Archive for Awards

RUSA announces 2015 book and media awards for adults

RUSA announced the top books in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and genre; audio books; and reference books for adults – including the Notable Books List, Reading List, Sophie Brody Medal, Listen List, Dartmouth Medal and Outstanding Reference Sources – at its Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.

A list of all the 2015 award winners follows:

Notable Books List for excellence in fiction, nonfiction and poetry:


“All My Puny Sorrows” by Miriam Toews (McSweeneys)

“All the Light We Cannot  See” by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)

“The Bone Clocks: A Novel” by David Mitchell (Random House)

“The Children Act” by Ian McEwan (Nan A Talese)

“The Crane Wife” by Patrick Ness (Penguin)

“The Enchanted: A Novel” by Rene Denfeld (Harper)

“Narrow Road to the Deep North: A Novel” by Richard Flanagan (Alfred A. Knopf)

“On Such a Full Sea” by Chang-Rae Lee (Riverhead)

“Orfeo: A Novel” by Richard Powers (W.W. Norton)

“Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories” by Ron Rash (Ecco)

“Station Eleven: A Novel” by Emily St. John Mandel (Alfred A. Knopf)

“Tigerman” by Nick Harkaway (Alfred A. Knopf)


“The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution” by Jonathan Eig (W.W. Norton)

“Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris” by Eric Jager (Little, Brown and Company)

“Dark Invasion: 1915 Germany’s Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America” by Howard Blum (Harper)

“Factory Man” by Beth Macy (Little, Brown and Company)

“In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeanette” by Hampton Sides (Doubleday)

“Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story” by Rick Bragg (Harper)

“Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson (Spiegel & Grau)

“The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses” by Kevin Birmingham (Penguin Press)

“No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State” by Glenn Greenwald (Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt)

“Pandora’s DNA: Tracing the Breast Cancer Genes Through History, Science, and One Family Tree” by Lizzie Stark (Chicago Review Press)

“The Secret History of Wonder Woman” by Jill Lepore (Alfred A. Knopf)

“The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” by Elizabeth Kolbert (Henry Holt)


“The Blue Buick: New and Selected Poems” by B.H.Fairchild (W.W. Norton)

“Gabriel: A Poem”, by Edward Hirsch (Knopf)

For a complete list of 2015 winners and annotations, see the official announcement here. For a list of past winners and more information on the award and Notable Books Council, visit the Notable Books Award page.

Reading List for excellence in genre fiction:


“Broken Monsters” by Lauren Beukes (Mulholland Books)


“The Goblin Emperor” by Katherine Addison (Tor)

Historical Fiction

“Bitter Greens” by Kate Forsyth (Thomas Dunne)


“The Lesser Dead” by Christopher Buehlman (Penguin)


“Murder at the Brightwell” by Ashley Weaver (Minotaur)


“A Bollywood Affair” by Sonali Dev (Kensington)

Science Fiction

“The Martian” by Andy Weir (Crown)

Women’s Fiction

“My Real Children” by Jo Walton (Tor)

For a complete list of annotations, shortlist titles and read alikes for the 2015 list, see the official announcement here. For a list of past winners and more information on the Reading List Council, visit the Reading List award page.

Sophie Brody Medal for excellence in Jewish Literature:

“A Replacement Life” by Boris Fishman (HarperCollins)

Honorable mentions include:
“The Mathematician’s Shiva” by Stuart Rojstaczer (Penguin)
“In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist” by Ruchama King Feuerman (New York Review of Books)

For a complete description of the 2015 award winner and honorable mentions, see the official announcement here. For a list of past winners and more information on the Sophie Brody Medal, visit the Sophie Brody Medal award page.

Listen List for outstanding audiobook narration:

“The Bees” by Laline Paull. Narrated by Orlagh Cassidy. Blackstone Audio/HarperAudio.

“Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him” by David Henry & Joe Henry. Narrated by Dion Graham. Tantor Media.

“The Home Place” by Carrie La Seur. Narrated by Andrus Nichols. Blackstone Audio/HarperAudio.

“The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd. Narrated by Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye. Penguin Audio/Recorded Books.

“Lord of Scoundrels” by Loretta Chase. Narrated by Kate Reading. Blackstone Audio.

“The Martian” by Andy Weir. Narrated by R.C. Bray. Podium Publishing.

“Moonraker” by Ian Fleming. Narrated by Bill Nighy. Blackstone Audio.

“The Moonstone” by Wilkie Collins.  Narrated by Ronald Pickup, Joe Marsh, Fenella Woolgar, Sam Dale, Jonathan Oliver, Jamie Parker, Sean Barrett, David Timson, John Foley and Benjamin Soames. Naxos AudioBooks.

“Queen of the Tearling,” by Erika Johansen. Narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Blackstone Audio.

“The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith. Narrated by Robert Glenister. Blackstone Audio/Hachette Audio.

“Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel. Narrated by Kirsten Potter. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.

“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. Narrated by Bryan Cranston. Brilliance Audio.

For a complete list of annotations and listen alikes for the 2015 winners, see the official announcement here. For a list of past winners and more information on the Listen List, visit the Listen List award page.

Dartmouth Medal for the most distinguished reference publication:

“Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism” published by Princeton University Press.

For a complete description of the award and 2015 winner, see the official announcement here. For a list of past winners and more information on the Dartmouth Medal award, visit the Dartmouth Medal award page.

Outstanding Reference Sources for excellence in reference:

“American Indians at Risk” Edited by Jeffrey Ian Ross (Greenwood)

“Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century” by Monique W. Morris (The New Press)

“Bumblebees of North America” by Paul Williams, Robin Thorp, Leif Richardson and Shelia Colla (Princeton University Press)

“Consumer Healthcare” Edited by Brigham Narins (Gale Cengage Learning)

“Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon” Edited by Barbara Cassin. Translation edited by Emily Apter, Jaques Lezra, and Michael Wood (Princeton University Press)

“Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice” Edited by Jay S. Albanese (Wiley Blackwell)

“Encyclopedia of Deception” Edited by Timothy R. Levine (Sage Publishing)

“Encyclopedia of Humor Studies” Edited by Salvatore Attardo (Sage Publishing)

“Encyclopedia of the Wars of The Early American Republic, 1783-1812” Edited by Spencer C Tucker (ABC-CLIO)

“Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God” Edited by Coeli Fitzpatrick and Adam Hani Walker (ABC-CLIO)

For more information about the award, see the official announcement here. For a complete list of past winners and more information on the award, visit the Outstanding Reference Sources award page.

Selected by judging committees of librarians and other readers’ advisory experts, the awards highlight outstanding works for adult readers and libraries nationwide.  For more information on RUSA’s Book and Media Awards, please visit

Leave a Comment

2015 Sophie Brody Medal for achievement in Jewish literature names winner, honorable mentions

CHICAGO–The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has announced its selection for the 2015 Sophie Brody Medal, an honor bestowed by the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of RUSA at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting.

This Year’s winner is A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman, published by HarperCollins. This is a story about the immigrant experience and committing fraud for the right reasons: family, love, and Holocaust reparations.

The Sophie Brody Medal is funded by the Brodart Foundation and is given to encourage, recognize, and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish Literature. Works for adults published in the United States in the preceding year are eligible for the award.

Honorable mentions include The Mathematician’s Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer, published by Penguin, and In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist by Ruchama King Feuerman, published by the New York Review of Books.

This year’s winner and honor books were selected by the Sophie Brody Medal Committee; Barbara Bibel, Oakland Public Library, chair; Donald Altschiller, Boston University; Emily A. Bergman, University of Southern California; Jack Forman, Mesa College; Kathleen Gallagher, University City Public Library; Elliot H. Gertel, University of Michigan; Edward Kownslar, Texas A&M; Mary M.D. Parker, MINITEX; Adela Peskorz, Metropolitan State University; Nonny Schlotzhauer, Pennsylvania State University; and Barry Trott, Williamsburg Regional Library.

Leave a Comment

2015 Reading List announced: Year’s best in genre fiction for adult readers

CHICAGO—The Reading List Council has announced the 2015 selections of the Reading List, an annual best-of list comprised of eight different fiction genres for adult readers.  The list was announced today during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.

The 2015 selections are:


“Broken Monsters” by Lauren Beukes (Mulholland Books)

Detroit serves as the economically battered backdrop of this inventive, visceral suspense story about a series of bizarre murders that draws a group of memorable characters into a complex web of violence. Smart, stylish and addictive, this page-turner shows how the American Dream has failed many on a personal level.

“Skin” by Kathe Koja (Delacorte)
“The Whisperer” by Donato Carrisi (Mulholland)
“True Detective” (TV series, HBO, 2014)

Short List
“Mr. Mercedes” by Stephen King (Scribner)
“The Runner” by Patrick Lee (Minotaur)
“The Son” by Jo Nesbo (Knopf)
“Those Who Wish Me Dead” by Michael Koryta (Little, Brown)


“The Goblin Emperor” by Katerine Addison (Tor)

Following the sudden, suspicious deaths of his entire family, exiled half-goblin Maia becomes emperor, a role requiring diplomacy and adherence to strict protocols. Focusing on the intricacies of court life, this elegant novel unfolds at a pace that allows readers to savor the rich tapestry of character, setting and plot.

“The Spirit Ring” by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
“Cold Magic” by Kate Elliott (Orbit)
“The Ruins of Ambrai” by Melanie Rawn (DAW)

Short List
“Half a King” by Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey)
“Hot Lead, Cold Iron” by Ari Marmell (Titan)
“The Paper Magician” by Charlie N. Holmberg (47 North)
“Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen (HarperCollins)

Historical Fiction

Bitter Greens” by Kate Forsyth (Thomas Dunne)

Banished from the court of Versailles, spirited Charlotte-Rose de la Force meets a nun who weaves together the strands that form the Rapunzel fairy tale, revealing its surprising origins. A captivating marriage of history and folklore featuring characters true to their time periods, yet timeless in their dreams and desires.

“In the Company of the Courtesan” by Sarah Dunant (Random House)
“The Girls at the Kingfisher Club” by Genevieve Valentine (Atria)
“The Moon and the Sun” by Vonda McIntyre (Pocket)

Short List
“Flight of the Sparrow” by Amy Belding Brown (NAL)
“Hild” by Nicola Griffith (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
“Wayfaring Stranger” by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster)
“The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress” by Ariel Lawhon (Doubleday)


“The Lesser Dead” by Christopher Buehlman (Penguin)

Beneath the streets of 1970s New York, Joey meets the merry children, a gang of ancient child vampires, and discovers that immortality isn’t all fun and games. Gritty, clever and gonzo, this fresh take on the vampire mythos gets darker and creepier as the pages turn.

“The Light at the End” by John Skipp and Craig Spector (Stealth Press)
“Enter Night” by Michael Rowe (ChiZine)
“Double Dead” by Chuck Wendig (Abaddon)

Short List
“Butcher’s Road” by Lee Thomas (Lethe Press)
“Horrorstor” by Grady Hendrix (Quirk)
“The Supernatural Enhancements” by Edgar Cantero (Doubleday)
“The Troop” by Nick Cutter (Orbit)


“Murder at the Brightwell” by Ashley Weaver (Minotaur)

This classic English mystery follows Amory and her estranged husband, Milo, whose paths cross at a seaside resort where suspicious deaths implicate Amory’s former fiance, Gil. A vivid mystery that sparkles with personality as Amory and Milo puzzle out the truth behind the murders and negotiate their own complicated relationship.


Tommy and Tuppence Series by Agatha Christie (William Morrow)
“Cocaine Blues: A Phryne Fisher Mystery” by Kerry Greenwood (Poisoned Pen)
“Escapade” by Walter Satterthwait (St. Martin’s Press)

Short List
“Wolf” by Mo Hayder (Atlantic Monthly)
“A Burnable Book” by Bruce Holsinger (William Morrow)
“Talus and the Frozen King” by Graham Edwards (Solaris)
“The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man” by W. Bruce Cameron (Forge)


“A Bollywood Affair” by Sonali Dev (Kensington)

Comic misunderstandings ensue when playboy Bollywood director Samir travels to America to secure an annulment for his brother, married at age four to Mili in a traditional arranged Indian wedding ceremony. Appealing protagonists, a diverse supporting cast, and a colorful multicultural backdrop lend this charming story unexpected emotional depth.

Bride and Prejudice (Miramax Films, 2004, dir. Gurinder Chadha)
“The Newlyweds” by Nell Freudenberger (Vintage)
“The Malhotra Bride” by Sundari Venkatraman (Flaming Sun)

Romance Short List:

“My Beautiful Enemy” by Sherry Thomas (Berkley Books)
“It Happened One Wedding” by Julie James (Jove)
“The Raider” by Monica McCarty (Ballantine)
“Three Weeks with Lady X” by Eloisa James (Avon)

Science Fiction


“The Martian” by Andy Weir (Crown, 9780804139021)

Stranded on Mars, wisecracking botanist Mark Watney proves that an astronaut has to be smart, resourceful and, perhaps, a little crazy to survive. Strong characterization, well-researched but accessible technical detail, and a deft blend of suspense and humor will please science enthusiasts and fans of survival stories on any planet.

Gravity (Warner Brothers, 2013, dir. By Alfonso Cuarón)
“Packing for Mars” by Mary Roach (W.W. Norton)
“Farmer in the Sky” by Robert Heinlein (Baen)

Short List

“Annihilation” by Jeff Vandermeer (FSG Originals)
“Fortune’s Pawn” by Rachel Bach (Orbit)
“Lock In” by John Scalzi (Tor)
“Shovel Ready” by Adam Sternbergh (Crown)

Women’s Fiction


My Real Children” by Jo Walton (Tor)

Patricia Cowan, an elderly woman suffering from dementia, remembers two different lives, two different careers, two different families and two different worlds. A striking novel of how tragedy turns to joy and heartbreak turns to love with a narrative twist that hooks the reader and never lets go.


“Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson (Reagan Arthur)
Sliding Doors (Miramax Films, 1998, dir. Peter Howitt)
“The Time Travelers Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Short List
“After I Do” by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Washington Square Press)
“The House We Grew Up In” by Lisa Jewell (Atria Books)
“How To Build A Girl” by Caitlin Moran (Harper)
“The Story Hour” by Thrity Umrigar (Harper)

The winners were selected by the Reading List Council whose members include up to twelve expert readers’ advisory and collection development librarians. The eight genres currently included in the Council’s considerations are adrenaline, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, and women’s fiction. However, the Council is adaptable to new genres and changes in contemporary reading interest.

The Council consists of Gillian Speace, NoveList, chair; Victoria Carlson Kemp, Flower Mound Public Library, vice-chair; Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos Library; Nanette Donohue, Champaign Public Library; Jennifer Hendzlik, Anythink Libraries (Colorado); Jared L. Mills, Seattle Public Library; Janet Schneider, The Bryant Library (Roslyn, NY); Ann Chambers Theis, Henrico County Public Library; Valerie Taylor, Librarian (retired)


Leave a Comment

Annual list of Best Historical Materials selected by RUSA’s History Section

CHICAGO—The annual list of Best Historical materials was announced by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Book and Media Awards Ceremony at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.

The list, in its eleventh year, recognizes the evaluation and effectiveness in coverage of historical resources in all fields of history. Published in Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), these sources are selected by a committee that seeks to improve the usefulness of bibliographies and indexes in the field of history and shared among bibliographers, indexers, publishers and professional associations.

The list includes:

Europeana 1914-1918
Europeana 1914-1918 – Untold Stories & Official Histories of WW1 offers the culmination of “three years of work by 20 European countries,”  including 400,000 rare documents, 660 hours of film, and 90,000 personal papers. An excellent, diverse collection of World War I materials, Europeana 1914-1918 offers significant content with the promise of continued growth.

Mapping Gothic France
The Mapping Gothic France project is a collaboration between the Media Center for Art History in the Department of Art History and Archeology at Columbia University, the Visual Resources Library at Vassar College, and the Columbia University Libraries.  It attempts to depict Gothic space via an online, interactive 3D experience, and create links between the “architectural space of individual buildings, geo-political space, and the “social space of the interaction (collaboration and conflict) between builders and users.”

1914-1918 Online:  International Encyclopedia of the First World War
1914-1918 Online is an “English-language virtual reference work on the First World War” that claims more than one thousand participants from over fifty countries. An informative and objective site with wide appeal, this is a welcome reference source on World War I.

Lowcountry Digital History Initiative
The Lowcountry Digital History Initiative is a digital public history project that consists of a series of high-quality online exhibitions folded into scholarly contextual narratives. Across all exhibitions, there is prominent emphasis on exploring underrepresented histories of race, class, gender, and labor within the Lowcountry region. In its production, the site is an excellent model for the collaboration and outreach opportunities afforded by digital history while in its presentation the site shows excellent potential for learning and teaching at multiple levels.

Darwin Online
Darwin Online brings together in one place Charles Darwin’s complete publications, private papers, and manuscripts, along with reviews of his works and works about him. With the recent completion of the Beagle library project (2012-14) one can see on Darwin Online what works Darwin could not do without on his voyage. A must for anyone studying Darwin or evolutionary biology, or whose imagination is captured by the idea of the Beagle’s voyage, Darwin Online is an enjoyable journey into Darwin’s work.

Freedom Summer Digital Collection
This collection contains over one hundred digitized manuscript collections on the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of 1964. The 25,000 pages available online contain official records, personal papers, memos, letters, diaries, newsletters, pamphlets, brochures, press releases, and magazine and newspaper articles. The Freedom Summer Digital Collection is a valuable contribution to the history of civil rights.

Densho Digital Repository
The Densho Digital Repository contains historic photographs, documents, newspaper articles, letters, and other primary sources documenting Japanese-American life before, during, and after World War II. Pre-war photographs focus on immigration to the United States and aspects of Japanese-American life, while WWII-era materials center on what life was like in various internment camps throughout the (mostly) Western United States and post-WWII collections focus on the late 20th century (1990s onward) pictures of Japanese Americans attending reunions, visiting internment camp historic sites, or giving interviews of their experiences in the camps during the war.

The Roaring Twenties
The Roaring Twenties: An interactive exploration of the historical soundscape of New York City provides visitors with an intriguing interactive experience about the urban soundscape and human responses to industrial, human, and transportation noise from January to June 1930. Supporting features such as complaints, documents, official responses, articles from the New York Times, newsreels, laws, and Noise Abatement Commission (NYC) responses provide context to the historic view of the soundscape. The Roaring Twenties provides historians, students of history and the public with an innovative way to study comparative points of view for nuisance and human response.

The Best Historical Materials selection committee consists of Matthew J. Wayman, Penn State Schuylkill, Chair; Brooke A. Becker, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Martin Firestein, Harper College; Susan L. Malbin, American Jewish Historical Society; Sue A. McFadden, Indiana University East; William M. Modrow, Florida State University; Kathleen M. Monti, Harrisburg Area Community College; Alexa L. Pearce, University of Michigan; Paul Victor, Jr., Eastern Washington University; Agnes H. Widder, Michigan State University; and Mary Wilke, Center for Research Libraries.

Leave a Comment