In January's issue of Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, the Choice "Outstanding Academic Titles" for 2012 were announced. This year's list includes 644 titles, which were selected from the 7,230 books reviewed over the year, and that number doesn't include the other nearly 20,000 titles submitted to Choice not reviewed. (That's a lot of books!) The books that make the grade to be labeled "Outstanding Academic Title" are less than 3% of all the books submitted to Choice. Thus, Choice calls its Outstanding Academic Titles the "best of the best."
If those books are the best of the best, then our blog must be too, for Kelly J. Baker's The Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK's Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930 and Paul Havey's Through the Storm, Through the Night: A History of African American Christianity both made the list. Congrats to Kelly and Paul!
Other noteworthy texts in American religion on the list include Hugh Urban's The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion and Timothy Matovina's Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America's Largest Church. Feel free to post shout-outs in the comments for more of Choice's choices.
According to the Choice website, the following criteria are used to determine what makes an "Outstanding" book:
- overall excellence in presentation and scholarship
- importance relative to other literature in the field
- distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form
- originality or uniqueness of treatment
- value to undergraduate students
- importance in building undergraduate library collections