Gustine Awards

The Gustine Awards were named in honor of the main character in one of our favorite books—The Dress Lodger, by Sheri Holman. Awards have been given out yearly since 2002 in three categories: fiction, nonfiction, and memoir.


A Special Announcement

We, at the Gustine Awards, after 21 years of finding and celebrating the best books written, are taking a long and well-deserved sabbatical. We will be spending the next year in Croatia, reading, writing, eating delicious food (such as the cuspajz od karfiola pictured below) and taking hikes into the woods of Plitvice Lakes National Park in hopes of spotting the elusive kuna zlatica (national animal of Croatia). We thank you for your many years of devotion to the Gustines and hope to see you again in the Summer of 2024.



2022 Winners


Fiction: The Latecomer, by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Nonfiction: A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth, by Henry Gee

Shortlisted Books


The Family Roe, by Joshua Prager
A Very Short History of Life on Earth, by Henry Gee
The Latecomer, by Jean Hanff Korelitz


2021 Winners

Fiction: Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr

Nonfiction: A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, bye George Saunders

Honorary Award for Outstanding Middle Grade Novel: The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, by Mark Twain, Philip  Stead, and Erin Stead

Honorary Award for Outstanding Picture Book: On the Day the Horse Got Out, by Audrey Helen Weber

Shortlisted Books


The Swallowed Man, By Edward Carey
American Baby, by Gabrielle Glaser
Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
The Plot, by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Stampede, by Brian Castner
Chouette, by Claire Oshetsky


2020 Winners

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Fiction: The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel

Nonfiction: Hidden Valley Road, by Robert Kolker

Memoir: Everything Sad is Untrue, by Daniel Nayeri

Shortlisted Books

We here at the Gustines recognize that the 2020 shortlist is terribly short, but we are sure you understand that 2020 was a rather tumultuous year, and we spent more of our time reading The New York Times. We hope to see a robust short list in 2021.


Good Talk, Mira Jacob

2019 Winners

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Fiction: Samuel Johnson’s Eternal Return, by Martin Riker

Nonfiction: The Great Pretender, by Susannah Cahalan

Memoir: Wild Game, by Adrienne Brodeur

Honorary Award for Outstanding Graphic Adaptation of a Fictional Work
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, art and adaption by Renee Nault


Honorary Award for Outstanding Biography in Picture Book Format
The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown, by Mac Barnett and Sarah Jacoby


Shortlisted Books

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Ponti, by Sharlene Teo
The Overstory, by Richard Powers
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, by Adam Rutherford
How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan
The Need, by Helen Phillips
Know My Name, by Chanel Miller


2018 Winners

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Fiction: Circe, by Madeline Miller

Nonfiction: Prairie Fires, by Caroline Frase

Memoir: Educated, by Tara Westover

Honorary Award for Outstanding Biography in Picture Book Format

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein, by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Julia Sarda

Shortlisted Books

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Edgar and Lucy, by Victor Lodato
Ranger Games, by Ben Blum
The Widower’s Notebook, by Jonathan Santlofer

2017 Winners

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Fiction: A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles

Nonfiction: The Indifferent Stars Above, by Daniel Brown

Memoir: Fetch, Nicole Georges


Shortlisted Books

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History of Wolves, by Emily Fridlund
Everything is Teeth, by Evie Wyld
Word by Word, by Kory Stamper
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, by Mohsin Hamid
Patient H.M., by Luke Dittrich
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
New Boy, by Tracy Chevalier
How to Behave in a Crowd, by Camille Bordas
Twenty-Six Seconds, by Alexandra Zapruder
The Other Side of the World, by Stephanie Bishop

2016 Winners

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Fiction: The Nix, by Nathan Hill

Nonfiction: No Winner

Memoir: On Hitler’s Mountain, by Irmgard Hunt


Shortlisted Books

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When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi
Barkskins, by Annie Proulx
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, by Claire North
Slaves in the Family, by Edward Ball
Book of Ages, by Jill Lepore
The Attention Merchants, by Tim Wu
Strangers in Their Own Land, by Arlie Russell Hochschild

2015 Winners

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Fiction: Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

Nonfiction: Neurotribes, by Steve Silberman

Memoir: Hold Still, by Sally Mann


Shortlisted Books

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Maus, Volume I and II, boxed-set, by Art Spiegelman
A Pleasure and a Calling, Phil Hogan
Russian Tattoo, Elena Gorokhova
The Book of Aron, by Jim Shepard
Here, Richard McGuire
Alan’s War, Emmanuel Guibert
Purity, Jonathan Franzen
Dreamland, by Sam Quinones

2014 Winners

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Fiction: Stoner, by John Williams

Nonfiction: In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

Memoir: Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh


Shortlisted Books

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Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
A House in the Sky, by Amanda Lindhout
Astoria, by Peter Stark
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
How the World Was, by Emmanuel Guibert

2013 Winners

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Fiction: The Night Guest, by Fiona McFarlane

Nonfiction: Pilgrim’s Wilderness, by Tom Kizzia

Memoir: Free Spirit, by Joshua Safran

Shortlisted Books

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
What Remains, by Carole Radziwill
The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker
The Orchard, by Theresa Weir
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchet
A Lucky Child, by Thomas Buergenthal

2012 Winners


Fiction: The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey

Nonfiction: The Murder of the Century, by Paul Collins

Memoir: After the Falls, by Catherine Gildiner

Shortlisted Book


Rumors of Peace, by Ella Leffland
The Orphan Master’s Son, by Adam Johnson
Once Upon a River, by Bonnie Jo Campbell
Trespass, by Rose Tremain
Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, by Kiran Desai
Too Close to the Falls, by Catherine Gildiner
Mortality, by Christopher Hitchens


2011 Winners


Fiction: The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine, by Alina Bronsky

Nonfiction:  Endgame, by Frank Brady

Memoir:  Epileptic, by David B.

Shortlisted Books


Citrus County, by John Brandon
The Invisible Mountain, by Carolina de Robertis
Rin Tin Tin, by Susan Orlean
Blood, Bones, and Butter, by Gabrielle Hamilton

2010 Winners

Fiction: Under This Unbroken Sky, by Shandi Mitchell

Nonfiction: (No Winner)

Memoir: A Mountain of Crumbs, by Elena Gorokhova

Shortlisted Books


The God of Animals, by Aryn Kyle
Broken Glass Park, by Alina Bronsky
The Lampshade, by Mark Jacobson
1491, by Charles C. Mann
The Lost City of Z, by David Grann
All Souls, by Michael MacDonald
The House at Sugar Beach, by Helene Cooper


2009 Winners

Fiction: Coraline, by Neil Gaiman

Nonfiction: A Land So Strange, Andres Resendez

Memoir: Stitches, by David Small

Shortlisted Books

Pharmakon, by Dirk Wittenborn
Bone China, by Roma Tearne
Fruitless Fall, by Rowan Jacobson
The Tender Bar, by J.R. Moehringer
When Skateboards Will Be Free, by Said Sayrafiezadeh
Strength in What Remains, by Tracy Kidder

2008 Winners

Fiction: (A tie) The Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly
Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

Nonfiction: Dog Man: An Uncommon Life on a Faraway Mountain, by Martha Sherrill

Memoir: A Wolf at the Table, by Augusten Burroughs

Shortlisted Books

City of Thieves, by David Benioff
What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal, by Zoe Heller
Nine Parts of Desire, by Geraldine Brooks
In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan Merle’s Door, by Ted Kerasote
Merle’s Door, by Ted Kerasote
House of Happy Endings, by Leslie Garis House Rules, by Rachel Sontag
House Rules, by Rachel Sontag

2007 Winners

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Fiction: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

Nonfiction: The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan

Memoir: Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Shortlisted Books

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo
The People’s Act of Love, by James Meek
Strange Piece of Paradise, by Terri Jentz
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman
Finding Manana, by Mirta Ojito
The Invisible Wall, by Harry Bernstein

2006 Winners

Fiction: Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides

Nonfiction: The Golden Spruce, by John Vaillant

Memoir: When All the World Was Young, by Barbara Holland

Shortlisted Books

The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Darkest Child, by Delores Phillips
Listening to Whales, by Alexandra Morton
This Boy’s Life, by Tobias Wolff
Leaving Mother Lake, by Yang Erche Namu

2005 Winners

Fiction: The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, by Liz Jensen

Nonfiction: The Devil’s Teeth, by Susan Casey

Memoir: Dry, by Augusten Burroughs

Shortlisted Books

The Way the Crow Flies, by Anne-Marie MacDonald
As Hot As It Was You Ought to Thank Me, by Nanci Kincaid
Beauty, by Robin McKinley
The Great Mortality, by John Kelly
Running With Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs
The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
Autobiography of a Face, by Lucy Grealy

2004 Winners

Fiction: The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, by Louise Murphy

Nonfiction: Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer

Memoir: Sickened, by Julie Gregory

Shortlisted Books

The Crimson Petal and the White, by Michel Faber
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon
The Children’s Blizzard, by David Laskin
Turning Stones, Marc Parent
The Only Girl in the Car, by Kathy Dobie
Wasted, by Marya Hornbacher

2002-2003 Winners

Fiction: Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

Nonfiction: Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand

Memoir: Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller

Shortlisted Books

Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters
Lucky, by Alice Sebold
City of Dreams, by Beverly Swerling
Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
Slammerkin, by Emma Donoghue
A Dog Year, by Jon Katz
Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter, by Barbara Moss