For immediate release | December 13, 2012

Booklist announces influential 2012 Top of the List selections

CHICAGO —Booklist magazine, the ALA's review journal, has announced its Top of the List winners for 2012. The eight winning titles were chosen from the annual Editors’ Choice selections as the best books and media of 2012, and, as every year, the expert selections influence readers and book buyers in libraries, bookstores and beyond.

“A powerless vice president suddenly, violently elevated to the presidency; a former Peace Corps volunteer struggling to recapture youthful idealism; a Victorian trickster risen from the sewers of London to consort with the powerful; two teenagers unwittingly at the center of a paranormal hoax—this year’s Booklist Top of the List winners again range widely across all sorts of subjects but are united by their remarkable artistry,” said Booklist Editor and Publisher, Bill Ott.

The 2012 Booklist Top of the List winners are:

  • Adult Fiction - “The Lower River,” by Paul Theroux (Houghton)
  • Adult Nonfiction “The Passage of Power: The Lyndon Johnson Years,” by Robert A. Caro (Knopf)
  • Youth Fiction - “Dodger,” by Terry Pratchett (Harper)
  • Youth Nonfiction – “The Fairy Ring; or, Elsie and Frances Fool the World,” by Mary Losure (Candlewick)
  • Youth Picture Book – “Extra Yarn, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen (HarperCollins/Balzer and Bray)
  • Video – “The Dust Bowl,” by Ken Burns (PBS)
  • Audio – “Code Name Verity,” by Elizabeth Wein; read by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell (Bolinda)
  • Reference Source – “Dictionary of African Biography,” edited by Henry Louise Gates Jr. and Emmanuel Akyeampong (Oxford)

The Top of the List picks are featured in the special combined Jan. 1 and 15 issue of Booklist, which includes the complete annotated Editors’ Choice lists for adult books, adult books for young adults, books for youth, reference sources and media. The winners—including the longer Editors’ Choice list from which the Top of the List titles are selected—are also announced on Booklist Online at, where Booklist subscribers can read the original full-length Booklist reviews of the selected titles.

Another way to get Booklist’s Top of the List as soon as it is announced each year is to sign up for the free e-newsletter Booklist Online REaD Alert, which also features quick links to a hand-picked selection of book reviews, features and special Web-only content from Booklist Online. REaD Alert mails the same day that the latest issue of Booklist is published on Booklist Online.

The announcement of the 2012 Booklist Editors’ Choice list marks a step toward the second-ever Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, which Booklist cosponsors with RUSA. The awards were established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. the previous year and to serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material. These 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, including Booklist editors and contributors. The six-title shortlist will be announced in May from a long list of up to 50 titles drawn from the previous year’s Booklist Editors’ Choice and RUSA Notable Books lists. The winners (one for fiction, one for nonfiction) are announced at an event at ALA Annual Conference; tickets for the event will be available when Annual Conference registration opens on Jan. 7, 2013. The awards are funded through a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Booklist also sponsors the Michael L. Printz Award ,Odyssey Award and Alex Awards.

Individual copies of the Booklist Editors’ Choice issue may be purchased for $9 (prepaid) by writing to Booklist Back Issues, 50. E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611.

Booklist is the book review magazine of the American Library Association, considered an essential collection development and readers’ advisory tool by thousands of librarians for more than 100 years. Booklist Online includes a growing archive of 135,000+ reviews available to all Booklist subscribers as well as a wealth of free content offering the latest news and views on books and media.

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Booklist Online —a growing archive of 135,000+ reviews + a wealth of free content offering the latest news and views on books and media.


Katharine Fronk

Marketing Associate

Booklist Publishing

1-800-545-2433 ext.2427