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Award-Winning Recommendations For Your Next Read

Library staff is happy to make recommendations to help you decide what to read (or watch, or listen to) next.

You can always check out Novelist, which the library subscribes to, to find recommended fiction reads in almost every genre.

Why not start out with an award winner? These books are some of the best fiction and non-fiction to be published in the United States in the past twenty years.


Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded by Columbia University each spring since 1918. The awards are chosen by a board of jurors for Journalism, Letters, Music and Drama. The awards for Letters include Nonfiction, Poetry, Biography or Autobiography, History, and Fiction.

2019 – The Overstory by Richard Powers

2018 – Less by Andrew Sean Greer

2017 – The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

2016 – The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

2015 – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

2014 – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

2013- The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

2012 – No award given

2011 – A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

2010 – Tinkers by Paul Harding

2009 – Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

2008 – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

2007 – The Road by Cormac McCarthy

2006 – March by Geraldine Brooks

2005 – Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

2004 – The Known World by Edward P. Jones

2003 – Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

2002 – Empire Falls by Richard Russo

2001 – The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

2000 – Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

1999 – The Hours by Michael Cunningham

1998 – American Pastoral by Philip Roth


National Book Award

The National Book Awards are awarded each fall by the National Book Foundation. Categories include Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young People’s Literature, and the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

2018 – The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

2017 – Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

2016 – The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

2015 – Fortune Smiles: Stories by Adam Johnson

2014 – Redeployment by Phil Klay

2013 – The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

2012 – The Round House by Louise Erdrich

2011 – Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

2010 – Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon

2009 – Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

2008 – Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen

2007 – Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson

2006 – The Echo Maker by Richard Powers

2005 – Europe Central by William T. Vollmann

2004 – The News from Paraguay by Lily Tuck

2003 – The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard

2002 – Three Junes by Julia Glass

2001 – The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

2000 – In America by Susan Sontag

1999 – Waiting by Ha Jin

1998 – Charming Billy by Alice McDermott


Edgar Award

The Edgar Award, in honor of Edgar Allan Poe, is given by The Mystery Writers of America to the best in mystery fiction and nonfiction produced the previous year. The first Edgar was awarded in 1954.

2017 – Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

2016 – Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy

2015 – Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

2014 – Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

2013 – Live by Night by Dennis Lehane

2012 – Gone by Mo Hayder

2011 – The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton

2010 – The Last Child by John Hart

2009 – Blue Heaven by C.J. Box

2008 – Down River by John Hart

2007 – The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin

2006 – Citizen Vince by Jess Walter

2005 – California Girl by T. Jefferson Parker

2004 – Resurrection Men by Ian Rankin

2003 – Winter and Night by S.J. Rozan

2002 – Silent Joe by T. Jefferson Parker

2001 – The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale

2000 – Bones by Jan Burke

1999 – Mr. White’s Confession by Robert Clark

1998 – Cimarron Rose by James Lee Burke


Hugo Award

The Hugo Award is awarded by the current members of the World Science Fiction Convention. Though Hugos are given in dozens of categories, we present the winners in the Novel category.

2018 – The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

2017 – The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

2016 – The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

2015 – The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

2014 – Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

2013 – Redshirts by John Scalzi

2012 – Among Others by Jo Walton

2011 – Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis

2010 (tie) – The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

2010 (tie) – The City and the City by China Miéville

2009 – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

2008 – The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon

2007 – Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

2006 – Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

2005 – Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

2004 – Paladin of Souls by Louis McMaster Bujold

2003 – Hominids by Robert H. Sawyer

2002 – American Gods by Neil Gaiman

2001 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

2000 – A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge

1999 – To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

1998 – Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman


Nebula Award

The Nebula Awards are chosen by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) in the following categories: Novella, Novellette, Short Story, Script, and Novel.

2019 – The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

2018 – The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

2017 – All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

2016 – Uprooted by Naomi Novik

2015 – Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

2014 – Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

2013 – 2312 by Kim Stanley-Robinson

2012 – Among Others by Jo Walton

2011 – Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis

2010 – The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

2009 – Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin

2008 – The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon

2007 – Seeker by Jack McDevitt

2006 – Camouflage by Joe Haldeman

2005 – Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

2004 – The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

2003 – American Gods by Neil Gaiman

2002 – The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro

2001 – Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear

2000 – Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

1999 – Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman

1998 – The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre



Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction

The Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction is awarded each spring by Columbia University, upon recommendation of the Pulitzer Board. Begun in 1962, the award has recognized, “a distinguished and appropriately documented book of nonfiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category.”

2019 – Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold

2018 – Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman, Jr.

2017 – Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

2016 – Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick

2015 – The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

2014 – Tom’s River – A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin

2013 – Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King

2012 – The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

2011 – The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

2010 – The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Huffman

2009 – Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon

2008 – The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 by Saul Friedländer

2007 – The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright

2006 – Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya by Caroline Elkins

2005 – Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 by Steve Coll

2004 – Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum

2003 – “A Problem from Hell”: American and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power

2002 – Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution by Diane McWhorter

2001 – Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan by Herbert P. Bix

2000 – Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John W. Dower

1999 – Annals of the Former World by John McPhee

1998 – Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond


National Book Award for Nonfiction

The National Book Awards are awarded each fall by the National Book Foundation. Categories include Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Young People’s Literature, and the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

2018 – The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey Stewart

2017 – The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen

2016 – Stamped from the Beginning; the Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

2015 – Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

2014 – Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos

2013 – The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer

2012 – Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

2011 – The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

2010 – Just Kids by Patti Smith

2009 – The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

2008 – The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reen

2007 – Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner

2006 – The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan

2005 – The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

2004 – Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle

2003 – Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy by Carlos Eire

2002 – Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro

2001 – The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon

2000 – In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick

1999 – Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John W. Dower

1998 – Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball