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Barnes & Noble Announces Inaugural Book of the Year Finalists

Booksellers Nationwide Nominated Eight Titles to Compete for Book of the Year

Winner Revealed in Early December

New York, NY – WEBWIRE

Barnes & Noble, Inc., the world’s largest retail bookseller, announced today the finalists for the inaugural Barnes & Noble Book of the Year.

“The Barnes & Noble Book of the Year is unlike any other U.S. literary prize, as it is selected by booksellers, voting for the title for which they are most proud to be selling,” said CEO James Daunt. “There is no other rule: no limit by genre, by publication date, by commercial success or anything else. The nominations indeed evidence that no rule has been followed. They include a variety of subjects, from the literary to the culinary, and even one title that had yet to be published when nominated, such was the anticipation for it by Barnes & Noble booksellers.”

The Barnes & Noble Book of the Year Finalists will be displayed in stores and on starting today, with the winner chosen by Barnes & Noble booksellers and announced in early December. Given that this is a prize bestowed by booksellers, it is anticipated that the winner will enjoy notable sales success, which is not always guaranteed to winners of a literary prize.

“As booksellers, we are in the privileged position of being exposed to the full range of new book releases each year, from blockbuster titles by established authors to smaller, more unique offerings, and, for the first time in Barnes & Noble’s storied history, we are celebrating this with a Barnes & Noble Book of the Year,” Daunt continued. “During my time as a bookseller and bookstore owner, I have found the best recommendations come from other booksellers. This, very often, is for books that have eluded the bestseller rankings. We have enjoyed very much the eclectic eccentricity of many of the titles proposed by booksellers, and believe the shortlist reflects the serendipity of discovery that is a hallmark of a visit to one of our bookstores.”

Barnes & Noble booksellers from around the country nominated their top books from 2019, which were then narrowed down to eight titles by a selection committee, including Mr. Daunt.

The Book of the Year Finalists, as described by Barnes & Noble booksellers from around the country, are:

The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood

The Testaments takes the bleak, unforgivingly puritan world of The Handmaid’s Tale and fleshes it out completely, giving us insight into many of the characters from the first book. The story feels even more poignant now than when it was originally published in 1985"
                                                —Bookseller Daniel Pahl of Atlanta, Georgia

The Food of Sichuan, by Fuchsia Dunlop

“This is a beautiful book, from the eye-catching red cover to the interior photos. I love the history and descriptions of the Sichuan culinary style as well as the individual dishes and their origin. Easily accessible to all levels of cooks, and each recipe leaves my mouth watering.”
                                                —Bookseller Robbie Bryan, Brentwood, TN

Mythos, by Stephen Fry

“Mythos introduces and reintroduces classic myths for all ages. Its modern interpretations will introduce readers that know the myths whole to new elements, and will attract younger readers by its relatable content.”
                                                —Bookseller Colin Taylor, Springfield, IL

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy

“A fable of friendship, self-love, and kindness. It’s part children’s fantasy and part personal growth, all wrapped in stunning illustrations. The characters reach off the page to offer connection and a warm hug to readers.”
                                                —Bookseller Gabriella Bowden, Houston, TX

The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides

“This is a book unlike any you have read before. A knock-down, drag-out thriller that will have you losing sleep to finish.”
                                                —Bookseller Ashley Longowa of Chesterfield, Missouri

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

“Elizabeth Strout, master storyteller, does not disappoint in this second installment and continuing story of Olive Kitteridge. Olive returns as well as a cast of characters that are both diverse and fascinating to read.”
                                                —Bookseller Ellie Zur, Mishawaka, IN

No One is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greta Thunberg

“For readers of all ages interested in nature and wildlife, or even just what is happening in our world, Greta Thunberg’s collection of brilliantly worded essays will bring to light an important issue from a seemingly unlikely source.”
                                                —Bookseller Aly Plasterer, Huntsville, AL

The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys is a devastatingly accurate depiction of both past and current times, and will haunt readers long after the last page has been turned. This book is thought provoking, heartbreaking, and a necessary read for everyone.”
                                                —Bookseller Amy Morgan, Monroeville, PA

About Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble, Inc. is the largest retail bookseller in the United States, and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. The Company operates 627 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, as well as the Nook Digital business and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites, ( General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be found on the Company’s corporate website at

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