For immediate release | December 16, 2013

Booklist announces influential 2013 Top of the List selections

CHICAGO — Booklist magazine, the review journal of the American Library Association, has announced its Top of the List winners for 2013. The eight winning titles — chosen from the annual Editors’ Choice selections as the best books and media of 2013 — influence readers and book buyers in libraries, bookstores and beyond. This year, the expert selections now include two audio picks — one for adult and one for youth.

“Our Top of the List selections are always diverse, and this year more than ever — a biography of the historical Jesus, a long-awaited novel from Bob Shacochis about espionage and terrorism, an audio about an inspirational rowing team in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and, of course, there are zombies, too,” said Booklist Editor and Publisher Bill Ott.

The 2013 Booklist Top of the List winners are:

  • Adult Fiction – “The Woman Who Lost Her Soul.” By Bob Shacochis. (Atlantic Monthly);
  • Adult Nonfiction – “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.” By Reza Aslan. (Random);
  • Youth Fiction – “Boxers” and “Saints.” A two-book package written and illustrated by Gene Luen Yang. (First Second);
  • Youth Nonfiction – “Becoming Ben Franklin: How a Candle-Maker’s Son Helped Light the Flame of Liberty.” By Russell Freedman. (Holiday);
  • Youth Picture Book – “Locomotive.” Written and illustrated by Brian Floca. (Atheneum);
  • Youth Audio – “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.” By Holly Black; read by Christine Lakin. (Hachette);
  • Adult Audio – “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.” By Daniel James Brown; read by Edward Herrmann. (Recorded Books);
  • Reference Source – “American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection.” Edited by Spencer C. Tucker and others. (ABC-CLIO).

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, 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.

The announcement of the Booklist Editors’ Choice list is a vital step each year in selecting the eventual winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, cosponsored by Booklist and RUSA. The awards were established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year and to serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material. The first single-book awards for adult books given by the American Library Association, they 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 longlist 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. 13, 2014. 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.

Related Links

Booklist 2013 Editors’ Choice

Book Links magazine announces top 30 titles from 2013 for K–8 classrooms and libraries

Booklist Online

Booklist Online’s REaD Alert


Katharine Fronk

Marketing Manager