As one of the first initiatives under the leadership of new CEO James Daunt, Barnes & Noble has announced the shortlist for a new Book of the Year award. Books are nominated by B&N booksellers, who will also choose the winner. Booksellers are "voting for the title for which they are most proud to be selling,” said Daunt.

The prize replicates a similar prize offered by Waterstones in the U.K., which was launched in 2012. Waterstones also offers a Children's Book Prize, which has been running for 15 years.

“During my time as a bookseller and bookstore owner, I have found the best recommendations come from other booksellers," said Daunt. "This, very often, is for books that have eluded the bestseller rankings. We have enjoyed very much the eclectic eccentricity of many of the titles proposed by booksellers, and believe the shortlist reflects the serendipity of discovery that is a hallmark of a visit to one of our bookstores.”

The inaugural shortlist for the B&N Book of the Year is as follows;

  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)
  • The Food of Sichuan by Fuchsia Dunlop (Norton)
  • Mythos by Stephen Fry (Chronicle)
  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy (HarperOne)
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (Celadon)
  • Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (Random House)
  • No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg (Penguin)
  • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

Atwood, Mackesy, and Thunberg also appear on the shortlist for this year's Waterstones Book of the Year Award, which includes 11 titles.

The Barnes & Noble Book of the Year finalists are now on display in stores and on; the winner will be announced in early December.