2017 Nominees: nonfiction (page 3)

Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"An impressively broad scholarly history whose readability and smooth organization make it a joy to read."
A leading historian of the Enlightenment explores the widely differing philosophies that led to the American and French revolutions and their social, cultural, and ideological impacts on the world. Read full book review >
THE COLD WAR by Odd Arne Westad
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"A tremendous and timely history lesson for our age."
A sweeping study of the "bipolar" struggle between the two superpowers that moved from ideological conflict to permanent military confrontation. Read full book review >
DRAFT NO. 4 by John McPhee
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"A superb book about doing his job by a master of his craft."
The renowned writer offers advice on information-gathering and nonfiction composition. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 29, 2017

"A valuable, perspective-shifting work of both cultural and Midwestern history."
A strong argument for the Midwestern city's place as a hub for modernism as vibrant as Paris, Berlin, and New York. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 24, 2017

"In this bible of DNA information, Watson is as provocative and optimistic as ever."
A masterful summary of genetic science past, present, and future, from one of its prime movers. Read full book review >
AUTUMN by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Kirkus Star
by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated by Ingvild Burkey, illustrated by Vanessa Baird
Released: Aug. 22, 2017

"An engagingly wide-ranging set of meditations."
The acclaimed author delivers a host of brief but insightful observations about the small matters of everyday life. Read full book review >
FREUD by Frederick Crews
Released: Aug. 22, 2017

"Impressively well-researched, powerfully written, and definitively damning."
A thorough debunking of the Freud legend by an accomplished author and academic. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 22, 2017

"Worthy of shelving alongside the best of modern firefighting books—and of the broadest audience, especially in territories where fires are likely to rage."
How we have mismanaged fire over the last century—and the costs we're paying. Read full book review >
WILD THINGS by Bruce  Handy
Released: Aug. 15, 2017

"As well-researched as it is seamlessly composed, this book entertains as it educates."
A Vanity Fair contributing editor encourages adult readers to tumble back down the rabbit hole of childhood and rediscover their favorite books. Read full book review >
BONES by Joe Tone
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"A suspenseful story as well as a fascinating depiction of the mechanics of money laundering, the largely unfamiliar world of quarter horse racing, and the dynamics of an extended family, the book draws readers into the complexities of life at the border."
A deep dive into the world of the Mexican drug cartels and their unexpected relationship with quarter horse breeding and racing in the southwestern United States. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"Kohan brings the modern sporting arena to life in this fine exploration of the 'corners of American stadiums that aren't necessarily hidden but are almost assuredly unseen.'"
An inside look at the secular cathedrals where we hold our sporting masses—and celebrate with unrepentant excess. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"A cheerful, delightfully lucid primer on evolution and the predictive possibilities within the field."
A fresh take on evolution and how "we can study [it] as it occurs, right before our eyes." Read full book review >



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 Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2017 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on November 2, 2017, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.