presents a sampling of suggested books that will spark the imagination and transport readers to new and exciting places. Look for these books in your local library. This reading list was compiled based on the authors appearing at the 2009 National Book Festival.

Mysteries & Thrillers

  • Baldacci, David. “First Family”
  • Child, Lee. “Gone Tomorrow”
  • Clark, Mary Jane. “Dying for Mercy”
  • Coel, Margaret. “The Silent Spirit”
  • Connelly, Michael. “The Scarecrow”
  • Johnson, Craig. “The Dark Horse”
  • Mosley, Walter. “The Long Fall: The First Leonid McGill Mystery”
  • Patterson, James. “Swimsuit”
  • Pelecanos, George. “The Way Home”
  • Rozan, S.J. “The Shanghai Moon”
  • Scottoline, Lisa. “Look Again”
  • Silva, Daniel. “The Defector”

Fiction & Fantasy

  • Al Khemir, Sabiha. “The Blue Manuscript”
  • Alvarez, Julia. “Return to Sender”
  • Díaz, Junot. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”
  • Grisham, John. “The Associate”
  • Irving, John. “Last Night in Twisted River”
  • Neville, Katherine. “The Fire”
  • Picoult, Jodi. “Handle with Care.”
  • Sparks, Nicholas. “The Last Song.”
  • Walls, Jeannette. “Half Broke Horses: A True Life Novel”
  • Wroblewski, David. “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.”

History & Biography

  • Balz, Dan, and Haynes Johnson. “The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election.”
  • Downey, Kirstin. “The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience.”
  • Duncan, Dayton, and Ken Burns. “The National Parks: America's Best Idea.”
  • Gordon-Reed, Annette. “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.”
  • Ifill, Gwen. “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama”
  • Kidd, Sue Monk, and Ann Kidd Taylor. “Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story”
  • Kurlansky, Mark. “Food of a Younger Land”

  • Meacham, Jon. “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House”
  • Minor, Rickey. “There's No Traffic on the Extra Mile”
  • Schama, Simon. “The American Future: A History”
  • Sullivan, Patricia. “Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement”
  • Taylor, David A. “The WPA Writers' Project Uncovers Depression America”

Poetry & Prose

  • Eubanks, W. Ralph. “The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South”
  • Glass, Julia. “I See You Everywhere”
  • Hirsch, Edward. “How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry”
  • Hirshfield, Jane. “After”
  • Martínez, Valerie. “Absence, Luminescent”
  • Menendez, Ana. “The Last War”

  • Nafisi, Azar. “Things I Have Been Silent About”
  • O'Brien, Tim. “The Things They Carried”
  • Robinson, Marilynne. “Home”

  • Ryan, Kay. “The Jam Jar Lifeboat”
  • Smith, Patricia. “Teahouse of the Almighty”