2016 Nominees: nonfiction

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A comprehensive analysis that lays the foundation for a discussion of necessary reforms and how they can be achieved."
Why the theories used to rationalize our beliefs in democracy are broken beyond repair and must be replaced. Read full book review >
SECONDHAND TIME by Svetlana Alexievich
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"Profoundly significant literature as history."
A lively, deeply moving cacophony of Russian voices for whom the Soviet era was as essential as their nature. Read full book review >
Vets For Vets by Gerald Alpern
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 5, 2016

"A compassionate and eye-opening approach to healing mentally and emotionally wounded soldiers."
A revolutionary look at methods to treat veterans in distress. Read full book review >
CRUSH by Cathy Alter
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 5, 2016

"The seemingly lightweight premise of an anthology built around celebrity crushes yields an outstanding selection of poignant and thought-provoking stories."
A few dozen writers recall their childhood infatuations with celebrated media stars or iconic characters (literary or animated) and how these crushes influenced their future lives. Read full book review >
THIS OLD MAN by Roger Angell
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"As this ebullient and eloquent collection amply shows, Angell can deftly touch that reader, on whom he bestows this lovely gift."
A miscellany of memorable prose. Read full book review >
HERDING HEMINGWAY'S CATS by Kat Arney
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 1, 2016

"A robust, bouncy, pellucid introduction to DNA and genetics."
A survey of recent research and thinking on genes. Read full book review >
THE FAMILY TOOTH by Ellis Avery
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

"
A well-wrought memoir that turns simple observations and memories into powerful illustrations of grief and illness.
"
A writer recounts the emotions and memories of losing her mother and battling cancer. Read full book review >
BLOOD AND EARTH by Kevin Bales
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A cleareyed account of man's inhumanity to man and Earth. Read it to get informed, and then take action."
In a heart-wrenching narrative, Bales (Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves, 2007, etc.) explores modern slavery and the devastating effects on its victims as well as the environmental degradation caused by this morally reprehensible institution.Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"Barnes knows that one of the immeasurable pleasures of art is its capacity to approach us from unexpected angles and excite our senses of wonder. The same may be said of his scholarly and astute yet accessible and exciting essays."
English novelist Barnes (Levels of Life, 2013, etc.) focuses his analytical prowess on significant artists and their oeuvres, opening fresh vistas to readers—and viewers. Read full book review >
EISENHOWER'S ARMIES by Niall Barr
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"A detailed, entertaining history of a successful, if bumpy, military alliance."
Anglo-American cooperation during World War II worked, more or less. Read full book review >
THE BOYS IN THE BUNKHOUSE by Dan Barry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"Gently, empathetically, and indelibly, Barry conveys a tale of unthinkable brutality."
A gripping indictment of society's treatment of "losers." 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.