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 Notable Books List: Year’s best in fiction, nonfiction and poetry named by RUSA readers’ advisory experts

BOSTON—The Notable Books Council, first established in 1944, has announced the 2016 selections of the Notable Books List, an annual best-of list comprised of twenty six titles written for adult readers and published in the US including fiction, nonfiction and poetry. The list was announced Sunday during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston.

The 2016 selections are:


“In the Country: Stories” by Mia Alvar. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
Exploring the Filipino experience spanning decades and continents, these fully rendered tales express wonder and sadness leavened with humor.

“The Sellout: A Novel” by Paul Beatty. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Poking the underbellies of many sacred cows, this biting social satire examines race, culture and politics in modern America.

“Did You Ever Have a Family: A Novel” by Bill Clegg. Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
The aftermath of a tragedy and its rippling effects in a small Connecticut town.

“Delicious Foods: A Novel” by James Hannaham. Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group.
Themes of race, addiction, wage slavery, and corporate greed coalesce in this startling, darkly comic coming of age odyssey.

“Black River: A Novel” by S.M. Hulse. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
This modern literary Western explores a man’s redemptive journey and the possibility (and cost) of forgiveness.

“Fortune Smiles: Stories” by Adam Johnson. Random House, a division of Penguin Random House.
Humanity: quirky, disturbing, endearing, striving, resigned, and fascinating.

“The Prophets of Eternal Fjord: A Novel”” by Kim Leine, translated by Martin Aitken. Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W.W. Norton.
An epic and evocative tale of colonialism in Greenland; translated from the Danish.

“The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories” by Anthony Marra. Hogarth, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group.
Beauty and humanity are found in the darkest and grimmest of places in these interconnected pieces.

“The Sympathizer: A Novel”” by Viet Thanh Nguyen.Grove Press.
A half-French, half-Vietnamese man serves as a double agent after the war, and struggles with the contradictions of his identity and loyalties.

“This Is the Life: A Novel” by Alex Shearer. Washington Square Press, a division of Simon & Schuster.
Spare prose mixes with heart-wrenching humor in this gem of a story about two brothers coping with terminal illness.

“The Book of Aron: A Novel” by Jim Shepard. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
The perspective of a boy whose only goal is to live another day gives a sharp edge to the mind-numbing tragedies of the Warsaw Ghetto.

“A Little Life: A Novel” by Hanya Yanagihara. Doubleday, a division of Random House.
A visceral, provocative story of four New York City lives marred by ambition, abuse, and addiction.


“The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission” by Jim Bell. Dutton, and imprint of Penguin Group.
An enthusiastic account of our reach for intergalactic space — and the people who made it possible.

“Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America” by Ali Berman. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
A sobering and impassioned popular history of the fight for universal suffrage in the United States.

“The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World” by Joel K. Bourne Jr. WW. Norton and Company.
An agricultural revolution supported our booming population in the twentieth century, but we’ll need another one to sustain us in the years to come.

“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House.
Framed as a letter to the author’s teenage son, this chronicle of race in America works as memoir, meditation, and call to action.

“The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle” by Lillian Faderman. Simon & Schuster.
An authoritative, affecting account of the effort to establish and solidify legal rights and cultural acceptance in the United States.

“Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter, Mary Shelley” by Charlotte Gordon. Random House, a division of Penguin Random House.
From A Vindication of the Rights of Woman to Frankenstein, this dual biography provides fresh insight about these groundbreaking authors.

“Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House. “Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.” (Penguin Random House, 2015)

“The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough. Simon & Schuster.
A strong work ethic and keen observation fueled the quest to conquer manned flight.

“The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness” by Sy Montgomery. Atria Books, Simon & Schuster.
A charming, revelatory journey into the world of cephalopods.

“M Train” by Patti Smith. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
Part memoir, part travelogue, and ultimately an elegy to her beloved husband, written by an iconic American artist.

“Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War” by Susan Southard. Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Bearing witness to hibakusha, those left behind.

“Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva” by Rosemary Sullivan. HarperCollins.
A portrait of a woman unable to escape the terrible shadow of her father.


“Bastards of the Reagan Era” by Reginald Dwayne Betts. Four Way Books.
Drugs, violence, and incarceration during a period of fear and chaos told in a brutal and haunting poetic voice.

“Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems” by Joy Harjo. W.W. Norton.
Folklore, history, personal journeys, and modern times are entwined in this absorbing work by a Native American poet.

The winners were selected by the Notable Books Council whose members include twelve expert readers’ advisory and collection development librarians. The Council considers titles based on stellar reviews published in standard library reviewing sources and other authoritative sources.

The Council includes Liz Marie Kirchhoff (Chair); Kristen Rae Allen-Vogel; Rochelle Redmond Ballard; Victoria Caplinger; Craig Allan Clark; Carol Lynn Gladstein; Dr. Vicki L. Gregory; Marlene A. Harris; Stacey J. Hayman; Sarah Jaffa; Elizabeth M. Joseph; Mary Callaghan “Cal” Zunt.

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.