Down the Long Hills by Louis L'Amour
Read by James Westbrook. Reading time: 5 hours, 5 minutes.
When Indians massacre a party of settlers heading west, seven-year-old Hardy Collins and his three-year-old sister are left alone with only a horse and a knife with which to face the hardships of the wilderness. 1968 Best Western Novel.
Home Mountain by Jeanne Williams
Read by Carole Coons. Reading time: 13 hours, 3 minutes.
BR 08696; 3 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3.
For Katie MacLeod, sixteen, the responsibilities of adulthood come sooner than expected. In 1881, her parents are killed and she is left with the care of her younger brother and sisters. In hopes of fulfilling their father's dream of a dairy ranch in Arizona, they head west from Texas. With the help of the people of Galeyville, they begin their ranch. But they still have to contend with a predatory neighbor and raiding Apaches. 1990 Best Novel of the West.
The Shootist by Glendon Swartout
Read by Robert Sams. Reading time: 5 hours, 4 minutes.
Notorious gunfighter John Bernard Books arrives in El Paso, Texas, in 1901 to confirm a cancer diagnosis. Rather than endure a torturous death in a boarding house, Books decides to die early--and to take along a few outlaws. Inspiration for a 1976 John Wayne movie. Some violence and some strong language. 1975 Best Western Novel.
Shot All to Hell by Mark Lee Gardner
Read by Ken Kliban. Reading time: 9 Hours.
LP 033532; 464 pages.
Recounts the final holdup of the eight-man James and Younger gang. Details the outlaws' 1876 attempt to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota; the response from the employees and citizens; and the two-week manhunt that followed. Violence and some strong language. 2013 Nonfiction Historical subcategory winner.
Sierra by Richard S. Wheeler
Read by Chuck Benson. Reading time: 15 hours, 33 minutes.
In 1849 young Ulysses McQueen heads for the California gold field, leaving his pregnant wife in Iowa. That same year, former soldier Stephen Jarvis strikes gold and makes his fortune. The two men become partners in a farming venture, just as McQueen's wife arrives to join him. 1996 Best Novel of the West.
So Wild a Dream by Winfred Blevins
Read by Nick Sullivan. Reading time: 13 hours, 7 minutes.
1820s. Eighteen-year-old Sam Morgan leaves western Pennsylvania seeking adventure and fortune in frontier America. Through his encounters with bandits, soldiers, fur traders, Indians, and such historic figures as William Clark, Sam learns the ways of mountain men. Some descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. Spur Award. 2004 Best Novel of the West.
Wild Ran the Rivers by James D. Crownover
Read by J. P. Linton. Reading time: 11 hours, 35 minutes.
BR 21805; 4 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4.
A story of pioneers, kidnappings, forced marriages, pirates, natural disasters, a mysterious wilderness settlement, and how the second generation of a Cherokee family found a home on the upper reaches of the Little Red River in the early 1800s. Five Trails West series, book 1. Some violence. 2015 Western Historical Novel and Best First Novel.