Sunday, February 01, 2015

Congratulations to the historical fiction winners of the 2015 ALA RUSA awards

I was in the audience when the winners of this year's book and media awards from the American Library Association's RUSA (Reference & User Services Association) were announced earlier tonight in Chicago.  Congratulations to all of the winning and short-listed authors! 

Because of this blog's focus, I'll specifically list just the winners that fit with the genre of historical fiction.

Among the 2015 selections for the Reading List, the year's best in genre fiction:

In Historical Fiction, the winner was Kate Forsyth's Bitter Greens (Thomas Dunne, 2014), a retelling of "Rapunzel" set in 17th-century France and a century earlier in Italy.  Read my interview with Kate, which was based on the original Australian edition.  It's great to see the novel receiving such acclaim in the US.

The Historical Fiction shortlist included Amy Belding Brown's Flight of the Sparrow (colonial New England); Nicola Griffith's Hild (Anglo-Saxon England); James Lee Burke's Wayfaring Stranger (1940s US); and Ariel Lawhon's The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress (Jazz Age Manhattan).

In Mystery, the winner was Ashley Weaver's Murder at the Brightwell (Minotaur, 2014), a Golden Age-style murder mystery set at a resort in '30s England.  Read my review from last fall.

On the Mystery shortlist was Bruce Holsinger's historical thriller A Burnable Book.

Among the 26 titles on ALA's list of Notable Books, a best-of list for adult readers, was Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See (WWII France) and Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North (WWII-era POWs in southeast Asia; the recent Booker Prize winner).

Congrats also to my Booklist editor, Brad Hooper, for winning the 2015 Louis Shores Award for book reviewing.  Very well deserved! 

14 comments:

  1. I loved that book a lot! if I may share my review: http://wordsandpeace.com/2014/10/03/book-review-and-giveaway-bitter-greens-i-love-france-113/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely - I enjoyed your detailed review and am glad you agree!

      I'm a bit late responding to comments. Getting back from ALA and right into piles of work and deadline has been challenging!

      Delete
  2. Agreed, a wonderful book. And she puts so much work and research into ALL her fiction, thus is a well deserved prize.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I've been reading her work since Witches of Eileanan.

      Delete
  3. Haven't seen the winner, alas.

    I did read Hild, of course, and Burke's novel. The Wayfaring Stranger was deft in ways that his Robicheaux novels generally are not, though that didn't hold up throughout. But the last section it felt to me as though the writer had snapped back to what he knows best, which is the Dave Robicheaux state-of-mind and milieu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still far behind and haven't read any on the list but Bitter Greens. Thanks for the report. I've yet to read anything of Burke's, I'm embarrassed to say.

      But speaking of novels set in/around Louisiana, I see there's a sequel to Blood of Heaven out later this summer - called Secessia.

      Delete
  4. "Bitter Greens" went on my best-of list for the year when it was first published. I also very much enjoyed "The Wild Girl", her dark, evocative novel about the Grimm Brothers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's on my list! And I see she's working on a new novel set in Nazi Germany - The Beast's Garden. You can guess which fairy tale it's based on.

      Delete
  5. Looks like I have a bunch of new books to put on my list.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The only book on the list I've read is Hild, which I thought was very well done, although I know a number of people who disliked it considerably. I've got Bitter Greens on my shelf so I think it's time I took it off and read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hild I bought when it came out (preordered it even) but I still haven't read it. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much.

      Delete
  7. Yay, Kate Forsyth! I adored Bitter Greens, to the point where I felt compelled to write a much longer review than would comfortably fit on her Goodreads page! Here it is:

    http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/2014/11/splendor-and-magic.html

    Thanks for this post, Sarah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a wonderful review - it was a pleasure to read. The illustrations of "Rapunzel" are fabulous, too. I'm glad to see that there's a full work of literary criticism out there about Charlotte-Rose de la Force. I hadn't heard of her before Bitter Greens.

      Delete