For readers who turn to lists of award-winners to help them answer that perennial question of “What should I be reading?” there’s an important new award in town – the Andrew Carnegie Medals of Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. Honoring Andrew Carnegie’s deep belief in the power of books and learning to change the world, the Andrew Carnegie Medals were made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York on the occasion of the foundation’s one-hundredth anniversary, and are co-sponsored by Booklist magazine, published by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).
The Andrew Carnegie Medals will recognize the best fiction and nonfiction published in the United States during the previous year. An annually appointed selection committee of library professionals from around the country who work closely with adult readers is chaired by uber-library Nancy Pearl (author of the popular Book Lust series), and includes three editors from Booklist magazine and three former members of the RUSA Notable Books Council.
In May, Pearl announced the shortlist of finalists, which was comprised of 50 titles culled from 2011′s Booklist Editor’s Choice and RUSA Notable Books lists. The awards will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference on June 24, 2012, in Anaheim, California. The winners in each category will receive a $5,000 cash award.
So, without further ado, here are this year’s finalists. How many of them have you read?
Nominees for the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Fiction 2012
Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks
The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Nominees for the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Nonfiction 2012
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable