From the Texas Library Association Lariat List website: http://txla.org/Lariat
“The annual list of Lariat award winners calls attention to outstanding fiction published during the year that merit special attention from adult readers. The main criteria for selecting books for the Lariat List is that they are “a pleasure to read.”
Naomi Benaron / FIC BENARON
For Jean Patrick Nkuba, growing up and training for the Olympics are intertwined with Rwanda's political descent into genocide, forcing him to learn powerful lessons about ethnicity, love, and hope.
Country of the Bad Wolfes
Three generations of Wolfes drift from 1820's New England to Revolutionary Mexico to the Rio Grande valley. This swashbuckling saga is rife with unexpected romances and all manner of mayhem.
Carol Rifka Brunt / FIC BRUNT
June loses the person she loves most when her uncle Finn, a reclusive painter, dies in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Complex, powerful and poignant, this novel paints a portrait of a family unraveled by secrets and loss.
A Land More Kind Than Home
Deep in the Smoky Mountains up near Asheville, evil resides. A menacing preacher holds a town in his grip with infidelity, murder, guns and snake handling.
Jonathan Evison / FIC EVISON
Having hit rock-bottom, Benjamin trains to be a caregiver. His first client, Trevor, a fiercely stubborn and sexually frustrated young man, shows Ben how unprepared he really is to care for someone else. A road trip restores their sense of hope and gives their hearts an opportunity to heal.
The Gods of Gotham
Be transported to the mean streets in New York City, circa 1845, where "coppers" patrol neighborhoods teeming with immigrants fleeing the Irish Potato Famine. Tim Wilde's search for a prolific killer will lead him to the edge of heartbreak and beyond.
Laurie Frankel / FIC FRANKEL
What if you could Skype with your lost loved ones? At the request of his girlfriend, Sam develops a computer program that allows people to interact with those who have passed away. This heartfelt novel delivers a charming and bittersweet romance.
In One Person
A coming of age story that captures unfulfilled love in all its aspects. Billy recalls his life growing up in First Sister, Vermont and the complications of life as a bisexual.
Eowyn Ivey / FIC IVEY
Inspired by a Russian fairy tale, this story weaves together reality and myth. A snow child is replaced by a young girl whose impact on Mabel and Jack is both magical and palpable.
Adam and Kent Austin, estranged since their sister's abduction and murder when they were teens, are now forced into a reunion when a new killing occurs in their small Midwestern town.
William Landay / FIC LANDAY
Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber finds himself defending his 14-year-old son, Jacob, for the murder of a fellow student. As the trial intensifies, the family struggles with love, guilt and betrayal.
Edge of Dark Water
Set near Gladewater, Texas, during the Depression, Sue Ellen, Terry and Jinx set out on a harrowing journey to take the ashes of their friend May Lynn to her rightful home, Hollywood. Tom Sawyer meets East Texas gothic.
Attica Locke / FIC LOCKE
The body of an immigrant woman is discovered in a sugar cane field near Belle Vie, an antebellum estate in Louisiana. Caren, the property manager, finds her own fate intertwined with the dark legacy of the plantation.
The Baker’s Daughter
Reba stumbles into Elsie's German bakery in El Paso at a low point in her life. As she delves into Elsie's youth in Nazi Germany, she discovers an evocative tale of families and relationships, courage and survival, guilt and regret.
Madeline Miller / FIC MILLER
In this fresh retelling of the Iliad, Patroclus is torn between fate and his love for Achilles. The gods and immortals take center stage in this epic story.
A vivid portrait of racism in the Deep South before integration as seen through the eyes of Frank, haunted by his experiences in the Korean War, and his beloved sister Ycidra. Morrison's lyrical prose captures the struggles of love, truth, justice and peace.
Daniel O’Malley / SF OMALLEY
Myfanwy wakes in a park, with no memory, surrounded by bodies wearing latex gloves. She must follow the clues her former self left behind to rebuild her life and uncover treachery within the supernatural secret service.
The Yellow Birds
Private Bartle and Private Murphy are both fighting in Al Tafar, Iraq, and do all they can to protect each other. Lean and explosive, this is a somber portrait of a young man who comes home as broken as his comrades who return under a flag.
Ron Rash / FIC RASH
The cove is a secret place, hidden in the mountains of North Carolina and home to Laurel and her brother, Hank, a wounded veteran returned from WW I. Isolated by superstition, Laurel's discovery of a wounded man brings love and music to her life. He harbors a secret that could destroy them all.
Vaddey Ratner / FIC RATNER
Thrown out of their home in Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge who have taken power in Cambodia, seven-year-old Raami and her family endure years of loss, starvation and brutality. This autobiographical novel is beautiful, lush and rich.
Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale
Faith Bass Darling has been hiding in her mansion of treasured antiques for the last 20 years. On the last day of the Millennium, convinced she is going to die, Faith decides everything must go.
John Scalzi / SF SCALZI
It never fails. A redshirt crew member dies on every away mission on the spaceship Intrepid. WHY do they keep agreeing to go?
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
After a layoff sidelines his advertising career, Clay takes a job at a mysterious bookstore in San Francisco and soon realizes the business is a facade for a secret society.
Adriana Trigiani / FIC TRIGIANI
From a hamlet in the Italian Alps to Greenwich Village, backstage at the Metropolitan Opera and in the trenches of WWI, Enza and Ciro illustrate the American immigrant experience in this sweeping love story.
Karen Thompson Walker / FIC WALKER
It began slowly, the days grew longer and soon it is sunlight 60 hours a day. The slow march of change creates chaos even as the population struggles to maintain normalcy. Julia's tween angst plays out against the end of the world.