2010 TXLA Lariat List of Adult Fiction

Lariat List LogoAt the recent Texas Library Association conference, the Lariat List, debuted.  The List features 25 notable adult fiction works published the previous year.  Keddy Outlaw, former branch librarian at West University Library, was a member of the committee.  The list is currently featured on Library Journal's blog In the Bookroom.  The main criteria for selection was that books be a "pleasure to read."  The list represents a wide variety of genres.

Nothing but a Smile

Steve Amick. Nothing But a Smile

The love story of a man and a woman who choose an unconventional way to redefine themselves during and after World War II.

Beat the Reaper

Josh Bazell. Beat the Reaper

The carefully orchestrated life of Manhattan emergency room doctor and witness-protection program participant Peter Brown unravels in the course of a day that begins with a mugging and a new patient who knows him from his previous existence.

  Philip Capato. Crossers
Sworn to Silence

Linda Castillo. Sworn to Silence

20 years ago, the peace of Painters Mill, Ohio was shattered with a series of brutal murders.  One of the survivors, an Amish girl named Kate Burkholder abandoned her Amish roots.  She has been asked to come back to Painters Mill to be police chief.  She thinks she's come to turn with her past until the first body is discovered.


Bernard Cornwell. Agincourt

Amidst the Hundred Years War, on October 25th, 1415, six thousand English troops defeated a French brigade comprising 36,000 men. Here, Cornell's main character Nicholas Hook narrates the astonishing story.

 Prayers for Sale

Sandra Dallas. Prayers for Sale

Eighty-six-year-old Hennie Comfort is living in the mountains of Colorado during the Depression. Newly married Nit Spindle and her husband have recently moved to town searching for work. Hennie notices Nit wandering outside of her home, and for some reason is drawn to her. Soon their chance meeting is transformed into a deep bond where secrets and struggles are divulged.

 Sacret Hearts

Sarah Dunant. Sacred Hearts

The year is 1570, and in the convent of Santa Caterina, in the Italian city of Ferrara, noblewomen find space to pursue their lives under God's protection. But any community, however smoothly run, suffers tremors when it takes in someone by force. And the arrival of Santa Caterina's new novice sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the convent to its core.

 The Cold Light of Mourning

Elizabeth J. Duncan. The Cold Light of Mourning

The picturesque North Wales market town of Llanelen is shocked when Meg Wynne Thompson, a self-made beauty who has turned out to be something of an unpopular bride, goes missing on her wedding day, and turns up dead. The last person believed to have seen her is manicurist Penny Brannigan, an expatriate Canadian who has lived in North Wales for almost twenty-five years. When Penny notices that something is not quite right at the funeral of her dearest friend, she becomes emotionally invested in the case, and sets out to investigate.

  William F. Fortschen. One Second After
 The Last Child

John Hart. The Last Child

After his twin sister Alyssa disappears, thirteen year-old Johnny Merrimon is determined to find her. When a second girl disappears from his rural North Carolina town, Johnny makes a discovery that sends shock waves through the community in this multi-layered tale of broken families and deadly secrets.


Kristen Higgins. Too Good to be True

When Grace Emerson's ex-fiance starts dating her younger sister, extreme measures are called for. To keep everyone from obsessing about her love life, Grace announces that she's seeing someone. Someone wonderful. Someone handsome. Someone completely made up.

 The Waking People

Mary Beth Keane. The Walking People

Greta Cahill never believed she would leave her village in the west of Ireland until she found herself on a ship bound for New York. Labeled a "softheaded goose" by her family, Greta discovers that in America she can fall in love, raise her own family, and earn a living. Though she longs to return and show her family what she has made of herself, her decision to spare her children knowledge of a secret in her past forces her to keep her life in New York separate from the life she once loved in Ireland, and tears her apart from the people she is closest to.

 The Calligrapher's Daughter

Eugenia Kim. The Calligrapher’s Daughter

In early-twentieth-century Korea, Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, longs to choose her own destiny.


Gerald Kolpan. Etta

Beautiful, elusive, and refined, Etta Place captivated the nation at the turn of the last century as she dodged the law with the Wild Bunch, led by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Her true identity and fate have remained a mystery.

 The Girl Who Played with Fire

Steig Larsson. The Girl Who Played With Fire

The electrifying follow-up to the phenomenal best seller The girl with the dragon tattoo, and this time it is Lisbeth Salander, the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker, who is the focus and fierce heart of the story.

 Border Songs

Jim Lynch. Border Songs

A story of contrary destinies further complicated by the border that separates them. Rich in characters contending with a swiftly changing world and their own elusive hopes and dreams, Border Songs is at on

 Labor Day

Joyce Maynard. Labor Day

The story of a long weekend and it's repurcussions through the years told from the perspective of then 13 year old Henry who lives with his divorced mother Adele.

 The Forgotten Garden

Kate Morton. The Forgotten Garden

A story of outer and inner journeys. An homage to the power of storytelling, The Forgotten Garden is filled with unforgettable characters who weave their way through its intricate plot to astounding effect.

 Baking Cakes in Kigali

Gaile Parkin. Baking Cakes in Kigali

This gloriously written tale—set in modern-day Rwanda—introduces one of the most singular and engaging characters in recent fiction: Angel Tungaraza—mother, cake baker, keeper of secrets—a woman living on the edge of chaos, finding ways to transform lives, weave magic, and create hope amid the madness swirling all around her.

 Dog on It

Spencer Quinn. Dog on it: A Chet and Bernie Mystery

In this irresistible new detective series featuring a canine narrator, Quinn speaks two languages--suspense and dog--fluently. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, and in a few places terrifying.

 The Help

Kathryn Stockett. The Help

In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. But, suddenly, three women, Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter, realize that they are suffocating within the lines. Aibileen is a black maid, raising her seventeenth white child. Her best friend, Minny, is the sassiest woman in Mississippi. And Skeeter Phelan is just back from college, a white woman with a degree but, to her mother's chagrin, no ring on her finger. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, these women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the lives of the women in it.

 This Is Where I Leave You

Jonathan Tropper. This is Where I Leave You

The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family-including Judd's mother, brothers, and sister-have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd's wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd's radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch's dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together.


Carolyn Turgeon. Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story

An atmospheric twist on the tale of Cinderella, this work centers on the dark yet enchanting back story of the Fairy Godmother.

 Half Broke Horses

Jeannette Walls. Half Broke Horses: A True Life Novel

Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds -- against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn't fit the mold. Rosemary Smith Walls always told Jeannette that she was like her grandmother, and in this true-life novel, Jeannette Walls channels that kindred spirit.

 Tunneling to the Center of the Earth

Kevin Wilson. Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories

Kevin Wilson's characters inhabit a world that moves seamlessly between the real and the imagined, the mundane and the fantastic.