At the ALA Midwinter Meeting in early January, the Notable Books Council of ALA's Reference and Adult Services Division released its selection of the 43 outstanding books of 1984.
Titles range from an account of the Chinese conquest of Tibet to the recollections of a Nobel Prize-winning biologist.
The RASD committee selected the titles for their significant contribution to the expansion of knowledge or for the pleasure they can provide to adult readers. Criteria include wide appeal and literary merit. The list was compiled for the use of general readers and librarians who work with adult readers.
RASD chooses Council members for their experience in critical evaluation of adult books and in service to adult readers. Members of the 1984 Notable Books Council were: Kenneth L. Ferstl, chair, Denton (Tex.) Public Library; Jean Adelman, the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Jeri Cole Baker, Dallas (Tex.) Public Library; Lillian H. Barker, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, Laurel, Md.; Anne K. Halderman, San Francisco (Calif.) Public Library; Jane K. Hirsch, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Rockville, Md.; Donald Jacobsen, the New City Library, New City, N.Y.; Diane Gordon Kadanoff, Norwell (Mass.) Public Librry; Dorothy Nyren, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Teresa M. Portilla, University of California, Los Angeles; Marcia Lane Purcell, New York Public Library; Dorothy Rasmussen, Skokie (Ill.) Public Library; and, as consultant, Bill Ott, Booklist.
Avedon, John F. In Exile from the Land of Snows. Knopf.
Bateson, Mary Catherine. With a Daughter's Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. Morrow.
Bernen, Robert. The Hills: More Tales from the Blue Stacks; Stories of Ireland. Scribner.
Bosworth, Patricia. Diane Arbus: A Biography. Knopf.
Brown, Rosellen. Civil Wars: A Novel. Knopf.
Cheever, Susan. Home Before Dark. Houghton.
The Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto, 1941 -- 1944. Edited by Lucjan Dobroszycki. Translated by Richard Lourie, Joachim Neugroschel, and others. Yale Univ. Pr.
Coetzee, J.M. Life & Times of Michael J. Viking.
Connell, Evan S. Son of the Morning Star. North Point.
Dalby, Liza Crihfield. Geisha. Univ. of California Pr.
Doctorow, E.L. Lives of the Poets: Six Stories and a Novella. Random.
Donoso, Jose. A House in the Country: A Novel. Translated by David Pritchard with Suzanne Jill Levine. Knopf.
Erdrich, Louise. Love Medicine: A Novel. Holt.
Foshay, Ella M. Reflections of Nature: Flowers in American Art. Knopf.
Gilchrist, Ellen. Victory over Japan: A Book of Stories. Little.
Greer, Germaine. Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility. Harper.
Haruf, Kent. …