The Reference and User Services Association will host three award-winning authors — Erin Morgenstern, Candice Millard and Mark Adams — at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference program “Literary Tastes: Celebrating the Best Reading of the Year,” a conference tradition that features authors from RUSA’s literary adult book awards.
Each year expert readers’ advisory librarians from RUSA’s Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) spend hundreds of hours reading and reviewing books written for adults to identify the most outstanding writing published in the areas of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, genre fiction, Jewish literature and audiobook narration. “Literary Tastes” is an opportunity to hear from noteworthy authors whose books are among their annual selections and also celebrate the art and craft of writing with fellow book lovers.
Morgenstern’s book “The Night Circus” (Doubleday) was a 2012 Reading List top pick for Fantasy. Le Cirque des Rêves is utterly unique, disappearing at dawn in one town only to mysteriously reappear in another. At the heart of the circus are two young magicians, involved in a competition neither completely understands. The dreamlike atmosphere and vivid imagery make this fantasy unforgettable. The book received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews, and the Associated Press called it “Magical. Enchanting. Spellbinding. Mesmerizing.” Check out the complete 2012 Reading List, and access lists from previous years.
Millard’s “Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President” (Doubleday) is a 2012 Notable Books Non-fiction pick and New York Times best-seller and Notable Book of the Year that recounts James Garfield’s rise from poverty to the American presidency and the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy. The Washington Times praised “Destiny of the Republic”, saying “It takes a gifted writer to prompt a reader to spend a lot of time with a book in which James Garfield is the main character….In addition to providing insights about our 20th commander-in-chief, [the book] is an engaging, elegantly written and insightful look at the political and scientific developments of late-19th century America. Build your “to be read” list with all 25 fiction, non-fiction and poetry titles on this year’s Notable Books List.
Adams’s travel narrative, “Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time” (Penguin), was also included on the 2012 Notable Books List. In this humorous travelogue, the author sprinkles historical anecdote with investigative reporting as he retraces the steps of early explorers into ancient Peru. The New York Times Book Review called “Turn Right” “Ebullient…an engaging and sometimes hilarious book,” and National Geographic Traveler said, “If you haven’t been to Machu Picchu and environs, this book will inspire you to drop everything and go. And if you’ve already been, ‘Turn Right at Machu Picchu’ will transport you straight back to those soul-soaring heights.”
“Literary Tastes: Celebrating the Best Reading of the Year” will take place from 8 – 10 a.m., Sunday, June 24, in Room 204B of the Anaheim Convention Center. RSVPs are not required, but those planning to attend are strongly encouraged to add the program to their conference schedules using the 2012 ALA Annual Conference Scheduler in ALA Connect. Librarians who share RUSA’s enthusiasm for adult books should also plan to attend the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Awards Ceremony—a ticketed reception co-sponsored by Booklist and emceed by Nancy Pearl. The reception is scheduled for 8 – 10 p.m. that same Sunday evening, and tickets are just $25 for RUSA members. More event information is at the RUSA website.