ALA Notable Books for Adults

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ALA Notable Books for Adults (established 1944) is an annual list selected by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the ALA. Within RUSA, a 12-member Notable Books Council selects "25 very good, very readable, and at times very important fiction, non-fiction, and poetry books for the adult reader."[1][2]

2014 List[edit]


  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf)
  2. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (Reagan Arthur)
  3. Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat (Knopf)
  4. Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See by Juliann Garey (Soho Press)
  5. Enon by Paul Harding (Random House)
  6. Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma (Viking)
  7. The Dinner by Herman Koch (Hogarth Press)
  8. Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (Hogarth Press)
  9. The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud (Knopf)
  10. Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Viking)
  11. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Little Brown)


  1. Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson (Doubleday)
  2. Year Zero: A History of 1945 by Ian Baruma (Penguin)
  3. On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand Year History by Nicholas Basbanes (Knopf)
  4. To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care by Cris Beam (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  5. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown (Viking)
  6. Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink (Crown)
  7. The Riddle of the Labyrinth: the Quest to Crack an Ancient Code by Margalit Fox (Harper Collins)
  8. On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks by Simon Garfield (Gotham Books)
  9. Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn (Little, Brown)
  10. The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking by Brendan I. Koerner (Crown)
  11. Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of our Fellow Creatures by Virginia Morell (Crown)
  12. Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser (Penguin)
  13. Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit (Viking)


  1. The Ogre’s Wife: Poems by Ron Koertge (Red Hen Press)
  2. Hum by Jamaal May (Alice James)

See also[edit]