ALA's Notable Books Council announces 2006 top picks

Contact: Donavan Vicha

RUSA, Program Officer

For Immediate Release

January 24, 2006

ALA's Notable Books Council announces 2006 top picks

(SAN ANTONIO) The Notable Books Council of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has compiled its 2006 list of outstanding books for the general reader. These titles have been selected for their significant contribution to the expansion of knowledge and for the pleasure they can provide to adult readers.

Since 1944, the goal of the Notable Books Council has been to make available to the nation's readers a list of approximately 25 very good, very readable, and at times very important fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books for the adult reader. The Council consists of members selected from the membership of RUSA /CODES (Collection Development and Evaluation Section).

This is “The List for America's Readers:”


  • Bates, Judy Fong, “Midnight at the Dragon Café, ” Perseus/Counterpoint (ISBN: 1582431892).
  • Foer, Jonathan Safran, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, ” Houghton Mifflin (ISBN: 0618329706).
  • Gaitskill, Mary, “Veronica, ” Pantheon (ISBN: 0375421459).
  • Ghosh, Amitav, “Hungry Tide,” Houghton Mifflin (ISBN: 0618329978).
  • Ishiguro, Kazuo, “Never Let Me Go,” Knopf (ISBN: 1400043395).
  • Iweala, Uzodinma, “Beasts of No Nation,” HarperCollins (ISBN: 006079867X).
  • McCarthy, Cormac, “No Country for Old Men,” Knopf (ISBN: 0375406778).
  • McEwan, Ian, “Saturday,” Doubleday (ISBN: 0385511809).
  • Murakami, Haruki, translator: Philip Gabriel, “Kafka on the Shore, ” Knopf (ISBN: 1400043662).
  • Robinson, Marilynne, “Gilead,” Farrar, Straus, Giroux (ISBN: 9780374153892).
  • Urrea, Luis Alberto, “The Hummingbird's Daughter,” Little, Brown (ISBN: 0316745464).


  • Alexievich, Svetlana, translator: Keith Gessen, “Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster ,” Dalkey Archive (ISBN: 1564784010).
  • Anonymous, translator: Philip Boehm, “A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City,” Henry Holt/Metropolitan (ISBN: 0805075402).
  • Bordewich, Fergus, “Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America,” Amistad (ISBN: 0060524308).
  • Cathcart, Brian, “The Fly in the Cathedral ,” Farrar, Straus, Giroux (ISBN: 0374157162).
  • Diamond, Jared, “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed,” Viking (ISBN: 0670033375).
  • Eichenwald, Kurt, “Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story,” Broadway (ISBN: 0767911784).
  • Lepore, Jill, “New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan,” Knopf (ISBN: 1400040299).
  • Moorehead, Caroline, “Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees,” Henry Holt (ISBN: 0805074430).
  • Packer, George, “The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq,” Farrar, Straus and Giroux (ISBN: 0374299633).
  • Reiss, Tom, “The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life,” Random House (ISBN: 1400062659).
  • Reynolds, David S., “John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights,” Knopf (ISBN: 0375411887).
  • Walker, Steven, “Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima, ” HarperCollins (ISBN: 0060742844).
  • Walls, Jeannette, “The Glass Castle, ” Simon & Schuster (ISBN: 074324754X).


  • Alexander, Elizabeth, “American Sublime,” Graywolf Press (ISBN: 1555974325).
  • Dybek, Stuart, “Streets in Their Own Ink,” Farrar, Straus and Giroux (ISBN: 0374270953).

This list will be available on the Notable Books Web page on the RUSA/ALA Web site ( ) and in a camera-ready kit from ALA. The Notable Books list will be included in ALA's Guide to Best Reading in 2006. This kit contains all the reading lists from ALA, for children through adult readers, and has camera-ready brochures and bookmarks for each list. The kit will be available after June 1.

Members of this year's committee are: Miriam Tuliao (Chair), New York Public Library; Mary Hegle Drewes, University of North Dakota; Ellen Fain, Queens Borough Public Library; Gloria Gehrman, Eugene Public Library; Patricia Gregory, Pius XII Memorial Library, Saint Louis University; Steven Jablonski, Skokie Public Library; Helene Lafrance, Santa Clara University Orradre Library; Kathleen de la Peña McCook, University of South Florida; Charlene Rue, Brooklyn Public Library; Scott Silverman, Bryn Mawr College; Sara Taffae, State Library of Louisiana; and Forest Turner, Suffolk County House of Correction Library; with Brad Hooper (
Booklist magazine ).