Shortlist for 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

shortlist for 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Shortlist


The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice,” by Patricia Bell-Scott, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Penguin Random House LLC.
Bell-Scott meticulously chronicles the boundary-breaking friendship of Pauli Murray and Eleanor Roosevelt, telling each remarkable woman’s story within the context of the crises of the times, from ongoing racial violence to WWII and the vicious battle over school integration.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” by Matthew Desmond, published by Crown, Penguin Random House LLC.
Desmond shares harrowing stories of eight families who find themselves facing home evictions in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, shining a light on how eviction sets people up to fail.

Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America,” by Patrick Phillips, published by W. W. Norton.
Phillips presents a precise and disquieting account of long underreported tyranny and violence against African Americans in a farming community in Forsyth Country, Georgia, in 1912, which resulted in nothing less than racial cleansing.


Moonglow,” by Michael Chabon, published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins.
A young writer listens in breath-held astonishment as his ailing grandfather, whose lifelong reticence has been vanquished by strong painkillers, tells the hidden stories of his hardscrabble boyhood, WWII military service, obsession with moon missions, and love for a French Holocaust survivor.

Swing Time,” by Zadie Smith, published by Penguin Press, Penguin Random House LLC.
Two “brown girls” growing up in London public housing share a passion for dance, but follow divergent paths which lead to adventures in America and Africa, and raise complex questions about family, friendship, race, creativity, and celebrity.

The Underground Railroad,” by Colson Whitehead, published by Doubleday, Penguin Random House LLC.
Whitehead reimagines the Underground Railroad in this powerful tale about smart and resilient Cora, a young third-generation slave who escapes the brutality of a Georgia cotton plantation and seeks sanctuary throughout the terrorized South.

The awards, established in 2012, recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year and serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material. They are the first single-book awards for adult books given by the American Library Association and reflect the expert judgment and insight of library professionals who work closely with adult readers.

Annotations and more information on the finalists and the awards can be found at Also, book cover artwork is available for download at

If you liked the Carnegie shortlist, you may also like these other recommended reads!

 NF-F_Medals_carnegie Signature_logo_maroon

If you liked the shortlist, you may also like…


The 2016 shortlist read alikes were selected by the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Notable Books Council, which is comprised of expert readers’ advisors and librarians that work closely with adult readers.

Fiction read alikes:

If you liked The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), you may also like…
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
A Map of Betrayal by Ha Jin
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
A Dangerous Friend by Ward Just
Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
The Four Books by Lianke Yan

If you liked The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard (Alfred A. Knopf), you may also like…
A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz by Goran Rosenberg
No One is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel
The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank by Ellen Feldman
Jacob the Liar by Jurek Becker

If you liked A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Doubleday), you may also like…
The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
After the Parade by Lori Ostlund
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
I Refuse by Per Peterson
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Nonfiction read alikes:

If you liked H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (Grove Press), you may also like…
The Goshawk by T.H. White
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
A Widow’s Story by Joyce Carol Oates
Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams
After visiting friends: A Son’s Story by Michael Hainey
This is How You Say Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir by Victoria Loustalot

If you liked Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann (Little, Brown and Company), you may also
Liar’s Club by Mary Carr
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Stitches by David Small
The End of the World as We Know It by Robert Goolrick

If you liked The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf (Alfred A. Knopf),
you may also like…
Humboldt’s Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Latin American Journey That Changed the Way We See the World
by Gerard Helferich
Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science by Richard Dawkins
Humankind: How Biology and Geography Shape Human Diversity by Alexander Harcourt
Letters to a Young Scientist by Edward O. Wilson
The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science by Armand Marie Leroi

View the .pdf to print out for your library or to hand out at your next book club!

The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction are co-sponsored by Booklist and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association. The awards were established to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published within the last year with a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

To learn more about the awards, books and authors, visit

2016 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Longlist Announced


Forty books (20 fiction, 20 nonfiction) comprising the longlist for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction have been selected. The list is now available on the awards’ website. The six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—will be chosen from these 40 titles and announced on October 19. The two medal winners will be announced by selection committee Chair Nancy Pearl at RUSA’s Book and Media Awards (BMAs) event at the ALA Midwinter Meeting from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10 in Boston.


Acevedo, Chantel. The Distant Marvels. (Europa)

Boyle, T. C. The Harder They Come. (Ecco)

Campbell, Bonnie Jo. Mothers, Tell Your Daughters. (Norton)

Clegg, Bill. Did You Ever Have a Family. (Simon & Schuster/Scout)

Cusk, Rachel. Outline. (Farrar)

Enright, Anne. The Green Road. (Norton)

Franzen, Jonathan. Purity. (Farrar)

Gottlieb, Eli. Best Boy. (Norton/Liveright)

Hallberg, Garth Risk. City on Fire. (Knopf)

Hannaham, James. Delicious Foods. (Little, Brown)

Johnson, T. Geronimo. Welcome to Braggsville. (Morrow)

Meno, Joe. Marvel and a Wonder. (Akashic)

Nguyen, Viet Thanh. The Sympathizer. (Grove)

Pearlman, Edith. Honeydew. (Little, Brown)

Shepard, Jim. The Book of Aron. (Knopf)

Treuer, David. Prudence. (Riverhead)

Tyler, Anne. A Spool of Blue Thread. (Knopf)

Vollmann, William T. The Dying Grass. (Viking)

Williams, Joy. The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories. (Knopf)

Yanagihara, Hanya. A Little Life. (Doubleday)


Appy, Christian G. American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity. (Viking)

Berman, Ari. Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. (Farrar)

Chayes, Sarah. Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.(Norton)

Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. (Spiegel & Grau)

Fraser, Steve. The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power. (Little, Brown)

Green, Kristen. Something Must Be Done about Prince Edward County: A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle. (Harper)

Haygood, Wil. Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America. (Knopf)

Herrera, Hayden. Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi. (Farrar)

Macdonald, Helen. H Is for Hawk. (Grove)

Mann, Sally. Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs. (Little, Brown)

Marsh, Henry. Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery. (St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne)

Nabokov, Peter. How the World Moves: The Odyssey of an American Indian Family. (Viking)

Parini, Jay. Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal. (Doubleday)

Sacks, Oliver. On the Move. (Knopf)

Safina, Carl. Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel. (Holt)

Schiff, Stacy. The Witches: Salem, 1692. (Little, Brown)

Smith, Patti. M Train. (Knopf)

Weinberg, Steven. To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science.(Harper)

Winchester, Simon. Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World’s Superpowers. (Harper)

Wulf, Andrea. Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World. (Knopf)

Find out more about the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

Anthony Doerr and Bryan Stevenson Awarded the 2015 Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

2015 winners_book covers_side by side

The eagerly anticipated announcements  of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction took place on June 27, 2015 at the American Library Association’s annual conference in San Francisco. Anthony Doerr, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All The Light We Cannot See was awarded the Carnegie medal for fiction, and Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy, was awarded the Carnegie medal for nonfiction.

The Carnegie Medals are ALA’s only single-book award for adult trade fiction and nonfiction, cosponsored by Booklist and RUSA. For more information about the awards and selection committee, visit