The Reading List

About the The Reading List The Reading List seeks to highlight outstanding genre fiction that merit special attention by general adult readers and the librarians who work with them.

Administered by:

Reference and User Services Association logoCollection Development and Evaluation Section logo

Award and Frequency

This award is given out on an annual basis.

Application Instructions

The Reading List Council compiles a monthly list of titles to consider. This list is e-mailed to the respective publishers along with a letter of instruction. Timely response to these requests is deeply appreciated by the Council.

Publishers are welcome to send additional books as they see fit if they believe they meet the criteria for consideration. Publishers should be aware that the Council reads hundreds of books each year, and while individual members do indeed read and make formal requests for non-solicited books to be added to the consideration list, this is not a typical occurrence.

Publishers who wish to send non-requested books have two options:

  1. Any publisher who has received a current letter of request may send additional books to the Council members listed in said letter.
  2. Publishers who have not received a current letter of request may contact the chair of the Council . The chair will discuss with the publisher the type of books eligible for consideration and assist the publisher in the process of distribution of titles to Council members.

Authors should speak to their publishers if they wish their book to be sent to the members of the Council.

Contact Information

Ninah Moore (Staff Liaison, October 1, 2018, to December 31, 2099) -
Work Phone: 312-280-4398
American Library Association
50 E Huron St
Chicago, IL 60611-2788

Shuntai Sykes (Staff Liaison, October 1, 2018, to December 31, 2099) -
American Library Association
50 E Huron St
Chicago, IL 60611-2788

Melissa Vanyek (Staff Liaison, October 1, 2018, to December 31, 2099) -
American Library Association
50 E Huron St
Chicago, IL 60611-2788

Displaying active committee roster as of 04/02/2020. Last retrieved on 04/02/2020. Members can log in to view full contact information for committee members.

Selection Criteria

A book may be selected for The Reading List for at least one, and preferably more than one of the following reasons:

  • It is a pleasure to read.
  • It embodies the standards of the genre, or conversely, it offers a new or unexpected take on those standards.
  • It is well conceived in terms of story line, character, setting, language, dialogue, tone, pace, detail, description, learning/experiencing, and narrative structure.

In the context of the list, genre literature is defined as works clearly intended to be read by the general public as genre literature. Each book is considered in relation to both the general adult reader and to the avid fans of the genre.

Books will not be excluded on the basis of their unsuitability for younger readers.

Books intended for a younger audience but which hold wide appeal for adults and meet the selection criteria may also be considered.


The Council announces the eight winning titles at the CODES Awards Reception. A short list of honor titles (up to four per genre) is also announced. All selected titles are published on the RUSA Web site following the event: