(AP) - Barnes & Noble, Inc., the world’s largest retail bookseller, recently announced 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 BN.com, 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. One of The Book of the Year Finalists is "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."