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National Book Award Longlists

National Book Award longlists were announced a couple of weeks ago. If you’re looking for a great book, there’s always at least a few wonderful titles among the longlisted. Of the thousands of books published every year, just ten or so make each category list to vie for the award, so it’s an incredible honor to make the list. The entire purpose of the National Book Award, presented by the National Book Foundation, is to “celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture.” To support that effort, we’re dedicating our whole space this week to list those titles. You can request any one of these from our library system, although some are such hot commodities you might be waiting for a few weeks. Here’s a nod to the great literature of 2019.


Taffy Brodesser-Akner, “Fleishman Is in Trouble”

Susan Choi, “Trust Exercise”

Kali Fajardo-Anstine, “Sabrina & Corina: Stories”

Marlon James, “Black Leopard, Red Wolf”

Laila Lalami, “The Other Americans”

Kimberly King Parsons, “Black Light: Stories”

Helen Phillips, “The Need”

Julia Phillips, “Disappearing Earth”

Ocean Vuong, “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous”

Colson Whitehead, “The Nickel Boys”


Hanif Abdurraqib, “Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest”

Sarah M. Broom, “The Yellow House”

Tressie McMillan Cottom, “Thick: And Other Essays”

Carolyn Forché, “What You Have Heard is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance”

Patrick Radden Keefe, “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland”

David Treuer, “The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present”

Greg Grandin, “The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America”

Iliana Regan, “Burn the Place: A Memoir”

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, “Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership”

Albert Woodfox with Leslie George, “Solitary”


Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson, “The Undefeated”

Laurie Halse Anderson, “Shout”

Akwaeke Emezi, “Pet”

Cynthia Kadohata, “A Place to Belong”

Jason Reynolds, “Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks”

Randy Ribay, “Patron Saints of Nothing”

Laura Ruby, “Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All”

Martin W. Sandler, “1919: The Year That Changed America”

Hal Schrieve, “Out of Salem”

Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw, “Kiss Number 8”

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