2015 Nominees: nonfiction

10% HUMAN by Alanna Collen
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 5, 2015

"Everything you wanted to know about microbes but were afraid to ask."
This state-of-the-science survey explores and explains what is known about the microbial community that lives within us and what we have yet to learn. Read full book review >
OUT ON THE WIRE by Jessica Abel
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"A spirited work whose readership should not be limited to those who make radio narrative or love to listen to it."
A richly engaging graphic narrative about radio storytelling and storytelling in general. Read full book review >
THE HOUSE OF TWENTY THOUSAND BOOKS by Sasha Abramsky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"If you finish this brilliant, realized book thinking you need to own more books, you're to be forgiven. A wonderful celebration of the mind, history, and love."
Memoir of Jewish intellectual life and universal history alike, told through a houseful of books, their eccentric collectors, and the rooms in which they dwelled. Read full book review >
THE MAN WHO COULDN'T STOP by David Adam
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 20, 2015

"Well-researched, witty, honest and irreverent, Adam's account proves as irresistible as his subject."
An engrossing first-person study of obsessive-compulsive disorder from within and without. Read full book review >
IT'S WHAT I DO by Lynsey Addario
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 5, 2015

"A brutally real and unrelentingly raw memoir that is as inspiring as it is horrific."
A remarkable journalistic achievement from a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellowship winner that crystalizes the last 10 years of global war and strife while candidly portraying the intimate life of a female photojournalist. Read full book review >
BECOMING A MOUNTAIN by Stephen Alter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 3, 2015

"There are many treasures to discover in this insightful memoir of hiking and healing in the Himalayas."
With a naturalist's eye and a poet's pen, a victim of violence looks to the Himalayas for healing. Read full book review >
THE POINT OF VANISHING by Howard Axelrod
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A vibrant, honest, and poetic account of how two years of solitude surrounded by nature changed a man forever."
How losing eyesight in one eye made a man see more clearly. Read full book review >
BELIEVER by David Axelrod
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Obama has been profiled many times but seldom with so practical an outlook. An excellent view of politics from the inside."
Longtime political adviser Axelrod, late of the White House, tells most of what he's seen in the cloakroom. Read full book review >
KEEPING AN EYE OPEN by Julian Barnes
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 >
RAIN by Cynthia Barnett
HISTORY
Released: April 21, 2015

"Highlights the severity of some of our environmental problems with knowledge, humor, urgency and hope."
An environmental journalist returns with a multifaceted examination of the science, the art, the technology and even the smell of rain throughout history. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 28, 2015

"Superior science writing that eschews the usual fulsome biographies of eccentric geniuses, droll anecdotes and breathless prognostication to deliver a persistently fascinating portrait of an odd but routine feature of the cosmos."
Black holes enthrall physicists and astronomers, as well as Hollywood filmmakers, and readers of this fine popular science account will understand why. Read full book review >
PALIMPSEST by Matthew Battles
HISTORY
Released: July 21, 2015

"A fascinating exploration stylishly and gracefully told."
An illuminating look at the origins and impact of writing. 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 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on October 15, 2015, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.