2015 Nominees: nonfiction

HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2015

"Identifying the Ottomans' decisive choices, Suny creates a compelling narrative of vengeance and terror."
An authoritative examination of unspeakable horrors. Read full book review >
1920 by Eric Burns
HISTORY
Released: May 15, 2015

"In this delightfully readable book, the author expertly shows how those affected by the Great War linked together, nourished each other and really did change the world."
In a fascinating work about a remarkable year, former NBC News correspondent Burns (Invasion of the Mind Snatchers: Television's Conquest of America in the Fifties, 2010, etc.) shows us what put the roar in the Roaring '20s.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A harrowing—and, in this era of drones, absolutely pertinent—look at the rapacious reaches of man's murderous imagination."
A British historian of considerable breadth and accomplishment, Preston (The Dark Defile: Britain's Catastrophic Invasion of Afghanistan, 1838-1842, 2012, etc.) focuses on three wartime innovations that elevated to new heights mankind's ability to slaughter itself: submarines, zeppelins and poison gas.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A meticulously detailed feat of rare footage inside the DPRK's propaganda machinery."
Exhaustively researched, highly engrossing chronicle of the outrageous abduction of a pair of well-known South Korean filmmakers by the nefarious network of North Korea's Kim Jong-Il. Read full book review >
A PASSION FOR PARIS by David Downie
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"Anyone who loves Paris will adore this joyful book. Readers visiting the city are advised to take it with them to discover countless new experiences."
Join Downie (Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of St. James, 2013, etc.) for a top-notch walking tour of Paris.Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"A well-documented, upbeat alternative to doom-and-gloom prognostications."
Science journalist Vince chronicles a two-year journey around the globe to evaluate warnings that we face an ecological tipping point. Read full book review >
ALL THE WILD THAT REMAINS by David Gessner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 20, 2015

"Stegner and Abbey 'are two who have lighted my way,' nature writer Wendell Berry admitted. They have lighted the way for Gessner, as well, as he conveys in this graceful, insightful homage to their work and to the region they loved."
The lives and legacies of two influential environmentalists. Read full book review >
ALL THE WRONG PLACES by Philip Connors
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 16, 2015

"Unlike other, neater narratives of being lost and found, Connors' story—told with harrowing insight and fierce prose—is messy and incomplete and makes no apologies for being anything but."
Connors (Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout, 2012) reflects candidly on the years he spent unmoored after a family tragedy; he continuously found himself in places he felt apart from.Read full book review >
ALPHABETICAL by Michael Rosen
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"A delightfully informative book about letters, their meanings, and the words and meanings we derive from them."
A poet, writer of children's books and host of BBC Radio 4's Word of Mouth tells the history of each letter in our alphabet.Read full book review >
AMERICAN WARLORD by Johnny Dwyer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 10, 2015

"A dark triumph—a meticulous geopolitical narrative and gripping tale of an American son lost to evil."
Shocking page-turner about Liberian dictator Charles Taylor's American-born son, Chucky, the first U.S citizen to be federally prosecuted for torture. Read full book review >
ANGER IS AN ENERGY by John Lydon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"A lucid, literate pleasure."
Alternately musical bomb-thrower and contemplator Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, looks back on a long life of pot-stirring and piss-taking. Read full book review >
ANONYMOUS SOLDIERS by Bruce Hoffman
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"An authoritative, sweeping, important history that shows how terrorism 'is neither irrational nor desperate but instead entirely rational and often carefully calculated and choreographed.'"
How Jewish terrorists defeated British rule. 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.