The 2016 National Book Awards season is upon us—a perfect reason to celebrate some of the best books of the year. Last month, the National Book Foundation released its longlists of honorees in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. Winners were announced on October 13 and will be celebrated at the National Book Awards Ceremony on November 16.

Whether you’re a bookworm or an occasional reader, browse these titles the next time you want something inspiring to read:



Fiction Longlist

  • The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder
  • What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell
  • Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
  • News of the World by Paulette Jiles
  • The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan
  • The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
  • Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet
  • Miss Jane by Brad Watson
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Nonfiction Longlist

  • America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History by Andrew J. Bacevich
  • The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice by Patricia Bell-Scott
  • Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck by Adam Cohen
  • Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil
  • The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez
  • The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition by Manisha Sinha
  • Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson

Poetry Longlist

  • The Performance of Becoming Human by Daniel Borzutzky
  • Collected Poems 1974 – 2004 by Rita Dove
  • Archeophonics by Peter Gizzi
  • The Selected Poems of Donald Hall by Donald Hall
  • The Abridged History of Rainfall by Jay Hopler
  • Bestiary by Donika Kelly
  • World of Made and Unmade by Jane Mead
  • Look by Solmaz Sharif
  • Blackacre by Monica Youn
  • Blue Laws by Kevin Young

Young Adult Longlist

  • Booked, Kwame Alexander
  • Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
  • March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell (Artist)
  • When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
  • When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
  • Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
  • Pax by Sara Pennypacker & Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
  • Ghost by Jason Reynolds
  • Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson
  • The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

National Book Award winners represent the best of the best—some of the finest titles currently being published in our country. If you’re ever in need of a memorable read, this is a smart place to begin your search for an awesome book. You can even peruse past National Book Award winners by category—from “first novel” to “biography” and anything in between.

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