Contact Information

<p>The Commonwealth Club of California<br />
555 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102<br />
Contact: Riki Rafner, 415.597.6712 &ndash;</p>

Press Release
The Commonwealth Club of California
555 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Contact: Riki Rafner, 415.597.6712 –

Finalists of the 84th Annual California Book Awards Competition Announced
Awards Ceremony: Monday, June 1, 2015 at 6 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO – (April 27, 2015) The Commonwealth Club has announced this year’s finalists for the California Book Awards. Book lovers from around the state will gather on Monday, June 1, at 6 p.m. at 555 Post Street in San Francisco to recognize the winners at a special program and reception. For tickets, call (415) 597-6700.

Dr. Gloria Duffy, the president and CEO of The Commonwealth Club said, “Each spring, with the announcement of the California Book Award winners, we are reminded of the impressive talent and imagination of the writers in this state. We applaud the winners and the finalists for their wonderful books, and we remain very grateful to the publishers who support their work. We are particularly thankful to the exceptionally thoughtful and committed book jurors who volunteer their time to carefully read the hundreds of submissions we receive.”

“This year our jurors dove into the sea of hundreds of titles published by California-based authors and came up with a panoply of gems,” says Mary Ellen Hannibal, chair of the book awards and an author herself. “In the nonfiction category we have an edge-of-your-seat account of the burial and rescue of Chilean miners, the revelation of a critical juncture in George Washington’s political career with implications for current day politics, a nuanced and surprising biography of Cesar Chavez, and a big-picture analysis of the human propensity for war-making – and its surprising benefits to the species. Fiction titles include deep portrayals of characters making their way through life by way of the arts. Poetry, as always, presents an aural kaleidoscope of voices and perspectives. Young adult and juvenile finalists present marvels of imagination and sympathy that reaffirm the central beauty of narrative and its place in our lives. The jury will pick winners from the finalists, but truly – all these titles are worthy, inspiring, and greatly enjoyable.”

The 84th Annual California Book Awards ceremony will take place Monday, June 1, 2015, at 6 p.m. at the Commonwealth Club, 555 Post Street, San Francisco. The event is open to the public. Book-signing will take place immediately after the ceremony.

Since 1931, the California Book Awards have honored the exceptional literary merit of California writers and publishers. Each year a select jury considers hundreds of books from around the state in search of the very best in literary achievement. Eligible books must be written while the author is a resident in California, and must be published during the year under consideration.

The California Book Awards have often been on the vanguard, honoring previously unknown authors who go on to garner national acclaim. John Steinbeck received three gold medals – for Tortilla Flat in 1935, In Dubious Battle in 1936, and The Grapes of Wrath in 1939. Recent award winners include Adam Johnson, Jared Diamond, Kay Ryan, Bill Vollman, Joyce Maynard, Andrew Sean Greer, Yiyun Li, Adrienne Rich, Chalmers Johnson, Richard Rodriguez, Michael Chabon, Philip Levine, Rebecca Solnit, Galen Rowell, Jonathan Lethem, Peter Orner and Kevin Starr.

Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club of California ( is the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum, with more than 20,000 members. The Club hosts speeches, debates and discussions on topics of regional, national and international interest. Twitter @cwclub 


About Bank of the West

Bank of the West ( is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $71.7 billion in assets. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees. Bank of the West can also be found on Twitter @BankoftheWest.

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Rabih Alameddine, AN UNNECESSARY WOMAN – Grove Press/Atlantic - @rabihalameddine @groveatlantic

Jandy Nelson, I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN – Dial Books, Penguin/Random House - @jandynelson @penguinusa
Isabel Quintero, GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES - Cinco Puntos Press - @isabelinpieces @5puntosbooks
Andrew Smith, 100 SIDEWAYS MILES - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - @marburyjack @simonschuster
John C. Whaley, NOGGIN - Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster - @corey_whaley @simonschuster
Ben Tripp, THE ACCIDENTAL HIGHWAYMAN - Tor Books, Macmillan - @torbooks

Jennifer L. Holm, THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH - Random House Books for Young Readers - @randomhouse @penguinrandom
Stuart Gibbs, SPACE CASE - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - @AuthorStuGibbs @simonschuster
Lynne Cox, ELIZABETH, QUEEN OF THE SEAS - Schwartz & Wade, Random House Books for Young Readers @randomhouse @penguinrandom
Megan McDonald, SHOE DOG - Richard Jackson Books, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster @simonschuster
Stephanie Sisson, STAR STUFF: CARL SAGAN AND THE MYSTERIES OF THE COSMOS – Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan

Molly Antopol, THE UN-AMERICANS - W. W. Norton & Company - @MollyAntopol @wwnorton
Christina Nichol, WAITING FOR THE ELECTRICITY - The Overlook Press @overlookpress

Hector Tobar, DEEP DOWN DARK - Farrar, Straus and Giroux @TobarWriter @fsgbooks
Edward Larson, THE RETURN OF GEORGE WASHINGTON - William Morrow and Company - @HarperCollins
Miriam Pawel, THE CRUSADES OF CESAR CHAVEZ - Bloomsbury Publishing - @BloomsburyPub
Ian Morris, WAR! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? - Farrar, Straus and Giroux - @fsgbooks

Fred Moten, THE FEEL TRIO - Letter Machine Editions
Judy Halebsky, TREE LINE - New Issues Poetry & Prose - @yedeyah
Claudia Rankine, CITIZEN - Graywolf Press - @GraywolfPress
Douglas Kearney, PATTER - Red Hen Press - @RedHenPress
Marilyn Chin, HARD LOVE PROVINCE - W. W. Norton & Company - @poetmarilynchin @wwnorton