Book covers and the Libby Book Award logo with headline: The 2023 winners

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And the award goes to...: The winners of the first Libby Book Awards


Mar 07, 2024

It was a night to remember. The Libby Book Award winners have been officially announced, making history at the first-annual Libbys ceremony, presented on YouTube by the popular podcast duo, the Professional Book Nerds.

In each of the 17 categories, five books were nominated, but only one took home the award - with honorable mentions in several categories when the race was a close call. Winners were chosen by a vote from over 1,700 librarians and library workers across North America.

Be sure to watch all the highlights and red carpet fashion moments from the evening (so many stunning book jackets!), and find the full list of winners below to borrow in the Libby app.

The envelope, please. Here are the winners of the 2023 Libby Book Awards...

Winner for Best Adult Fiction

The Heaven & Earth Grocery StoreThe Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride 🎧

From the author of the bestselling Oprah’s Book Club pick Deacon King Kong and the National Book Award–winning The Good Lord Bird, a novel about small-town secrets and the people who keep them.

Tom LakeHonorable mention: Tom Lake by Ann Patchett 🎧

In this beautiful and moving novel about family, love and growing up, Ann Patchett once again proves herself one of America's finest writers.

Winner for Best Adult Nonfiction

The WagerThe Wager by David Grann 🎧

A page-turning story of shipwreck, survival and savagery, culminating in a court martial that reveals a shocking truth. The powerful narrative reveals the deeper meaning of the events on The Wager, showing that it was not only the captain and crew who ended up on trial, but the very idea of empire.

Winner for Best Young Adult Fiction

Divine RivalsDivine Rivals by Rebecca Ross 🎧

When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.

What the River Knows✨Honorable mention: What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez 🎧

A lush, immersive historical fantasy set in Egypt and filled with adventure, a rivals-to-lovers romance and a dangerous race.

Winner for Best Audiobook

I Have Some Questions for YouI Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

Narrated by Julia Whelan, this stirring investigation into collective memory and a deeply felt examination of one woman’s reckoning with her past is a compulsive page-turner and a literary triumph.

Winner for Best Debut Author

The House in the PinesThe House in the Pines by Ana Reyes 🎧

Armed with only hazy memories, a woman who long ago witnessed her friend’s sudden, mysterious death, and has since spent her life trying to forget, sets out to track down answers. What she uncovers, deep in the woods, is hardly to be believed.

Winner for Best Diverse Author

This award celebrates the voices in the sci-fi and fantasy space that address themes of racial and gender inequality, LGTBQ+ rights, environmental justice, poverty, refugee and immigrant rights and other social issues.

Camp ZeroCamp Zero by Michelle Min Sterling 🎧

In a near-future northern settlement, the fates of a young woman, a professor and a mysterious collective of researchers collide in this mesmerizing and electrifying debut.

Winner for Best Comic/Graphic Novel

The TalkThe Talk by Darrin Bell

Inspired by his mother's warning about police bias, Bell explores the impact of "The Talk" on his life through evocative illustrations and sharp humor. His journey culminates in the reckoning with racial injustice, prompting him to contemplate a similar conversation with his own six-year-old son.

Winner for Best Memoir & Autobiography

PageboyPageboy by Elliot Page 🎧

Full of intimate stories, from chasing down secret love affairs to battling body image and struggling with familial strife, Pageboy is a love letter to the power of being seen. The Oscar-nominated star captures the universal human experience of searching for ourselves and our place in this complicated world.

Winner for Best Cookbook

Start HereStart Here by Sohla El-Waylly

In this epic guide to better eating, the chef, recipe developer and video producer Sohla El-Waylly reimagines what a cookbook can be, teaching home cooks of all skill levels how cooking really works.

Let's Eat✨Honorable mention: Let’s Eat by Dan Pelosi

With his warm humor and love for food and cooking radiating off every page, Dan Pelosi is a culinary star in the making. Anyone searching for a new pasta cookbook will find plenty to work with in Dan's supply of simple "Wednesday night" recipes perfect for weeknight dinners.

Winner for Best Mystery

Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for MurderersVera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto 🎧

A lonely shopkeeper takes it upon herself to solve a murder in the most peculiar way in this captivating mystery.

Winner for Best Thriller

Bright Young WomenBright Young Women by Jessica Knoll 🎧

Inspired by the real-life case of the “All-American Sex Killer,” this blisteringly paced novel from Jessica Knoll aims to flip the usual serial killer story upside down.

Winner for Best Romance

Georgie, All AlongGeorgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn 🎧

The acclaimed author of Love Lettering weaves a wise and witty novel that echoes with timely questions about love, career, reconciling with the past and finding your path while knowing your true worth.

We Could Be So Good✨Honorable mention: We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian 🎧

This mid-century grumpy/sunshine rom-dram about a scrappy reporter and a newspaper mogul's son was also a New York Times Notable Book of 2023.

Winner for Best Fantasy

Fourth WingFourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros 🎧

Enter the brutal and elite world of a war college for dragon riders from New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Yarros.

Winner for Best Romantasy

Iron FlameIron Flame by Rebecca Yarros 🎧

In this explosive sequel, Violet’s real training at Basgiath War College for dragon riders begins. She knows the secret hidden for centuries at the college—and nothing, not even dragon fire, may be enough to save them in the end.

Winner for Best Science Fiction

System CollapseSystem Collapse by Martha Wells 🎧

Everyone's favorite lethal SecUnit is back in the next installment in Martha Wells' award-winning Murderbot Diaries series, where she tackles questions of the ethics of sentient robotics.

Winner for Best Historical Fiction

Let Us DescendLet Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward 🎧

Bestselling author Jesmyn Ward delivers a haunting masterpiece about an enslaved girl in the years before the Civil War that's destined to become a classic.

Winner for Best Book Club Pick

YellowfaceYellowface by R. F. Kuang 🎧

White lies. Dark humor. Deadly consequences. Bestselling sensation Juniper Song is not who she says she is, she didn't write the book she claims she wrote and she is most certainly not Asian American—in this chilling and hilariously cutting novel.

*Title availability may vary by library & region.

You can also see the full list of winners here.

With this year’s awards in the books, who will be a finalist in the next Libby Book Awards? Subscribe to Libby Life and stay on top of all the best books coming in 2024!

RELATED READ: Announcing the finalists for the first annual Libby Book Awards, aka The Libbys


About the Author

Annie Suhy has been working in the book industry since 2006. When she’s not working, practicing yoga, or petting cats, she’s doing paint-by-numbers and buying more plants. An avid poetry fan, her favorite collection is "The Splinter Factory" by Jeffrey McDaniel.


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