Image courtesy of the American Library Association.

The American Library Association (ALA) recently announced the finalists for the 2013 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

The award is presented to the previous year’s best fiction and nonfiction books published in the United States for adults, with each winner receiving $5,000 and the finalists receiving $1,500. The medal presentation is slated for June 30 during the ALA annual conference in Chicago.

To check availability of the books in Cobb County Public Library System, please click on the titles below. The descriptions of the works are from the ALA.

The nonfiction finalists are:

Popular historian Egan turns the life and work of master photographer Edward Curtis into a gripping and heroic story of one man’s commitment to the three-decade project that ultimately resulted in The North American Indian, a 20-volume collection of words and pictures documenting the Native American peoples of the American West.

Science writer Quammen schools readers in the fascinating if alarming facts about zoonotic diseases—animal infections that sicken humans, such as rabies and Ebola. Drawing on the dramatic history of virology, he profiles brave viral sleuths and recounts his own hair-raising field adventures. A vital, in-depth account offered in the hope that knowledge will engender preparedness.

  •  The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death by Jill Lepore (not in our collection)

From board games, including one called The Mansion of Happiness, to public-library children’s rooms to cryogenics, historian Lepore’s episodic inquiry into our evolving perceptions of life and death is full of surprises, irreverent wit, and arresting perceptions.

This is How You Lose HerThe fiction nominees are:

“First, I’ll tell you about the robbery our parents committed.” So begins Ford’s riveting novel, an atmospheric and haunting tale of family, folly, exile, and endurance told in the precise and searching voice of Dell Parsons, a young man forced to navigate a harsh world.

In her fourteenth novel, Erdrich writes in the voice of a man reliving the fateful summer of his thirteenth year. Erdrich’s intimacy with her characters energizes this tale of hate crimes and vengeance, her latest immersion in the Ojibwe and white community she has been writing about for more than two decades.

Fast paced and street-talking tough, Díaz’s stories unveil lives shadowed by prejudice and poverty and bereft of reliable love and trust. These are precarious, unappreciated lives in which intimacy is a lost art, masculinity a parody, and kindness, reason, and hope struggle to survive like seedlings in a war zone.

The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012. Last year’s winners were Anne Enright’s novel The Forgotten Waltz and the biography Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie.

For more information and the long list of titles that were conisdered, please visit


Finalists Named for Carnegie Medal Honors