National Book Award

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By: Greenblatt, Stephen, 1943-
A humanities professor describes the impact had by the translation of the last remaining manuscript of On the Nature of Things by Roman philosopher Lucretius, which fueled the Renaissance and inspired artists, great thinkers and scientists. Reprint. 60,000 first printing.
By: Smith, Patti.
An artist and musician recounts her romance, lifetime friendship and shared love of art with Robert Mapplethorpe, in an illustrated memoir that includes a colorful cast of characters, including Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, William Burroughs and more. 100,000 first printing.
By: Stiles, T. J.
A biography of the combative man whose genius and force of will created modern capitalism, documenting how Vanderbilt helped launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshape Manhattan, and invent the modern corporation.
By: Gordon-Reed, Annette.
Traces the history of the Hemings family from early eighteenth-century Virginia to their dispersal after Thomas Jefferson's death in 1826, and describes their family ties to the third president against a backdrop of Revolutionary America and the French Revolution.
By: Weiner, Tim.
A New York Times reporter offers a powerful indictment of the CIA and its intelligence-gathering capabilities as he traces the history of the organization from the end of World War II to Iraq, in a study that condemns the CIA for its record, its inability to understand world affairs, the violence it has unleashed, and its undermining of American politics. 100,000 first printing.
By: Egan, Timothy.
Presents an oral history of the dust storms that devastated the Great Plains during the Depression, following several families and their communities in their struggle to persevere despite the devastation.
By: Didion, Joan.
An autobiographical portrait of marriage and motherhood by the acclaimed author details her struggle to come to terms with life and death, illness, sanity, personal upheaval, and grief.
By: Boyle, Kevin, 1960-
Follows the 1925 murder trial of African-American doctor Ossian Sweet, who was accused of murdering a white person during a mob attack on his home, and includes a history of the Sweet family and a portrait of his attorney, Clarence Darrow.
By: Eire, Carlos M. N.
A survivor of the Cuban Revolution recounts his pre-war childhood as the religiously devout son of a judge, and describes the conflict's violent and irrevocable impact on his friends, family, and native home.
By: Caro, Robert A.
Describes the future president's career in the U.S. Senate, from breaking the southern control of Capitol Hill to passing the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.
By: Solomon, Andrew, 1963-
The author offers a look at depression in which he draws on his own battle with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, researchers, doctors, and others to assess the complexities of the disease, its causes and symptoms, and available therapies.
By: Philbrick, Nat.
Recounts the story of the 1820 wreck of the whaleship Essex, which in its time was as mythic as the sinking of the Titanic and which inspired Melville's classic Moby Dick, and recounts its doomed crew's ninety-day attempt to survive whale attacks and the elements on three tiny lifeboats. 125,000 first printing. First serial, Vanity Fair.
By: Dower, John W.
Chronicles the events that took place in Japan at the end of World War II and explores the effects they have had on the development and shaping of Japanese society, from immediately after the war to the present day.
By: Ball, Edward, 1959-
Explores the slave-holding dynasty of Elias Ball, a South Carolina plantation owner, the history of slave uprisings, and the memories of the descendants of those slaves
By: Osnos, Evan, 1976-
"A vibrant, colorful, and revelatory inner history of China during a moment of profound transformation From abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy--or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don't see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes. As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party's struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals--fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture--consider themselves "angry youth," dedicated to resisting the West's influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth? Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail"--
By: Packer, George, 1960-
Paints a picture of the last 30 years of life in America by following several citizens, including the son of tobacco farmers in the rural south, a Washington insider who denies his idealism for riches, and Silicon Valley billionaire.
By: Boo, Katherine.
The dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century's great, unequal cities. In this fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human. Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees fortune in the recyclable garbage of richer people. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a rural childhood, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to good times. But then, as the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed.--From publisher description.