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2014 Awards

General Nonfiction Winner

David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation (Alfred A. Knopf)

General Nonfiction Finalists

Peter Finn and Petra Couvee, The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book (Pantheon)
Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Henry Holt & Co.)
Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press)
Hector Tobar, Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

For the full list of winners and finalists, click here.

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BOOKSHELF -- The Wall Street Journal

When Black Americans Lost Their Moses
Feb. 6, 2015 5:14 p.m. ET
By MICHAEL BURLINGAM

"On April 11, 1865, Abraham Lincoln addressed a crowd gathered outside the
White House. Speaking only days after Robert E. Lee ’s surrender, he not only
discussed the thorny issue of Reconstruction but publicly endorsed black
suffrage for the first time. Upon hearing Lincoln’s words, John Wilkes Booth
turned to a companion and declared: “That means nigger citizenship. Now by
God I’ll put him through!” He added: “That is the last speech he will ever make.”
Thus Lincoln was killed because he dared to speak out for black suffrage,
becoming a martyr to African-American equal rights, an important point that is
widely under appreciated.

In surveying the extraordinary outpouring of grief that followed Lincoln’s
murder, Martha Hodes ’s “Mourning Lincoln” highlights a pair of...

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HARDCOVER NONFICTION - February 22, 2015

#10. THE TEENAGE BRAIN, by Frances E. Jensen with Amy Ellis Nutt. (Harper/HarperCollins.) What neuroscience has learned about brain development in the teenage years, and practical suggestions for parents based on those findings.

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HARDCOVER NONFICTION - February 15, 2015

#17. THE TEENAGE BRAIN, by Frances E. Jensen with Amy Ellis Nutt (Harper)

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Sunday New York Times Book Review, front page

‘Mourning Lincoln’ and ‘Lincoln’s Body’

By JILL LEPORE, FEB. 4, 2015

"Hodes, a professor of history at New York University, offers a darker account. “The Civil War was a revolutionary war, and Lincoln’s assassination complicated its ending,” she argues. Reading thousands of diaries and letters written by ordinary Americans in the days and weeks after Lincoln’s death, she finds little evidence of national unity in the face of tragedy; instead, she finds shock, jubilation, confusion and, above all, disagreement. In Washington, secessionists draped their houses in black crepe, not out of grief over Lincoln’s death, but out of fear. “Hurrah!” one 17-year-old South Carolina girl wrote in her diary. “Old Abe Lincoln has been assassinated!” In Virginia, a 5- or 6-year-old freed boy asked, when he heard the news, “Have I got to go back to massas?”

... Mourning Lincoln” is a close and deeply disturbing study of...

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HARDCOVER NONFICTION - February 08, 2015

#18. ESSAYS AFTER EIGHTY, by Donald Hall (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

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NONFICTION:

David Brion Davis, “The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation” (Alfred A. Knopf)

Peter Finn and Petra Couvee, “The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book” (Pantheon)

Elizabeth Kolbert, “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” (Henry Holt & Co.)

Thomas Piketty, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press)

Hector Tobar, “Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Winners of the National Book Critics Circle awards will be announced on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium. A finalists’ reading will be held on March 11, also at 6:00 p.m. at the same location. Both events are free and open to the public.

For the full list of finalists,...

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Growing Older, Not Happier
Donald Hall’s Frank Collection of Essays About the Tarnish of the Golden Years

"In 2001, Donald Hall, just 70 and yet to be named the nation’s poet laureate or to receive the National Medal of Arts, published a poem titled “Affirmation” in The New Yorker. It began: “To grow old is to lose everything.”

At the time, Mr. Hall hadn’t lost everything — that was still to come.

The evidence rests in the latest of his 33 books, divided between poetry and prose, this one called “Essays After Eighty” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). It is a slim volume, alternately lyrical and laugh-out-loud funny, in which Mr. Hall, now 86, describes the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of the very old, so unimaginable to his younger self. ..."

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Non-fiction: Science : Christopher White's THE LAST LOBSTER, a book about the boom and possible bust of Maine's lobster industry caused by the effects of global warming, to Michael Flamini at St. Martin's, by Lauren MacLeod for The Strothman Agency (World).

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