Thursday, August 06, 2015

Choose Your Next Book From Award Lists!

Looking for your next great book to read? A great source for lists of top-notch books are the various literary/book awards. Each year, most of these awards choose a Long List of excellent books published that year (think of these as the semi-finalists), then winnow that down to a Short List (the finalists) and finally, award the winners. You may hear about the award winners in the news or on your favorite book podcast, but the entire list of books that were being considered were deemed worthy. And these aren't just literary fiction - each award has its own criteria and types of books they consider. There is something for everyone!

Most of this year's book & literary awards have already been awarded, but you can still find their long lists and short lists online. Find your next book among these:

National Book Award - this award focuses solely on American books and includes a variety of categories, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and YA books. You can see the list of winners, finalists (short list), and long list nominees for 2014 on this page - some great books here! That page also includes some video clips of the awards ceremony, in case authors are your favorite kinds of celebrities.

Man Booker Prize - this started out as the British equivalent of our National Book Award, though it was recently expanded to include any author publishing in the English language, regardless of country of origin. The award is specifically for fiction. The long list for 2015 was just announced.  And here are the long list, short list, and winner for 2014.

Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction (previously called the Orange Prize) - noticing a lack of women authors represented in the Man Booker Prize in 1991, a group got together to launch this new prize in 1992 that focuses solely on women authors. Here's the 2015 long list, the short list, the 2015 winner recently announced, and the list of previous winners.

Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize - this newer prize focuses solely on British fiction and is in its 5th year. Here is their list of 2015 nominees (long list) and the eight 2015 winners. You can find past lists of nominees and winners in the Archive section of their website.

Pulitzer Prize - this well-known, venerable prize recognizes books in several different categories. Here is their list of 2015 Finalists and the 2015 winners. And here you can look at past lists of winners in each book category, going back to 1917 - how may have you read?

Lamda Literary Awards (also known as the Lammys) - celebrates the best in LGBTQ books and includes 24 different award categories, covering all genres and types of books. Here is the extensive list of 2015 finalists in each category and the winners (listed in bold).

The Edgar Awards - this series of awards is presented annually by the Mystery Writers of America to the best in mystery, suspense, and thrillers, including nonfiction, short stories, books for kids, TV screenplays, and more. I often peruse the lists of Edgar Award nominees and winners to find new books for my husband as gifts. You can find the full list of 2015 nominees and winners here.

Wow, so many great books! Maybe your next favorite is among these lists.

Which are your favorite awards? Do you follow award news for any of them or read from the lists?


  1. Oh wow! So many great books on these lists--and I can't believe how many I haven't even heard of!

    1. I know! And I bet they are plenty I missed, too - so many great books and so little time!

  2. I have trouble keeping up with books I just find randomly, but I still have certain award and organizations where I like to browse their book lists from time to time.
    Visiting via Lit Lover's link up.

    1. Same here, Elizabeth! I would love to have the time to read an entire long list and then make up my own mind!

  3. I love getting books that have that seal that they made a book list. Sometimes I have no idea why it wins (like the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) but it's fun having the best of the best to choose from. Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday linkup as always! Pinned to our linkup board.

  4. This is a great list of lists! I'm putting together my own list of lists for book clubs later this week. I'll include a link to this post since it's such a great compilation of award lists.