Barnes & Noble Booksellers Nominate Eight Titles to Compete for Book of the Year

Press Release

Barnes & Noble Booksellers Nominate Eight Titles to Compete for Book of the Year

New York, NY – October 28, 2021 – Barnes & Noble announces today the finalists for the third annual Barnes & Noble Book of the Year.

“2021 has been a banner year for books and an absolute treat for book lovers. Book sales are so strong, bringing readers old and new into our stores, with many of them looking for booksellers’ recommendations. In this age of online shopping, the craft of bookselling has never seemed more important,” said CEO James Daunt. “Our annual award of Book of the Year is a celebration of our love of books. The Barnes & Noble Book of the Year asks of our booksellers which title they are most proud to be selling. We make no other qualification, and we are always amazed at the inspiring nature of the list our booksellers nominate.”

Booksellers will vote next for the winner which will be announced on November 18, 2021.

Barnes & Noble launched its Book of the Year in 2019 which propelled the hitherto obscure The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy into the bestseller lists where it has remained ever since, selling over 400,000 copies at B&N. In 2020, Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s luminous reflections on nature and her life in World of Wonders, from Milwaukee based nonprofit publisher Milkweed, won the annual honor.

Barnes & Noble booksellers connect readers with the best in publishing, with the goal of helping customers discover their next great read or favorite new author. The Book of the Year is the capstone on a year of engaging programs, including the Barnes & Noble Book Clubs, Discover Debut Authors, Monthly Picks, Children’s and YA Book Awards, and Best Books. The goal of each program is to highlight the titles that Barnes & Noble booksellers are most excited about.

“I am so impressed with the shortlist selection from our booksellers,” said Shannon DeVito, Director of Books, Barnes & Noble. “These eight titles are diverse and far-reaching, capturing a wonderful snapshot of the year highlighting books that have been in the public eye and books that flew under the radar. These books showcase all types of writers - beloved authors, musicians, journalists, international superstars and even a pizza consultant.” 

The 2021 Book of the Year finalists are:

“This extraordinary book is a great way to speak to all children about our fraught US History while finding a way to celebrate Black heritage. It is beautiful, poetic, and something to be read by everyone. The 1619 Project: Born on the Water is a wonderful book.” – Allyson G, New York, NY

  • Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

    A beautifully written, gorgeous epic that will easily be one of my favorites of the year. An ancient manuscript, the story of a man longing to reach the imaginary paradise of the title, links the many threads of the novel, from 15th century Constantinople to present day Ohio, to a spaceship escaping a ravaged earth in the future. As this lush novel develops, this manuscript survives, sometimes by chance, often shared with love. The characters captured my heart, all just so masterfully drawn. It’s a hard to describe genre-bending novel that I’m sure will be a book club staple. Absolutely loved it!  – Karen F, Coral Springs, FL
  • Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

    Crying in H Mart is a clear-eyed marvel of a book about grief and food and life in a complicated family. The prose is sublime, and this is a book to be savored” – Miwa M, Los Angeles, CA
  • The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present (Two-Volume Set) by Paul McCartney(publishing 11/2)

    “When I received a very rare early copy of this stunningly produced experience, I was floored. Though this title is not yet published, the excitement for this book among booksellers is palpable. Since its announcement, we have heard from customers and booksellers alike asking, “Is this as good as it looks?” The answer is yes! It is a masterpiece inside and out, with an attractive case and McCartney’s face on the spine.  When you see this, you’ll agree that it is an essential addition to any bibliophile’s library” – Stephanie F, New York, NY
  • Pizza Czar: Recipes and Know-How from a World-Traveling Pizza Chef by Anthony Falco

    “Anthony Falco of Roberta's in Brooklyn knows more about pizza than most people. What makes this pizza cookbook special is Falco's understanding of a wide variety of ingredients which he learned about and experimented with from his many travels around the world.  It's a great-looking book and an amazing resource for any cook.” – Edward A, Portland, OR
  • The Sentence by Louise Erdrich (publishing 11/9)

    “A book that’s complex, charming, and current. With unforgettable characters woven into a story that centers round real events in 2020, this book feels like the perfect time capsule to illuminate an explosive year.”  – Kat C, Brooklyn, NY
  • Together by Luke Adam Hawker

    Together takes a philosophical look at the events of 2020 and is a celebration of love, companionship, and kindness. With stunning artwork and sparse, beautiful prose, Together hits all the feels, and may be the book we all need to find hope, and to heal” – John S, Champaign, IL
  • Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

    “In a year of tumult without and within, this book fractures the brittle shell of callousness we wear and forces us to confront the vulnerability of hope.  Accessible, funny, tear-inducing, and compelling, TJ Klune exceeds his previous work here by a significant stride.” – Scott H, Portage, MI

Customers can find all these titles at their local Barnes & Noble and on BN.com. They can also join the conversation on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, using hashtag #BNBookoftheYear.

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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 over 600 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, as well as the Nook Digital business and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com).