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 Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration for Adult Listeners revealed

BOSTON—The Listen List Council of the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has announced the 2016 selections of the Listen List Committee. The list was announced Sunday during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston.

The Listen List highlights extraordinary narrators and listening experiences that merit special attention by a general adult audience and the librarians who advise them. Adhering to established criteria, committee members select 12 recordings that are benchmarks of excellence and are available for purchase by libraries. Titles are named to the list because the narration creates a new experience, offering listeners something they could not create by their own visual reading; and because the narrator achieves an outstanding performance in terms of voice, accents, pitch, tone, inflection, rhythm and pace. This juried list, designed for both avid listeners and those new to the pleasures of stories read aloud, includes fiction and nonfiction and features voices that enthrall, delight, and inspire, making one reluctant to stop listening.

The 2016 winners are:

“All Involved” by Ryan Gattis. Narrated by Anthony Rey Perez, Marisol Ramirez, Jim Cooper, Adam Lazarre-White, and James Chen. HarperAudio. This cinéma vérité soundscape depicts gang-related murder and retaliation amidst the chaos and confusion of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Seventeen individuals, including a Korean shopkeeper, Latino street hustlers, gritty cops, and sympathetic nurses, are artfully voiced by five actors evoking an emotional range from poetic reflection to brutal violence.


  • “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Narrated by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “City on Fire: A Novel” by Garth Risk Hallberg. Narrated by Rebecca Lowman, Tristan Morris, and Bronson Pinchot. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets” by Sudhir Venkatesh. Narrated by Reg Rogers, Sudhir Venkatesh, and Stephen J. Dubner. HarperAudio.


“All the Old Knives” by Olen Steinhauer. Narrated by Ari Fliakos and Juliana Francis Kelly.

Macmillan Audio. In a single evening, two CIA agents and former lovers expose old memories and reveal differing perspectives of a terrorist attack. The interplay between Fliakos’ gravelly, world-weary tone and Kelly’s briskly controlled voice intensifies tautly-stretched emotions and engenders a misplaced trust that is shattered by a final plot twist.



  • “The Dinner” by Herman Koch. Narrated by Clive Mantle. Blackstone Audio.
  • “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. Narrated by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “A Perfect Spy” by John le Carré. Narrated by Michael Jayston. Penguin Audio.


“And Only to Deceive” by Tasha Alexander. Narrated by Kate Reading. Recorded Books/Tantor Media. After marrying to escape her socially pretentious mother, Lady Emily falls in love with the deceased husband she barely knew while investigating his questionable acquisition of Greek antiquities. Immersing listeners in 19th century English society, Reading’s pitch-perfect accents and vibrant performance capture Emily’s transformation from privileged aristocrat to newly-independent woman.



  • “The Anatomist’s Wife” by Anna Lee Huber. Narrated by Heather Wilds. Tantor Media.
  • “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen” by Laurie R. King. Narrated by Jenny Sterlin. Recorded Books.
  • “Maisie Dobbs” by Jacqueline Winspear. Narrated by Rita Barrington. Blackstone Audio.


“Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson. Narrated by Scott Brick. Books on Tape/Random House Audio. Brick’s crisply evocative performance vividly conveys the wartime atmosphere and precise details of the sinking of the Lusitania by German U-Boat 20. His dramatic narration of passenger and crew experiences, as well as military and political machinations, propels listeners ever nearer to the inevitable and tragic conclusion.



  • “Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage” by Alfred Lansing. Narrated by Simon Prebble. Blackstone Audio.
  • “The Guns of August” by Barbara W. Tuchman. Narrated by John Lee. Recorded Books/Tantor Media.
  • “A Night to Remember: The Classic Account of the Final Hours of the Titanic” by Walter Lord. Narrated by Martin Jarvis. Blackstone Audio.


“Dracula” by Bram Stoker. Narrated by David Horovitch, Jamie Parker, Joseph Kloska, Alison Pettitt, and cast. Naxos AudioBooks. Stoker’s classic horror tale, which introduces the iconic vampire Dracula, is brilliantly performed by an exceptional assemblage of British actors. Unfolding with quiet intensity, the well-matched voices result in fully-realized characters which combine to create mounting psychological and sexual tension in this revelatory listening experience.



  • “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. Narrated by Daniel Philpott, Chris Larkin, Roger May, and Jonathan Oliver. Naxos AudioBooks.
  • “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova. Narrated by Justine Eyre and Paul Michael. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Narrated by Martin Jarvis. Blackstone Audio.


“H is for Hawk” by Helen MacDonald. Narrated by Helen MacDonald. Blackstone Audio. Gracefully literate and whimsically humorous, MacDonald’s elegiac tone details her journey through depression while nuanced reflections on T.H. White’s The Goshawk provide a counterpoint to her raw grief. In an experience as natural as sharing a confidence, she opens her heart and entrusts the listener with both words and voice.



  • “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Narrated by Elizabeth Gilbert. Books on Tape/Penguin Audio.
  • “The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness” by Sy Montgomery. Narrated by Sy Montgomery. Recorded Books/HighBridge Audio.
  • “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed. Narrated by Bernadette Dunne. Books on Tape/Random House Audio


“The Invasion of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen. Narrated by Davina Porter. HarperAudio. In this sequel to The Queen of the Tearling, Kelsea harnesses her strengthening magic and confronts the Red Queen while experiencing visions of an abused woman living in a vastly different civilization. Porter’s regal tone, varied cadence, and commanding delivery intensify the emotional connection of sharply delineated yet intertwined stories.



  • “A Game of Thrones” by George R. R. Martin. Narrated by Roy Dotrice. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” by N.K. Jemisin. Narrated by Casaundra Freeman. Brilliance Audio.
  • “A Natural History of Dragons” by Marie Brennan. Narrated by Kate Reading. Macmillan Audio.


The Jaguar’s Children” by John Vaillant. Narrated by Ozzie Rodriguez and David H. Lawrence XVII. Books on Tape/Random House Audio. Locked inside a tanker truck, abandoned in the desert, nineteen Latino immigrants are left to die. With authentic Spanish accents and riveting pacing, Laurence and Rodriquez capture visceral feelings of claustrophobia and desperation. Flashbacks reveal exploitive agribusiness practices while frantic rescue appeals are made to an unanswered cell phone.



  • “Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free” by Héctor Tobar. Narrated by Henry Leyva. Recorded Books/Macmillan Audio.
  • “The Devil’s Highway: A True Story” by Luis Alberto Urrea. Narrated by Luis Alberto Urrea. Hachette Audio.
  • “The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi. Narrated by Jonathan Davis. Brilliance Audio.


“The Knockoff: A Novel” by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. Narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Books on Tape/Random House Audio. Haute couture and social media collide in an absurdly entertaining face-off between Imogen, a 40-something magazine editor, and tech-savvy Eve, her power-hungry former assistant. Kellgren nails technophobe Imogen’s elegant tone as well as Eve’s sharply contrasting Millennial vernacular, adeptly capturing New York City’s fast-paced publishing world.



  • “The Devil Wears Prada” by Lauren Weisberger. Narrated by Bernadette Dunne. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “Funny Girl” by Nick Hornby. Narrated by Emma Fielding. Books on Tape/Penguin Audio.
  • “The Status of All Things” by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Narrated by Amy McFadden. Dreamscape Media.


“The Strangler Vine” by M.J. Carter. Narrated by Alex Wyndham. Recorded Books/HighBridge Audio. Carter creates a ripping good listen, weaving together a rich tapestry of adventure and historical authenticity in this captivating tale of a search for a social rebel. Wyndham’s narration conjures the oppressive atmosphere and constricting formality of 1837 British Colonial rule through expert class inflections, Indian accents, and masterful pacing.



  • “The Curse of the Pharaohs” by Elizabeth Peters. Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. Recorded Books.
  • “The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel” by Anthony Horowitz. Narrated by Derek Jacobi. Blackstone Audio/Hachette Audio.
  • “The Perfect Murder” by H.R.F. Keating. Narrated by Frederick Davidson. Blackstone Audio.


“‘Til the Well Runs Dry” by Lauren Francis-Sharma. Narrated by Ron Butler and Bahni Turpin. Recorded Books/Tantor Media. Marcia and Farouk, married but rarely together, share a love that spans decades despite being buffeted by a strict social hierarchy and a need for independence. Ideally-paired narrators Turpin and Butler create an immersive listening experience capturing the characters’ unique dialects, from lilting Trinidadian rhythms to subtle East Indian tones.



  • “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Narrated by Adjoa Andoh. Recorded Books.
  • “Land of Love and Drowning” by Tiphanie Yanique. Narrated by Cherise Boothe, Korey Jackson, Rachel Leslie, and Myra Lucretia Taylor. Recorded Books.
  • “Unburnable” by Marie-Elena John. Narrated by Robin Miles. Recorded Books.


“True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa” by Michael Finkel. Narrated by Rich Orlow. HarperAudio. Disgraced journalist Finkel is thrown a lifeline when he learns accused murderer Christopher Longo, one of the FBI’s most wanted, has been using his identity. Orlow’s absorbing presentation is unobtrusive yet chilling and generates an emotional response as he gives voice to both author and accused in this riveting memoir.



  • “Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America” by Erik Larson. Narrated by Scott Brick. Books on Tape/Random House Audio.
  • “Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation” by Dean Jobb. Narrated by Peter Berkrot. Recorded Books/HighBridge Audio.
  • “Out of Orange” by Cleary Wolters. Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. Blackstone Audio/HarperAudio.


The Listen List Council consists of six librarians who are experts in readers’ advisory and collection development. Members include Renee Young, NoveList, NC, (chair); Mary Burkey, Library Consultant, OH; Diana Tixier Herald, Garfield County Libraries, CO; Pam Spencer Holley, Library Consultant, VA; Lucy M. Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library District, MO; Dodie Ownes, Douglas County Libraries, CO.

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 the association at

BREAKING – ALA unveils shortlist for 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

carnegie_2015shortlist_feature slide

The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the six books shortlisted for the esteemed Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, awarded for the previous year’s best fiction and nonfiction books written for adult readers and published in the U.S. As part of an announcement and medal presentation event at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco in June, each winning author will receive $5,000, and the four finalists will each receive $1,500.

Selected 2015 shortlisted titles are:

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Shortlist

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson. Published by Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House.

Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Institute in Montgomery, Alabama, delivers a passionate account of the ways our nation thwarts justice and inhumanely punishes the poor and disadvantaged.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Published by Henry Holt.

Kolbert combines travel adventures, lucid science, and informed and awestruck descriptions of natural wonders, from rainforests to the Great Barrier Reef, to forthrightly address the deleterious impact our use of fossil fuels is having on the very fabric of life.

Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David, by Lawrence Wright. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC.

Pulitzer-winning journalist Wright presents a riveting blow-by-blow analysis of the historic 1978 meeting between Egypt and Israel brokered by then-president Jimmy Carter. A moving testament to the art of diplomacy that almost invites optimism, even as prospects for peace in today’s Middle East dim.

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction Shortlist

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. Published by Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Through the intertwined stories of a sightless French girl and a German soldier, Doerr masterfully and imaginatively re-creates the harsh conditions in WWII-torn France and the strictly controlled lives of the military occupiers.

Nora Webster, by Colm Tóibín. Published by Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

In Tóibín’s remarkably subtle, witty, and affirming story, the Ireland of four decades ago and the conundrums women faced are beautifully evoked through events in the three-year widowhood of fortysomething Nora Webster.

On Such a Full Sea, by Chang-rae Lee. Published by Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA).

As young Fan searches for her missing boyfriend in an America devastated by climate change and a pandemic, Lee brilliantly imagines extreme survival tactics, psychological trauma, and the resurrection of art and its solace.

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. Brad Hooper, Adult Books Editor at Booklist and winner of the 2015 Louis Shores Award for excellence in reviewing, serves as chair of the 2015 awards selection committee.

The awards are made possible, in part, by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York in recognition of Andrew Carnegie’s deep belief in the power of books and learning to change the world, and are co-sponsored by ALA’s Booklist Publications and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

Annotations and more information on the finalists and the awards can be found at

About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.