We are pleased to announce that fourteen of our titles have been awarded Outstanding Academic Title for 2015 by CHOICE!

This selective list, announced in every year’s January issue, consists of only about ten percent of the 7,000 works reviewed by CHOICE during the previous calendar year. It is a reflection of the best scholarly titles reviewed by CHOICE, chosen based upon the following criteria:

  • 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


We’re proudly displaying these winning titles in our Oakland offices. Check out our CHOICE shelf, and each individual title, below.



Art of Renaissance Venice, 1400–1600
Loren Partridge

“Delightful and convenient . . . rich and readable . . . A valuable contribution and a model piece of art historical synthesis, the text is as well written as the project is deftly conceived.”

—P. Emison, CHOICE


Videoland: Movie Culture at the American Video Store
Daniel Herbert

“Written in a clear, clean, accessible style, this is a masterful study of a cultural moment whose time has come and gone.”

—Wheeler Winston Dixon, CHOICE


Cheap on Crime: Recession-Era Politics and the Transformation of American Punishment
Hadar Aviram

“[This book] has the potential to become a classic in the study of how social context—in particular, times of financial crisis—influences incarceration policies… Highly recommended.”



The Gnu’s World: Serengeti Wildebeest Ecology and Life History
Richard D. Estes

“A masterful explanation of Richard Estes truly long-term studies of wildebeest . . . Both informative and entertaining.”

—James M. Vose, Ecology


Essentials of Development Economics
J. Edward Taylor and Travis J. Lybbert 

“Creative, innovative, and flexible alternative to traditional development economics books . . . interesting and informative.”

—R. M. Ramazani, CHOICE



Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times
Marianne Cooper

“Accessible, elucidating, and grounded in real stories. . . . Cooper offers a robust analysis of gender dynamics, with sharp insights about the heavy burden on women to manage the family’s anxiety. Cooper’s necessary and timely study is a discomfiting reminder of the human cost of the recession.”

—Starred review, Publishers Weekly


Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s
Alexandra Schwartz

“Invaluable to all students and scholars seeking an art historical account of contemporary art.”

—J. H. Noonan, CHOICE



A Global History of War: From Assyria to the Twenty-First Century
Gérard Chaliand (Author), Michèle Mangin-Woods (Translator), David Woods (Translator), R. Bin Wong (Foreword)

“Enlightening and aptly titled . . . Nothing escapes Chaliand’s careful eye . . . This is a must-have addition to any academic library.”

—C. C. Lovett, CHOICE


The Unending Hunger: Tracing Women and Food Insecurity Across Borders
Megan A. Carney

“Incisive, empathetic, and engaging . . . The rich data Dr. Carney has obtained through her engaged anthropology are a compelling indictment of the human failings of our national food system.”

—Marilyn Gates, New York Journal of Books


Orderly Anarchy: Sociopolitical Evolution in Aboriginal California
Robert L. Bettinger

“Extraordinary and original . . . A terrific book!”

—W. S. Simmons, CHOICE


Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money, and the Future of Life on Earth
Anthony D. Barnosky

“Well-written and accessible . . . Barnosky provides an informed perspective of Earth’s past mass extinctions and the lessons that can be learned from them to understand the present crises . . . A must read for college students and a well-informed citizenry.”

—C. A. McRoberts, CHOICE



The Walking Whales: From Land to Water in Eight Million Years
J. G. M. “Hans” Thewissen

“Thewissen provides an excellent balance between the science and the narrative. . . . an excellent read.”

—T. A. Franz-Odendaal, CHOICE



Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books
Michael Barrier

“Funnybooks is the crowning achievement of Barrier’s illustrious career. . . . Written with clarity, expressiveness, and enthusiasm, this is a book for scholars, historians, practitioners, and fans old and new.”

—J. A. Lent, CHOICE




Music in America’s Cold War Diplomacy
Danielle Fosler-Lussier

“The significant contribution of this book is in the complex way that Fosler-Lussier describes the effect of cultural diplomacy and public diplomacy—in terms of human relationships and cross-cultural exchange.”

—Caitlin Schindler, H-Diplo