The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, established in 2012, recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year and serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material. They 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.
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The author of Waiting for Eden presents a timely novel set in the course of a single day in Istanbul that depicts how an American woman’s efforts to leave her influential Turkish husband become complicated by political corruption
A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.
Twin sisters, inseparable as children, ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.
A young woman’s dead grandmother (in the form of a parakeet) warns her not to marry and sends her out to find an estranged loved one.
A historical novel based on the life of the author’s grandfather traces the experiences of a Chippewa Council night watchman in mid-19th-century rural North Dakota who fights Congress to enforce Native American treaty rights.
A first collection by an award-winning Cherokee writer traces four generations of Native American women as they navigate cultural dynamics, religious beliefs, the 1980s oil bust, devastating storms and unreliable men to connect with their ideas about home.
A novel about faith, science, religion, and family that tells the deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief, narrated by a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford school of medicine studying the neural circuits of reward seeking behavior in mice.
Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino by Julián Herbert, translated by Christina MacSweeney [book]
Julian Herbert brings to vivid life people who struggle to retain a measure of sanity in an insane world. Here we become acquainted with a vengeful “personal memories coach” who tries to get even with his delinquent clients; a former journalist with a cocaine habit who travels through northern Mexico impersonating a famous author of Westerns; the ghost of Juan Rulfo; a man who discovers music in his teeth; and, in the deliriously pulpy title story, a drug lord who looks just like Quentin Tarantino, who kidnaps a mopey film critic to discuss Tarantino’s films while he sends his goons to find and kill the doppelganger that has colonized his consciousness. Herbert’s astute observations about human nature in extremis feel like the reader’s own revelations.
Racially ambiguous, genderless, mute, and of unknown age, Pew is named by where they were found — sleeping in a church. Pew’s muteness allows the townspeople to project whatever they wish; Pew’s own thoughts are communicated to readers alone. But fear of the unknown is strong, and soon the town’s generosity turns to suspicion and mistrust.
A young black artist falls into an affair with a man in an open marriage before gradually befriending his wife and adopted daughter against a backdrop of dynamic racial politics.
An opportunistic gym teacher and a starry-eyed misfit find the realization of their ambitions tied to the downfall of an innocent Muslim girl who has been wrongly implicated in a terrorist attack.
From the author of ‘Station Eleven’ comes a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it.
In the aftermath of a 1969 Brooklyn church deacon’s public shooting of a local drug dealer, the community’s African-American and Latinx witnesses find unexpected support from each other when they are targeted by violent mobsters.
Two fathers, a Palestinian and an Israeli, navigate the physical and emotional checkpoints of their conflicted world before devastating losses compel them to work together to use their grief as a weapon for peace.
Inspired by a real event of the murder of a woman in rural Mexico, Hurricane Season takes place in a world filled with superstitions and violence-violence that poisons everything around.
The members of a music band in 1967 London navigate the era’s parties, drugs and politics as well as their own egos and tragedies while exploring transformative perspectives about youth, art and fame.
Presents the evocative story of a young Shakespeare’s marriage to a talented herbalist before the ravaging death of their 11-year-old son shapes the production of his greatest play.
Hired by her famous podcaster mentor to answer letters from increasingly polarized fans, a librarian who has acquired her education from a lifetime spent reading struggles between the limits of her knowledge and growing crises in the outside world.
Echo on the Bay by Masatsugu Ono, translated by Angus Turvill [book]
Tells the story of a small fishing village in Japan-with the untreated wounds of the town’s history in the foreground.
A new Gilead novel that tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the beloved, erratic, and grieved-over prodigal son of a Presbyterian minister from Gilead, Iowa.
A young boy growing up in a rundown 1980s Glasgow public housing facility pursues some semblance of a normal life as his older siblings move on and his mother increasingly succumbs to alcoholism.
It’s the summer of 1959, and something magical can be witnessed at the end of the pier in beach town Brighton, England. Jack Robbins, Ronnie Deane, and Evie White are performing in a seaside variety show, starring as Jack Robinson the compere comedian, and The Great Pablo and Eve: a magic act. By the end of the summer, Evie’s glinting engagement ring will be flung to the bottom of the ocean and one of the trifecta will vanish forever.
A novel inspired by true events follows the experiences of an Illinois adventurer who gives his life to fight beside other activists in 1960s El Salvador.
Three children orphaned in 1960s Laos meet a dedicated doctor who enlists them as motorcycle couriers in his effort to rescue civilians and find medical supplies in a novel from the award-winning author of Snow Hunters.
A stereotyped character actor stumbles into the spotlight before uncovering surprising links between his family and the secret history of Chinatown.
A Japanese-American chef and a Black daycare teacher begin reevaluating their stale relationship in the wake of a father’s death and the arrival of an acerbic mother-in-law who becomes an unconventional roommate.
If there is one belief that has united the left and the right, psychologists and philosophers, ancient thinkers and modern ones, it is the tacit assumption that humans are bad. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. But what if it isn’t true? Author Rutger Bregman provides new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history, setting out to prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another. In fact this instinct has a firm evolutionary basis going back to the beginning of Homo sapiens.
An Ivy League-educated DACA beneficiary reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans, from the volunteers recruited for the 9/11 Ground Zero cleanup to the homeopathy botanicas of Miami that provide limited health care to non-citizens.
Eat the Buddha spans decades of modern Tibetan and Chinese history, as told through the private lives of Demick’s subjects, among them a princess whose family is wiped out during the Cultural Revolution, a young Tibetan nomad who becomes radicalized in the storied monastery of Kirti, an upwardly mobile entrepreneur who falls in love with a Chinese woman, a poet and intellectual who risks everything to voice his resistance, and a Tibetan schoolgirl forced to choose at an early age between her family and the elusive lure of Chinese money. All of them face the same dilemma: Do they resist the Chinese, or do they join them? Do they adhere to Buddhist teachings of compassion and nonviolence, or do they fight?
Blending together natural history, philosophy and science, this stunning meditation on the extraordinary lives of whales takes readers on an exploration of the natural world to reveal what whales can teach us about ourselves, our planet and our relationship to other species.
A female, African American ER physician describes how her own life and encounters with her patients led her to realize that every human is broken and recognizing that and moving towards a place of healing can bring peace and happiness.
In the summer of 1843, James Strang, a charismatic young lawyer and avowed atheist, vanished from a rural town in New York. Months later he reappeared on the Midwestern frontier and converted to a burgeoning religious movement known as Mormonism. In the wake of the murder of the sect’s leader, Joseph Smith, Strang unveiled a letter purportedly from the prophet naming him successor, and persuaded hundreds of fellow converts to follow him to an island in Lake Michigan, where he declared himself a divine king. The King of Confidence tells this fascinating but largely forgotten story. Centering his narrative on this charlatan’s turbulent twelve years in power, Miles Harvey gets to the root of a timeless American original: the Confidence Man.
An award-winning poet and essayist offers a ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged exploration of the psychological condition of being Asian American.
Paper Bullets: Two Artists Who Risked Their Lives To Defy the Nazis by Jeffrey Jackson [book]
The true story of an audacious resistance campaign undertaken by an unlikely pair: two French women — Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe — who drew on their skills as Parisian avant-garde artists to write and distribute wicked insults against Hitler and calls to desert, a PSYOPs tactic known as “paper bullets,” designed to demoralize Nazi troops occupying their adopted home of Jersey in the British Channel Islands
Tells the heartrending story of a midcentury American family with 12 children, 6 of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science’s great hope in the quest to understand the disease.
A Pulitzer Prize finalist recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship.
The Ottoman Empire was a hub of flourishing intellectual fervor, geopolitical power, and enlightened pluralistic rule. At the helm of its ascent was the omnipotent Sultan Selim I (1470-1520), who, with the aid of his extraordinarily gifted mother, Gülbahar, hugely expanded the empire, propelling it onto the world stage. Alan Mikhail centers Selim’s Ottoman Empire and Islam as the very pivots of global history, redefining world-changing events.
The author shares her experiences of escaping the First Liberian Civil War and building a life in the United States, shining the light on the great political and personal forces that continue to affect many migrants around the world.
The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne and Tamara Payne [book]
A revisionary portrait of the iconic civil rights leader draws on hundreds of hours of interviews with surviving family members, intelligence officers and political leaders to offer new insights into Malcolm X’s Depression-era youth, religious conversion and 1965 assassination.
As everyday white supremacy becomes increasingly vocalized with no clear answers at hand, how best might we approach one another? Claudia Rankine, without telling us what to do, urges us to begin the discussions that might open pathways through this divisive and stuck moment in American history. Just Us is an invitation to discover what it takes to stay in the room together, even and especially in breaching the silence, guilt, and violence that follow direct addresses of whiteness. Rankine’s questions disrupt the false comfort of our culture’s liminal and private spaces–the airport, the theater, the dinner party, the voting booth–where neutrality and politeness live on the surface of differing commitments, beliefs, and prejudices as our public and private lives intersect.
A Pushcart Prize-winning writer draws on an intimate correspondence between McCullers and a woman named Annemarie to share previously unknown insights into the 20th-century novelist’s private life, her approaches to queer fiction and the influence of her time at Yaddo
In Recollections of My Nonexistence, Rebecca Solnit describes her formation as a writer and as a feminist in 1980s San Francisco, in an atmosphere of gender violence on the street and throughout society and the exclusion of women from cultural arenas. She tells of being poor, hopeful, and adrift in the city that became her great teacher, and of the small apartment that, when she was nineteen, became the home in which she transformed herself. Beyond being a memoir, Solnit’s book is also a passionate argument: that women are not just impacted by personal experience, but by membership in a society where violence against women pervades.
A first book by the Sydsvenskan arts and culture journalist draws on research in literature, history and marine biology in a portrait of the enigmatic European eel that share insights into the species’ complicated origins and nature.
The former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Native Guard shares a chillingly personal memoir about the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Warmth of Other Suns identifies the qualifying characteristics of historical caste systems to reveal how a rigid hierarchy of human rankings, enforced by religious views, heritage and stigma, impact everyday American lives.
A history of the 20th-century battle to reform the American immigration laws behind today’s most contentious debates discusses the Congressional immigration restrictions of 1924, the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act and the impact of transformative laws on nonwhite migration.