*37th Annual Northern California Book Awards

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Celebrate the Bay Area's vibrant literary scene when the 37th annual Northern California Book Awards recognizes the best published works of 2017 and celebrates Northern California authors.

The awards will honor Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award winner Daniel Ellsberg.  Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers.  He is also the author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner; Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers; Risk, Ambiguity and Decision; and Papers on the War.

In addition, Northern California authors will be honored in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translation, and Children's Literature. A book signing reception follows. The list of nominations is below.  The nominated books will be available for purchase from Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

The Awards are presented by Northern California Book Reviewers, Poetry Flash, Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter, PEN West, Mechanics' Institute Library, San Francisco Public Library and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

The Awards gratefully acknowledges the support of the Words of World Fund, Frances Phillips, literary agents Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada (San Francisco Writers Conference) and Laura Sheppard of the Mechanics’ Institute.

2018 Northern California Book Award Nominees:


Daniel Ellsberg, activist and author


Tending the Fire: Native Voices and Portraits, Christopher Felver, University of New Mexico Press


Less, Andrew Sean Greer, Lee Boudreaux Books

Woman No. 17, Edan Lepucki, Hogarth

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Cassava Republic

A Kind of Freedom, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, Counterpoint

The Age of Perpetual Light, Josh Weil, Grove Press




The Best We Could Do, An Illustrated Memoir, Thi Bui, Abrams Comicarts

The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life, Lauren Markham, Crown

Logical Family: A Memoir, Armistead Maupin, Harper

Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory, Elizabeth Rosner, Counterpoint

Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook, Alice Waters, Clarkson Potter/Publishers

Why Poetry, Matthew Zapruder, Ecco


Heaven Is All Goodbyes, Tongo Eisen-Martin, City Lights Books

Proprietary, Randall Mann, Persea Books

American Dream with Exit Wound, Dawn McGuire, IFSF Publishing

Double Portrait, Brittany Perham, W.W. Norton

Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry, Dean Rader, Copper Canyon Press

Unaccompanied, Javier Zamora, Copper Canyon Press


Translation in Fiction

Kill the Ámpaya! The Best Latin American Baseball Fiction, edited and translated from the Spanish by Dick Cluster, Mandel Vilar Press

Blameless, Claudio Magris, translated from the Italian by Anne Milano Appel, Yale University Press

Atlantic Hotel, João Gilberto Noll, translated from the Portuguese by Adam Morris, Two Lines Press

Translation in Poetry

Speaking in Song (Hearing and Forgetting), Pura López Colomé, translated from the Spanish by Dan Bellm, Shearsman Books

Book of Twilight, Pablo Neruda, translated from the Spanish by William O’Daly, Copper Canyon Press

The Living Theatre, Selected Poems of Bianca Tarozzi, translated from the Italian by Jeanne Foster and Alan Willamson, BOA Editions, Ltd.


Younger Readers

Kate Warne: Pinkerton Detective, Marissa Moss, illustrated by April Chu, Creston Books

A Different Pond, Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui, Capstone Young Readers

The Antlered Ship, Dashka Slater, illustrated by The Fan Brothers, Beach Lane Books

Older Readers

Wishtree, Katherine Applegate, Feiwel and Friends

Wild Beauty, Anna-Marie McLemore, Feiwel and Friends

The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives, Dashka Slater, Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers

*Funded by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

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