Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Historical fiction award winners announced at the 2023 ALA LibLearnX conference

The 2023 Book and Media Award announcements from the American Library Association's LibLearnX conference in New Orleans were broadcast on Sunday afternoon, so I'm behind in getting this news posted.  It's been a busy week with a lot of meetings, and there are more to come.  I watched the ceremony via the Reference & User Services Association's Facebook page. Many adult-level historical novels received accolades.

Here are the details:

On the Reading List, the ALA's annual awards in eight genre fiction categories, the award for Historical Fiction award went to By Her Own Design by Piper Huguley, a biographical novel about Black designer Ann Lowe, who designed Jackie Kennedy's wedding gown, among other exquisite creations.

The Forty Elephants by Erin Bledsoe (1920s London, about an all-female criminal gang)
The Good Wife of Bath: A (Mostly) True Story by Karen Brooks (Chaucer's bawdy heroine reveals her story)
The Swift and the Harrier by Minette Walters (female-centered adventure during the English Civil War)
Two Storm Wood by Philip Gray (WWI thriller about a woman seeking her missing fiancé)

On the Listen List for excellence in audiobook narration:

The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Nagendra, narrated by Soneela Nankani. (mystery of 1920s Bangalore, India)
The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld.  (thriller about a real-life Ukrainian woman who became a celebrated WWII sniper)
A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin, narrated by Eleanor Tomlinson (aka Demelza from the most recent Poldark TV adaptation; this is a witty Regency romance)
Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, narrated by Lauren J. Daggett. (a terrible injustice perpetrated on Black girls in '70s Alabama, based on a true story)

On the Notable Books List are these two historical novels:

Horse by Geraldine Brooks (about a champion race horse, a painting, and racial injustice across time)
Trust by Hernan Diaz (four alternating tales create a puzzle set in 20th-century NYC)

Congrats to all the winners!


  1. Katharine Ott5:34 AM

    I'm anxious to read Brooks' Horse, already on my TBR. I added The Swift and the Harrier and the especially intriguing By Her Own Design - it sounds so interesting! Thanks for the list.

    1. I have By Her Own Design on display at my library currently (on a table with other books about Black entrepreneurs) and hope one of the students will check it out! The Swift and the Harrier looks good too.