2015 Nominees: nonfiction

HISTORY
Released: July 7, 2015

"A fascinating biography of a physicist who transformed how science is done."
Europe's Large Hadron Collider cost more than $10 billion, paid for by a consortium of nations. Its success owes much to charismatic physicist Ernest Lawrence (1901-1958), who invented the cyclotron, the Collider's ancestor. Read full book review >
I, MIGRANT by Sami Shah
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 2015

"Humor at its most vigorous and unsparing."
A Pakistani-born comic's account of how he sought salvation in stand-up comedy and then found a new home in Australia. Read full book review >
THE HILLARY DOCTRINE by Valerie M. Hudson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 30, 2015

"A sound study that carries an urgent message."
A compelling argument for women's rights. Read full book review >
TERRORISTS AT THE TABLE by Jonathan Powell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 2015

"Powell's urgent, reasoned, and impassioned argument for negotiation has the potential to contribute significantly to public debate."
A road map for the fraught, fragile road to possible peace with terrorist organizations. Read full book review >
BLACKOUT by Sarah Hepola
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 23, 2015

"A treasure trove of hard truths mined from a life soaked in booze."
A razor-sharp memoir that reveals the woman behind the wine glass. Read full book review >
FASTEST THINGS ON WINGS by Terry Masear
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 16, 2015

"Not just for birders, this captivating book brims with warmth, humor, and drama that will have wide appeal."
The frantic, rewarding life of a hummingbird-rescue hotline worker. Read full book review >
UNFAIR by Adam Benforado
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 16, 2015

"An original and provocative argument that upends our most cherished beliefs about providing equal justice under the law."
A law professor sounds an explosive alarm on the hidden unfairness of our legal system. Read full book review >
IRREPRESSIBLE by Emily Bingham
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 16, 2015

"Deeply researched, Bingham's engrossing biography brings her glamorous, tormented ancestor vividly to life."
A colorful portrait of a daring woman. Read full book review >
THE END OF PLENTY by Joel K. Bourne Jr.
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 15, 2015

"The insertion of notes at the end of each chapter rather than at the back of the book gives it a textbook feel, which may put off some readers. It should not: this call to arms is lucid, informative, and even entertaining, fully deserving a wide readership."
Hard facts, solid research, multiple viewpoints, and well-told stories combine to give high impact to this compelling look at the challenge of feeding the world's burgeoning population without destroying the planet. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 9, 2015

"A potent introduction to a nearly forgotten part of the civil rights movement and a personalized reminder of what it was truly about."
A powerful memoir of the civil rights movement, specifically the dramatic struggle to integrate the schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 9, 2015

"An opinionated, authoritative, and delightfully provocative account of efforts to make sense of human fossil discoveries."
Despite his 2012 history of Homo sapiens, Masters of the Planet, Tattersall, curator emeritus in the anthropology division of the American Museum of Natural History, revisits the subject from another angle, with equally superb results.Read full book review >
BEHIND THE MASK by Matthew Dennison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 9, 2015

"A lively, vigorously written biography of a singular character that beckons readers urgently back to Sackville-West's writing."
A passionately delineated portrait of the savage writer, fiercely private lover of women, and eccentric denizen of Sissinghurst. Read full book review >

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ABOUT THE KIRKUS PRIZE

The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. It was created to celebrate the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. Books that earned the Kirkus Star with publication dates between November 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015, are automatically nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on October 23, 2015, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.