The 2016 Kirkus Prize Finalists Are Here, And It's The Reading List You Need For Fall

Get your wallets ready, because we have the ultimate fall reading list: the finalists for the 2016 Kirkus Prize are here, and these books are must-reads for beating the autumn blues. 

This year marks the third annual Kirkus Prize, a prestigious award sponsored by leading prepublication journal Kirkus Reviews. One author will win in each of the three categories — Fiction, Nonfiction, and Young Readers' Literature — and the winners will each receive a $50,000 prize. Writers become eligible for the award by receiving a coveted starred review from Kirkus Reviews. Last year's Kirkus Prize awards were bestowed upon three of the most acclaimed novelists of the year: Hanya Yanagihara won for A Little Life (Fiction), Ta-Nehisi Coates won for Between the World and Me (Nonfiction), and Pam Muñoz Ryan won for Echo (Young Readers' Literature.) 

This year's prize is proving to be just as prestigious. Four of the novelists nominated — Meg Medina, Jason Reynolds, Adam Haslett, and Colson Whitehead — were also longlisted for the National Book Award. Though none of the nonfiction nominees were tapped by the National Book Foundation, the books are essential reads that tackle politics, the social dynamics of America, family secrets, and more. 

Check out the 2016 Kirkus Award finalists below, and let us know who you think will take home the prize: 

Fiction: 


Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett (Little, Brown)
Carousel Court by Joe McGinniss Jr. (Simon & Schuster) 
The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan (FSG) 
Barkskins by Annie Proulx (Scribner) 
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Viking) 
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday) 

Nonfiction: 


At The Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Satre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Other by Sarah Bakewell (Other Press) 

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond (Crown)

The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 

In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi (Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books)

Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South by Beth Macy (Little, Brown)

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance (HarperCollins)

Young Readers' Literature: 

Picture Books: 


Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales 
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to life by Ashley Bryan (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum)

Middle Grade: 


We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman (Clarion) 
As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum) 

Young Adult: 


The Reader by Traci Chee (Putnam)
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina (Candlewick) 
 
Images: Unsplash/All Bong

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