ALA/RUSA Award Winning Books at the Henderson Library

Each year the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Libraries Association (ALA), publishes a list of that year’s notable adult books.  Most of the 2012 Winners are now available in the Zach S. Henderson Library’s browsing collection.  Please see the list below for more information.

The 2012 Winners


Banks, Russell.  Lost Memory of Skin.  Ecco. (9780061857638)
A surprisingly sympathetic exploration of the lives and treatment of sex offenders and how this reflects on our society. (Available in the Browsing Collection PS3552.A49 L67 2011)

Barnes, Julian.  The Sense of an Ending.  Knopf.  (9780307957122)
A 60-something retiree living near London searches through his memories to discern what role, if any, he may have played in a decades-old tragedy.  (Available in the 3rd floor stacks PR6052.A6657 S46 2011)

deWitt, Patrick.  The Sisters Brothers.  Ecco.  (9780062041265)
A darkly comic and quixotic quest western tale about two brothers whose divergent world views are presented in sparkling prose and originality.  (Available in the Browsing Collection PS3604.E923 S57 2011b)

Goldman, Francisco.  Say Her Name.  Grove.  (9780802119810)
Poetic novelization of the author’s struggle to cope with his young wife’s accidental death.  (Available in the 3rd floor stacks PS3557.O368 S39 2011)

Harbach, Chad.  The Art of Fielding.  Little, Brown.  (9780316126694)
One man’s failure to attain perfection on the baseball field reveals the pain and beauty that life offers in this psychologically astute novel.  (Available in the Browsing Collection PS3608.A72513 A87 2011)

MacLeod, Alexander.  Light Lifting.  Biblioasis.  (9781897231944)
Seven fearless short stories explore the limits of physical and emotional endurance in muscular prose.  (Available in the Browsing Collection PR9199.4.M334 L544 2010)

Obreht, Téa.  The Tiger’s Wife.  Random House.  (9780385343831)
After the death of her beloved grandfather, a young doctor navigates family history, folklore, and love across ethnic barriers in a war-torn country.  (Available in the 3rd floor stacks PS3615.B73 T54 2011)

Ondaatje, Michael.  The Cat’s Table.  Knopf.  (9780307700117)
An adventurous 21-day ocean voyage filled with a rich assortment of characters and escapades resonates through a boy’s life on his way to a new life.  (Available in the Browsing Collection PR9199.3.O5 C38 2011)

Phillips, Arthur.  The Tragedy of Arthur.  Random House.  (9781400066476)
In an adulthood marred by family dysfunction, an author who dislikes Shakespeare reluctantly finds himself in possession of the Bard’s lost gem.  Or does he?  (Available in the 3rd floor stacks PS3616.H45 T73 2011)

Russell, Karen.  Swamplandia!  Knopf.  (9780307263995)
An inventive story set in an alligator theme-park navigates boundaries between childhood and adulthood, imagination and reality, in an American landscape both familiar and surreal.  (Available in the 3rd floor stacks PS3618.U755 S93 2011)

Torres, Justin.  We the Animals.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  (9780547576725)
Searing portrait of a troubled, mixed-race working class family centers on the youngest son as he struggles to find his identity amid affection and abuse.  (Available in the Browsing Collection PS3620.O5897 W42 2011)

Trevor, William.  Selected Stories.  Viking.  (9780670022069)
These finely sculpted and timeless stories provide a greater appreciation for finding beauty in the minutiae of daily life.  (Available in the 3rd floor stacks PR6070.R4 A6 2010)


Adams, Mark.  Right Turn at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time.  Dutton. (9780525952244)
In this humorous travelogue, the author sprinkles historical anecdote with investigative reporting as he retraces the steps of early explorers into ancient Peru.  (On order — soon to be available in the Browsing Collection)

Bartók, Mira. The Memory Palace.  Free Press.  (9781439183311)
Beautifully wrought memoir chronicles the 17-year estrangement of the author and her homeless, schizophrenic mother, and the painful reunion that brings them together.  (Available in the 3rd floor stacks RC464 .H47 2011)

Gleick, James.  The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood.  Knopf.  (9780375423727)
This comprehensive study, a melodious interplay between science and literature, documents the transmission of human knowledge from the talking drums to the Internet.  (Available in the 3rd floor stacks Z665 .G547 2011)

Greenblatt, Stephen.  The Swerve: How the World Became Modern.  Norton. (9780393064476)
Meditation on the power of literature, examining how a medieval book hunter’s serendipitous discovery of an ancient prose poem provides a theoretical bridge to the Renaissance.  (Available in the 3rd floor stacks PA6484 .G69 2011)

Hillenbrand, Laura.  Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.  Random House.  (9781400064168)
An Olympic runner’s physical and inner-strength is tested by the experience and aftermath of a plane crash, 42 days at sea, and Japanese imprisonment.  (Available in the 4th Floor Stacks D805.J3 Z364 2010)

Hitchens, Christopher.  Arguably: Essays.  Twelve.  (9781455502776)
Polymath and public intellectual displays his considerable range and biting wit in these thoughtful, incisive pieces that provoke and challenge.  (Available in the Browsing Collection PN4874.H52 A5 2011)

Homans, Jennifer.  Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet.  Random House.  (9781400060603)
Elegant, authoritative work traces the evolution of classical dance from the 16th century to today, highlighting social and cultural dimensions of this traditional art form.  (Available in the 4th floor stacks GV1787 .H58 2010 )

Kahneman, Daniel.  Thinking, Fast and Slow.  Farrar, Strauss, Giroux.  (9780374275631)
Entertaining look at the complexities and oddities that characterize our mental processes from the only psychologist ever to have won the Nobel Prize for Economics.  (Available in the Browsing Collection BF441 .K238 2011)

Marable, Manning.  Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.  Viking.  (9780670022205)
Definitive work on his life and transformation from petty thief to charismatic leader of during the turbulent civil rights era.  (Available in the 4th floor stacks BP223.Z8 L57636 2011)

Millard, Candace.  Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President.  Doubleday.  (9780385526265)
Era of great corruption and change in U.S. history is illuminated through the tragic story of two men – one destined for greatness, the other a madman.  (Available in the Browsing Collection E687.9 .M55 2011)

Mukherjee, Siddhartha.  Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.  Scribner.  (9781439107959)
The history of these diseases and their treatment is examined through the stories of those seeking to discover a cure and the individuals affected.  (On order — soon to be available in the Browsing Collection RC275 .M85 2010)

Reitman, Janet.  Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  (9780618883028)
An investigation of the origins, personalities, and controversies of this uniquely American religious movement.  (Available in the Browsing Collection BP605.S2 R45 2011)


Rimbaud, Arthur.  Illuminations. Translated by John Ashbery.  Norton.  (9780393076356)
A vigorous new translation of the French prodigy’s last poems as rendered by one of America’s finest contemporary poets.  (Available in the Browsing Collection PQ2387.R5 I413 2011)

Bartlett, Jennifer, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen.  Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability.  Cinco Puntos.  (9781935955054)
Collection of poems and essays that provides insight into the lives of the estimated 50 million Americans with disabilities.  (On order — soon to be available in the Browsing Collection)

Check out these notable books today!

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