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Reference experts announce annual Outstanding Reference Sources list for adults

BOSTON – The most noteworthy reference titles published in 2015 have been named to the 2016 Outstanding References Sources List, an annual list selected by experts of the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of ALA. The list was announced today at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston.
The Outstanding Reference Sources Committee was established in 1958 to recommend the most outstanding reference publications published the previous year for small and medium-sized public and academic libraries. The selected titles are valuable reference resources and are highly recommended for inclusion in any library’s reference collections.
The winners are:
“Black Stereotypes in Popular Series Fiction, 1851-1955: Jim Crow Era Authors and Their Characters” by Bernard A. Drew. McFarland & Company, Inc.
“Civil War Biographies from the Western Waters: 956 Confederate and Union Naval and Military Personnel, Contractors, Politicians, Officials, Steamboat Pilots and Others” by Myron J. Smith, Jr. McFarland & Company, Inc.
“The Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature” Dino Franco Felluga, editor. Wiley Blackwell.
“Modern Genocide: The Definitive Resource and Document Collection” Paul R. Bartrop and Steven Leonard Jacobs, editors. ABC-CLIO.
“The Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary” by David and Ben Crystal. Oxford University Press.
“The Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean” by Scott Weidensaul. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
“The SAGE Encyclopedia of Alcohol: Social, Cultural, and Historical Perspectives” Scott C. Martin, editor. SAGE.
“Weird Sports and Wacky Games Around the World: From Buzkashi to Zorbing” by Victoria Williams. ABC-CLIO.
“Women’s Rights in the United States: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Issues, Events, and People” Tiffany K. Wayne, editor. ABC-CLIO.
“Worldmark Global Business and Economy Issues” Miranda Herbert Ferrara, editor. Gale.
The Outstanding Reference Sources selection committee consists of Annie Fuller, St. Louis County Library, chair; Adam Jackman, Pierce County Library; Kathi Woodward, Springfield-Greene County Library; Jessica McCoullogh, Connecticut College; Shelley Arlen, University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries; Kara Krekeler, University City Public Library; Paul Walker, Bluffton University; and Laura Birkenhauer, Miami University.
The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about RUSA’s Book and Media Awards at www.ala.org/rusa/awards.

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“The Book of Aron: A Novel” named 2016 Sophie Brody Medal for achievement in Jewish literature

BOSTON – The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has announced its selection for the 2016 Sophie Brody Medal, an annual honor bestowed by the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of RUSA at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting today in Boston.

This year’s winner is “The Book of Aron:  A Novel” by Jim Shepard, published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.  This book is an eloquent blend of fiction and non-fiction that recounts the story of the Warsaw Ghetto through the unvarnished voice of a child.  Shepard’s narrator, Aron, gives a chilling and realistic depiction of the progressive deterioration of his world.  Shepard weaves Aron’s voice with that of Dr. Janusz Korczak, a heroic historical figure dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish children in his charge. This is a haunting story of the Holocaust.

Honorable mentions include:  (1)  “After Abel and Other Stories” by Michal Lemberger, published by Prospect Park Books; (2) “The Complete Works of Primo Levi” by Primo Levi and edited by Ann Goldstein, published by Liveright; (3) “The House of Twenty Thousand Books” by Sasha Abramsky, published by The New York Review of Books; and (4) “Killing a King:  The Assassination of Yitzak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel” by Dan Ephron, published by W.W. Norton.

The Sophie Brody Medal is funded by Arthur Brody and 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.

This year’s winner and honor books were selected by the Sophie Brody Medal committee:  Edward Kownslar (Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi), chair; Donald Altschiller (Boston University); Emily Bergman (University of Southern California); Barbara Bibel; Jack Forman (San Diego Mesa College); Kathleen Gallagher (University City Public Library, Mo.); Elliot H. Gertel (University of Michigan)Daniel Mack (University of Maryland); Mary Parker (Minitex, University of Minnesota); Adela Peskorz (Professor Emerita, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minn.); Nonny Schlotzhauer (Pennsylvania State University); and Barry Trott (Williamsburg Regional Library, Va.).

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about RUSA’s Book and Media Awards atwww.ala.org/rusa/awards.

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Readers’ advisory experts announce 2016 Reading List: Year’s best in genre fiction for adult readers

BOSTON—The Reading List Council has announced the 2016 selections of the Reading List, an annual best-of list comprised of eight different fiction genres for adult readers. A shortlist of honor titles was also announced. The list was announced today during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting held in Boston.

The 2016 selections are:

Adrenaline

Winner
“Pretty Girls: A Novel” by Karin Slaughter. William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins.
Three sisters are driven apart in the aftermath of one’s disappearance. When a violent crime occurs new fears arise and relationships shift again. Long term effects of family grief are exploited by the compulsions of a psychopath. Brutal and disturbing, this is ultimately a story of love and empowerment.

Read alikes
“Jack Caffery” series by Mo Hayder. Atlantic Monthly.
“The Hand that Feeds You” by A.J. Rich. Scribner.
“Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn. Crown/Shaye Areheart.

Short List
“The Cartel” by Don Winslow. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
“Descent: A Novel” by Tim Johnston. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
“The Killing Lessons” by Saul Black. St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan Publishers.
“Palace of Treason: a Novel” by Jason Matthews. Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Fantasy

Winner
“Uprooted” by Naomi Novik. Del Rey, an imprint of Ballantine Books.
In this enchanted old-world fable, villagers threatened by a blighted magical wood allow the resident wizard to take one daughter into servitude for ten years. When he chooses klutzy Agnieszka, she faces an unexpected future and confronts the dangers of a wider political world and the roots of magical corruption.

Read alikes
“The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker. Harper.
“Tearling”  trilogy by Erika Johansen. Harper.
“Wild Girl” by Kate Forsyth. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne.

Short List
“The Aeronaut’s Windlass: The Cinder Spires” by Jim Butcher. Roc, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
“A Darker Shade of Magic” by V. E. Schwab. Tor Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.
“The Fifth Season: The Broken Earth: Book One” by N. K. Jemisin. Orbit, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company.
“Sorcerer to the Crown” by Zen Cho. Ace Books, an imprint of The Berkley Publishing Group.

Historical Fiction

Winner
“Crooked Heart: A Novel” by Lissa Evans. Harper.
Raised by his eccentric ex-suffragette godmother to be a free-thinker, young Noel is thrown into chaos when the London Blitz forces him into the home of a scam artist loyal only to her layabout son. Thrust together, the two oddballs are forced to find a way through the wartime landscape.

Read alikes
“All Clear” (#1) and “Blackout” (#2) by Connie Willis. Spectra Books.
“Night Watch by Sarah Waters. Riverhead.
“Paper Moon” (movie, Paramount, 1973).

Short List
“Jam on the Vine: a Novel” by LaShonda Katrice Barnett. Grove Press.
“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. St. Martin’s Press.
“Paradise Sky” by Joe R. Lansdale. Mulholland Books, a division of Little, Brown and Company.
“The Truth According to Us: a Novel” by Annie Barrows. The Dial Press.
“Girl Waits with Gun” by Amy Stewart. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Horror

Winner
“The Fifth House of the Heart: A Novel” by Ben Tripp. Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster.
Flamboyant antiques dealer Asmodeus “Sax” Saxon-Tang made his fortune by accidentally killing a vampire with a horde of treasure. To protect the only person he loves, his niece, he’s forced to return to old Europe to assemble an eccentric team of vampire hunters in this gory, witty caper.

Read alikes
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (TV, Mutant Enemy Productions, 1997-2003)
“Parasol Protectorate” (#1) series by  Gail Carriger. Orbit.
“Stoker’s Manuscript” by Royce Prouty. G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Short List
“A Head Full of Ghosts” by Paul Tremblay. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.
“Little Girls” by Ronald Malfi. Kensington Publishing Corp.
“The Silence” by Tim Lebbon. Titan Books.
“When We Were Animals: a Novel” by Joshua Gaylord. Mulholland Books, a division of Little, Brown and Company.

Mystery

Winner
“The Long and Faraway Gone” by Lou Berney. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Cold cases cast a twenty-five year shadow of grief and guilt on the lives of two survivors of traumatic teenage crimes. New leads and new cases bring them back to Oklahoma City as past and present intersect in this poignant and compelling story of lives forever changed by random violence.

Read alikes
“Case Histories” by Kate Atkinson. Little, Brown.
“In the Woods” by Tana French. Viking.
“Mystic River” by Dennis Lehane. Morrow.

Short List
“Gun Street Girl: a Detective Sean Duffy Novel” by Adrian McKinty. Seventh Street Books.
“Land of Careful Shadows” by Suzanne Chazin. Kensington Books.
“Last Ragged Breath” by Julia Keller. Minotaur Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.
“Little Black Lies” by Sharon Bolton. Minotaur Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.

Romance

Winner
“Taking the Heat” by Victoria Dahl. HQN, Harlequin Books.
Sassy relationship advice columnist Veronica overcomes her commitment anxiety and gains confidence with the help of mountain-climbing librarian Gabe. Steamy romance evolves into a strong relationship as they scale a mountain of family conflicts and share secrets against a majestic Jackson Hole backdrop.

Read alikes
“Can’t Buy Me Love” by Molly O’Keefe. Bantam.
“Natural Born Charmer” by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Morrow.
“Veiled Desire” (#1) by Alisha Rai. Samhain.

Short List
“A Desperate Fortune” by Susanna Kearsley. Sourcebooks Landmark.
“Ever After: a Nantucket Brides Novel” by Jude Deveraux. Ballantine Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.
“Rumor Has It” by Cheris Hodges. Dafina Books.
“When a Scot Ties the Knot: Castles Ever After” by Tessa Dare. Avon Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins.

Science Fiction

Winner
“Golden Son” by Pierce Brown. Del Rey, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Insurgent Darrow inveigled his way into high Gold society in 2014’s Red Rising. In this dramatic, high octane follow-up, conflicting loyalties and his own ambitions lure Darrow into an untenable web of deceptions. Bolstered by new alliances, Darrow battles to overthrow corrupt lunar leadership and bring freedom to Mars.

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. Scholastic.
“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. Tor.
“Dune” (#1) Dune Chronicles by Frank Herbert. Hodder & Stoughton.

Short List
“Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits” by David Wong. Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan Publishers.
“Seveneves” by Neal Stephenson. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Slow Bullets” by Alastair Reynolds. Tachyon.
“The Water Knife” by Paolo Bacigalupi. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.

Women’s Fiction

Winner
“Re Jane” by Patricia Park. Pamela Dorman Books, an imprint of Penguin Books.
Anxious to escape the strict upbringing of her uncle’s Flushing grocery, Korean-American Jane accepts an au pair position in the pretentious household of two Brooklyn academics and their adopted Chinese daughter. Park has created a bright comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living on one’s own terms.

Read alikes
“The Nanny Diaries” by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. St. Martin’s.
“Brooklyn” by Colm Tóibín. Scribner.
“The Newlyweds” by Nell Freudenberger. Knopf.

Short List
“Days of Awe: a Novel” by Lauren Fox. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
“The Royal We” by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group.
“This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!: a Novel” by Jonathan Evison. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
“A Touch of Stardust” by Kate Alcott. Doubleday.

The winners were selected by the Reading List Council whose members include 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 Ann Chambers Theis, Henrico County Public Library, chair; Valerie Morgan Taylor, co-chair; Phillip Ballo, National University; Jessica D. Barrientos, Westminster Public Library; Amy Gornikiewicz, Eagle Valley Library District;  Rebecca Greer, Poinciana Library; Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Library; Lauren Kage; EBSCO; Tammy Ryan, Phoenix Public Library; Janet Schneider, Oceanside Library.

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Dartmouth Medal for excellence in reference awarded to “Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law”

BOSTON– The winner of the 2016 Dartmouth Medal for most outstanding reference work, an annual award presented by the expert reference and collection development librarians of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of ALA, is the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law, Editor-in-chief: Brent Strawn, published by Oxford University Press.

Comprehensive, entries from scholars from all points on the religious spectrum include topics such as Marriage, Divorce, Testimony and Witness, and Gender. Extensive bibliographies and suggestions for further research make this a useful and balanced resource for library shelves. This work is part of the Oxford Encyclopedias of the Bible series, consisting of eight sets with essays by scholars from many countries and with a wide variety of perspectives.

Honorable mention is awarded to Worldmark Global Business and Economy Issues, published by Gale Cengage. This two-book set (V1: Business & Management; V2: Economy) helps the reader understand, contextualize, and analyze the issues and concepts surrounding international business and economics. This work is useful for anyone learning economic principles beyond their area of expertise.

The Dartmouth Medal, established in 1974, honors the creation of a reference source of outstanding quality and significance. The award is given to the best new reference source published in the previous year (more precisely, the previous December 1 to December 1, as the source needs to be available for a sufficient amount of time to be adequately reviewed). It is awarded to a new publication, not a new edition.

The Dartmouth committee, made up of reference subject experts from academic, public, and sometimes school and other libraries, receives nominations from librarians, editors, and publishers and spends countless hours reviewing copies throughout the latter half of the year.

The Dartmouth Medal selection committee includes: Nicolette Warisse Sosulski, Portage District Library, chair; Angela Courtney, Indiana University; Patricia Gregory, Saint Louis University; Kathleen Kern, National Defense University; Janet Pinkley, California State University, Channel Islands; and Dave Tyckoson, Fresno State University.

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