Barnes & Noble names The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride as its 2023 Book of the Year, David Grann as Author of the Year for his book The Wager

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NEW YORK , November 13, 2023 (press release) –

The Bookseller Also Names David Grann as its Inaugural Author of the Year


Barnes & Noble is pleased to announce The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride as the winner of the 2023 Barnes & Noble Book of the Year. The bookseller has also chosen to celebrate, for the first time, an Author of the Year — David Grann for The Wager.

Each year, booksellers at Barnes & Noble vote for the book that they have been most proud to sell. Their first round of voting produced an eclectic range of finalists. In the second round, the most fervent stores won out and The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store triumphed.

“Everyone who reads The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store becomes a passionate advocate for the book. You just want others to share in the sheer pleasure it gives,” said James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “Booksellers pride themselves on their ability to initiate the exponential surge of recommendation, reader to reader, that makes a spectacular bestseller. Thank you to the booksellers who started this ball rolling. In James McBride’s The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store we have a stunningly good 2023 Book of the Year, one in which we take great pride and great joy in celebrating. Please read it!”

“I would have never dreamed a book about a simple grocery store would make this kind of difference in the world,” said James McBride, author of The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store. “But love makes everything possible. Books make noise, but love moves the world. It is the greatest story plot imaginable. It lets us heal the world one book at a time.”

With an impressive year of publishing to choose from, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store was chased to the line by a remarkably strong array of finalists. As vigorous debate continued, one other name continued to rise, with booksellers passionate about not only his newest book, but also his impressive collection of previous work.

The inaugural Barnes & Noble Author of the Year Award for 2023 is given to David Grann.

“As a writer I’m rarely speechless, but this is one of those times,” said David Grann, author of The Wager. “It is such an incredible honor to be the first Author of the Year chosen by Barnes & Noble. I am so grateful to James Daunt and the extraordinary B&N team of booksellers not only for this selection but for their unwavering support over the years, beginning with my first book in 2009 and continuing now with Killers of the Flower Moon and The Wager. There is no greater joy for an author than knowing that one’s books have found a home with the community of Barnes & Noble readers.”

“David Grann’s body of work has been beloved by both readers and our booksellers since his very first book, The Lost City of Z,” said Shannon Devito, Senior Director of Books, Barnes & Noble. “With the release of this year’s The Wager, Grann has cemented himself as a go-to recommendation for death-defying and meticulously researched nonfiction. Booksellers across the country love to sell anything by David, and the votes unequivocally reflected their love and respect for him.”

The other Book of the Year Finalists were: 

The first Barnes & Noble Book of the Year was awarded to Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, where bookseller enthusiasm propelled it onto bestseller lists. In 2020, booksellers were in awe of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments and shone a much-deserved spotlight onto Aimee Nezhukumatathil. The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present  by Paul McCartney went on to be a holiday bestseller after being announced as the 2021 Barnes & Noble Book of the Year. The 2022 Book of the Year, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, continues to top sales charts and has recently been adapted as an Apple Original Series.

The Book of the Year tops off the bookseller’s impressive array of programs that champion the best of the best, including The Discover Prize, recently awarded to Amanda Peters for The Berry Pickers, monthly Book Clubs, Children’s & YA Book Awards and Game of the Year, shining a spotlight on the titles that Barnes & Noble booksellers are most excited about.   

Customers can find the Book of the Year, Book of the Year Finalists, and Author of the Year at their local Barnes & Noble and on  They can also join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, using the hashtag #BNBoTY. 

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