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March 2023 MassBook List

The book list below is not the only way that you can find books that has been honored as a Mass Book Awards honoree. The Massachusetts Center for the Book website has an entire page devoted to the Mass Book Awards. Check it out if the books below don’t hold your interest.

Jump to Non-Fiction Titles     Jump to Poetry Titles

Fiction

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

After the tragic death his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house-a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices even grow more clamorous.

Hold Me Down by Clea Simon

Hold Me Down
by Clea Simon

Gal, a rock star for a hot minute twenty years ago, is back in Boston to play a memorial for her late drummer/best friend when she finds herself freezing on stage at the sight of a face in the crowd. The next day, the middle-aged musician learns that the man she saw has been killed–beaten to death behind the venue–and her friend’s widower is being charged in connection with his death.

Leaving Coy's Hill by Katherine A. Sherbrooke

Leaving Coy’s Hill: A Novel
by Katherine A. Sherbrooke

Born on a farm in 1818, Lucy Stone dreamed of extraordinary things for a girl of her time, like continuing her education beyond the eighth grade and working for the abolitionist cause, and of ordinary things, such as raising a family of her own. But when she learns that the Constitution affords no rights to married women, she declares that she will never marry and dedicates her life to fighting for change. Based on true events.

An Ordinary Wonder by Buki Papillion

An Ordinary Wonder
by Buki Papillon

A powerful novel about an intersex Nigerian teenager and the courage to be yourself.Raised as a boy in a grand but unhappy family in Nigeria, Otolorin Akinro escapes to boarding school knowing two things: she is truly a girl, and to stay safe, she must hide that truth

Non-Fiction

All That She Carried by Tiya Miles

Sitting in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is a rough cotton bag, called “Ashley’s Sack,” embroidered with just a handful of words that evoke a sweeping family story of loss and of love passed down through generations. This is the story of it, and also the story of much more.

Travels with George by Nathaniel Philbrick

Travels with George
by Nathaniel Philbrick

Written at a moment when America’s founding figures are under increasing scrutiny, the author, retracing George Washington’s journey as a new president through all thirteen former colonies, paints a picture of eighteenth-century America as divided and fraught as it is today.

Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert

After doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it?

Extraterrestrial by Avi Loeb

Extraterrestrial
by Avi Loeb

Harvard’s top astronomer lays out his controversial theory that our solar system was recently visited by advanced alien technology from a distant star.

Poetry

Floaters

Floaters: Poems
by Martín Espada

In this collection, Martín Espada bears witness to confrontation with anti-immigrant bigotry as a tenant lawyer years ago, and now sings the praises of Central American adolescents playing soccer in an internment camp founded on that same bigotry.