2016 Nominees: nonfiction

SHIRLEY JACKSON by Ruth Franklin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A consistently interesting biography that deftly captures the many selves and multiple struggles of a true American original."
An engaging, sympathetic portrait of the writer who found the witchery in huswifery. Read full book review >
THE ART OF WAITING by Belle Boggs
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"In her reporting, researching, and sharing, Boggs has performed a public service for those in a similar position—and for anyone interested in the implications of parenthood or in a story well-told and deeply felt."
So much more than a memoir about trying to conceive. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A splendid, challenging mixture of information and fun."
From barely decipherable scratches on ancient surfaces to the latest bestseller: a history of the book, its numerous ancestors, and its underlying technologies. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A sprawling, vibrant book about soccer in Argentina, a country where the sport is every bit as important and reflective of the society as it is anywhere in the world."
The history of soccer and its singular place in Argentine society. Read full book review >
TROUBLED REFUGE by Chandra Manning
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"Manning conveys in gritty detail the fraught alliance between refugees and their military protectors."
A history of slaves who took refuge with the Union Army on their journey to freedom. Read full book review >
SEVEN SKELETONS by Lydia Pyne
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"Ian Tattersall's The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack (2015) remains the best popular modern history of human evolution, but Pyne casts her net more widely, adding captivating accounts of how each discovery fascinated the mass media and entered literature and popular culture."
Describing human evolution through accounts of fossils that became media events might seem a publicity ploy, but science journalist Pyne (Institute for Historical Studies/Univ. of Texas; Bookshelf, 2016, etc.) pulls it off. Read full book review >
RIVERINE by Angela Palm
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"An intelligent, evocative, and richly textured memoir."
The haunting account of how the author tried to escape her rural Indiana past. Read full book review >
ALTAMONT by Joel Selvin
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"The detailing of the actual concert reads like old news, and the sourcing could be clearer, but this is a compelling analysis of an event that hadn't seemed like it needed anything more written about it."
An incisive account of the most infamous concert debacle in rock history. Read full book review >
BEYOND HUMAN by Eve Herold
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"An eye-opening description of scientific transhumanism that may provoke older readers to curse themselves for being born a few decades too early."
A fascinating examination of technology that "will radically transform human health and extend our life spans far beyond what most of us have ever dreamed." Read full book review >
THE STORY OF EGYPT by Joann Fletcher
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 15, 2016

"The authoritative author imparts her vast knowledge in an orderly chronology and lively, intimate history. A perfect choice for budding Egyptologists."
A sweeping look at this epic history emphasizing the role of women rulers. Read full book review >
HOW EVERYTHING BECAME WAR AND THE MILITARY BECAME EVERYTHING by Rosa Brooks
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Legal theorists and policymakers will approve the scholarship and close analysis; general readers will appreciate the sensitive storytelling, the wit, and the uncommon good sense."
A former senior Defense Department adviser explores the military's expanded role in a time when the lines between war and peace are dangerously blurred. Read full book review >
KNOWN AND STRANGE THINGS by Teju Cole
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"A bold, honest, and controversially necessary read."
A striking collection of essays that will leave readers wanting to reimagine our contemporary environment. 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, 2015, and October 31, 2016 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2016 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on November 3, 2016, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.