Hundreds of writers, editors, agents, and other literary types converged on the Park Plaza Hotel over the weekend for Grub Street's annual Muse and the Marketplace conference. There were panels on everything from the state of the publishing industry (as you might imagine) to character development (in writing a novel) to what writing rules to break. Reading recommendations kept popping up all over the place. Many were books published by the recommender's publishing house or books that the recommending agent represented but some -- including the three novels mentioned below -- were not.
Novelist Joseph Olshan mentioned "Tapping the Source" (which you can sample at Google Books) by Kem Nunn and Gil Adamson's "The Outlander" which Olshan called a masterpiece of fiction and which was one of the three best novels of the year, according to Ron Charles who reviewed it in The Washington Post.