2015 National Book Awards Finalists Announced

After a week of reveals, we have a complete list of finalists for each of the four categories of the National Book Awards.  They include:


  • A Cure for Suicide by Jesse Ballnational-book-award-finalist-medal
  • Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
  • Refund by Karen E. Bender
  • The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
  • Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
  • Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson
  • Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson
  • Honeydew by Edith Pearlman
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Mislaid by Nell Zink



  • Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Mourning Lincoln by Martha Hodes
  • Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann
  • The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery
  • Paradise of the Pacific: Approaching Hawaii by Susanna Moore
  • Love and Other Ways of Dying by Michael Paterniti
  • If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran by Carla Power
  • Ordinary Light: A Memoir by Tracy K. Smith
  • Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir by Michael White



  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M. T. Anderson
  • The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
  • Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
  • This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs by Gary Paulsen
  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  • X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon
  • Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin
  • Challenger Deep by Neal shusterman
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson



  • Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
  • Scattered at Sea by Amy Gerstler
  • A Stranger’s Mirror: New and Selected Poems, 1994-2014 by Marilyn Hacker
  • How to Be Drawn by Terrance Hayes
  • The Beauty by Jane Hirshfield
  • Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis
  • Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón
  • Elegy for a Broken Machine by Patrick Phillips
  • Heaven by Rowan Ricardo Phillips
  • Mistaking Each Other for Ghosts by Lawrence Raab


The National Book Awards were established in 1936 by the American Booksellers Association.  They went on hiatus during World War II, and then were re-established in 1950.  In 1988, the National Book Foundation was created to administer the National Book Awards; its mission is “to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America.”

The National Book Award winners for 2015 will be announced on November 18.  Good luck to all the nominees!

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