2020 Winners


Valeria Luiselli

Lost Children Archive

(Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC)

Book cover: Lost Children ArchiveIntense and timely, Valeria Luiselli’s novel tracks husband-and-wife audio documentarians as they travel cross-country with their two children and deep into the painful history of the Apache people and the present immigration crisis on the Southwest border, while freshly exploring themes of conquest and remembrance, and powerfully conveying the beauty of the haunted landscape.

Read the Booklist review.


Adam Higginbotham

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster

(Simon & Schuster)

Book cover: EvictedAdam Higginbotham has created a thoroughly researched, fast-paced, engrossing, and revelatory account of what led up to and what followed the explosion of Reactor Four at the Chernobyl nuclear-power plant on April 26, 1986, focusing on the people involved as they faced shocking circumstances that are having complex and significant global consequences.

Read the Booklist review.



Book cover:Feast Your Eyes

Myla Goldberg

Feast Your Eyes

(Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.)

Book cover: Lost Children Archive

Valeria Luiselli

Lost Children Archive

(lfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC)

Book cover: The Water Dancer

Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Water Dancer

(One World, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC)


Book cover: Figuring

Maria Popova


(Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC)

Book cover: The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

David Treuer

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present

(Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC)



Blake, Sarah. The Guest Book. (Flatiron)

Brodesser-Akner, Taffy. Fleishman is in Trouble. (Random)

Coates, Ta-Nehisi. The Water Dancer. (Ballantine/ One World)

Cruz, Angie. Dominicana. (Flatiron)

Danticat, Edwidge. Everything Inside. (Knopf)

Ellmann, Lucy. Ducks, Newburyport. (Biblioasis)

Gilbert, Elizabeth. City of Girls. (Riverhead)

Goldberg, Myla. Feast Your Eyes. (Scribner)

Hoffman, Alice. The World That We Knew. (Simon & Schuster)

Hustvedt, Siri. Memories of the Future. (Simon & Schuster)

Luiselli, Valeria. Lost Children Archive. (Knopf)

Obreht, Téa. Inland. (Random)

Parker, Michael. Prairie Fever. (Algonquin)

Patchett, Ann. The Dutch House. (Harper)

Phillips, Julia. Disappearing Earth. (Knopf)

Porter, Max. Lanny. (Graywolf)

Rooney, Salley. Normal People. (Hogarth)

Rushdie, Salman. Quichotte. (Random)

Schine, Cathleen. The Grammarians. (Farrar/Sarah Crichton)

Smith, Zadie. Grand Union. (Penguin Press)

Vijay, Madhuri. The Far Field. (Grove)

Vuong, Ocean. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. (Penguin Press)

Whitehead, Colson. The Nickel Boys. (Doubleday)

Woodson, Jacqueline. Red at the Bone. (Riverhead)


Ackerman, Elliot. Places and Names: On War, Revolution, and Returning. (Penguin Press)

Arana, Marie. Silver, Sword & Stone: Three Crucibles of the Latin American Story. (Simon & Schuster)

Aronson, Louise. Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life. (Bloomsbury)

Brinkley, Douglas. American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race. (Harper)

Broom, Sarah M. The Yellow House. (Grove)

Cep, Casey. Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee. (Knopf)

Cullen, Dave. Parkland. (Harper)

de Waal, Frans. Mama’s Last Hug: Animal and Human Emotions. (Norton)

Forché, Carolyn. What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance. (Penguin Press)

George-Warren, Holly. Janis: Her Life and Music. (Simon & Schuster)

Gertner, Jon. The Ice at the End of the World: Greenland’s Secret Past and Earth’s Perilous Future. (Random)

Higginbotham, Adam. Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster. (Simon & Schuster)

Jones, Brian Jay. Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination. (Dutton)

Keefe, Patrick Radden. Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. (Doubleday)

Kotlowitz, Alex. An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago. (Doubleday)

Macfarlane, Robert. Underland: A Deep Time Journey. (Norton)

Machado, Carmen Maria. In the Dream House: A Memoir. (Graywolf)

Morrison, Toni. The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations. (Knopf)

Perez, Caroline Criado. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. (Abrams)

Popova, Maria. Figuring. (Pantheon)

Rich, Nathaniel. Losing Earth: A Recent History. (Farrar/MCD)

Straight, Susan. In the Country of Women. (Catapult)

Treuer, David. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present. (Riverhead)

Urbina, Ian. The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys across the Last Untamed Frontier. (Knopf)

Wallace-Wells, David. The Uninhabitable Earth: Life after Warming. (Crown/Tim Duggan)