For immediate release | December 4, 2012

Holiday gift and adult reading recommendations from RUSA's expert RA librarians

CHICAGO — The readers’ advisory and collection development librarians from the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) can help you with the book lovers on your 2012 holiday shopping list; the division offers a multitude of annual literary awards highlighting the best in fiction, nonfiction, genre fiction and more.

Each year the experts from RUSA's Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) hand-pick winners for a variety of adult reading awards sponsored by RUSA, a division of ALA, and there’s something for every adult reader among the 2012 winners.

  • The Notable Books List

    Twenty-five outstanding and noteworthy fiction, non-fiction and poetry titles. 2012 winners include Michael Ondaatje’s “The Cat’s Table,” “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” by Manning Marable and “Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability” by Bartlett, Black and Northen. Check out all past winners.

  • The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

    The inaugural medals were presented in 2012 to Anne Enright for “The Forgotten Waltz” and to Robert Massie for “Catherine the Great”. Learn more about this prestigious award, whose shortlist is compiled from the Notable Books List and the Booklist Editors’ Choice list. Save the date! The 2013 medals will be presented on the evening of Sunday, June 30, 2013 in Chicago at the ALA Annual Conference. Registration opens Jan. 7.
  • The Reading List

    Browse the list for top-notch reads in adrenaline, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction and women’s fiction, including a winner and shortlist for each genre, plus readalikes. 2012 winners include “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern, “Doc” by Mary Doria Russell, “The Ridge” by Michael Koryta and “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Review all of the list’s selections.

  • The Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration

    First presented in 2012, this list highlights exception audiobook selections. “Bossypants,” written and narrated by Tina Fey, “Life Itself: A Memoir,” written by Roger Ebert and narrated by Edward Herrmann and “A Tale of Two Cities,” written by Charles Dickens and narrated by Simon Prebble, were all selections for last year’s list. Browse the list.

  • The Sophie Brody Medal

    The medal is presented annually to a work of Jewish literature that expands the reader’s understanding of the Jewish experience and/or explores Jewish characters, themes, settings or philosophies through a literary context. Recent winners and honor books include “Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza,” “MetaMaus,” “The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time” and “Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter.” Take a peek at all of the previously honored titles.

The 2013 winners for each of these awards will be announced at RUSA’s upcoming Midwinter Book and Media Awards Reception--please join us for this fun and exciting party from 5 - 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27 in the Municipal Room of the Renaissance Seattle Hotel, 515 Madison St., Seattle. All Midwinter attendees are invited! Track the announcements on Twitter with the hashtag #literarytastes.

The Reference and User Services Association, 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. Not a member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, preconferences and other events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at Learn more about the association at


Elizabeth Markel