The biggest book of 2015 didn't win a single award. It wasn't even very well reviewed, but for months it was the only book anyone could talk about. 2015 marked the return of the enigmatic Harper Lee, an author we thought was a one-hit-wonder. Nearly 50 years after To Kill a Mockingbird first hit shelves, it was announced that a long-lost manuscript had been discovered and would be published under the title Go Set A Watchman. The literary world exploded with the news that Harper Lee's book count would double, and readers immediately split into two groups: those that couldn't wait to devour Go Set A Watchman, and those that were too scared to read it for fear of being disappointed. My copy sits on my shelf, still crisp and unread. I expect it will remain that way for a long time to come.
I did, however, tear through 2015's Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Nightingale by Kristin Hanna and The Girl on the Train (this year's Gone Girl) by Paula Hawkins. There are certainly plenty of good books to choose from this year, for both fiction and non-fiction fans, and particularly those who enjoy a well-written memoir. Household names Carrie Brownstein, Elvis Costello, and Jimmy Carter took pen to paper in 2015, but their memoirs weren't the only ones to pepper the bestseller list. Britain's best book of 2014, H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, became an American favourite in 2015, and Ta-Nehisi Coates' memoir, Between the World and Me, drew the attention of the National Book Awards and just about every living book critic.
And so, as is AbeBooks' annual tradition, here are 2015's big award winners, top 20 fiction books, notable non-fiction, and the books that turned to movies. We all also pay tribute to the legendary authors we lost in 2015 and remember them for the amazing books they left behind.
National Book Award for Non-Fiction
National Book Award for Fiction
The Man Booker Prize
Nobel Prize for Literature
Women's Prize for Fiction
Hugo Award for Best Novel
Governor General's Award for Fiction
The Miles Franklin Award
Robin Coste Lewis
National Book Award for Poetry
National Book Award for Young People's Literature
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Garth Risk Hallberg
Jill Alexander Essbaum
Yuval Noah Harari