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2023 OWL Awards Longlist

Posted by BookPal Marketing Team on Nov 06, 2023

2023 OWL Awards Longlist

Ladies and Gentlemen… it’s the time of year you’ve been waiting for. Where literary wonders take center stage and author's works shine. That’s right, it's time for our 2023 OWL (Outstanding Works of Literature) Awards!

At BookPal we believe in the power of books to ignite continuous learning and growth. That’s why every year we take the time to spotlight the books doing just that. With hundreds of amazing submissions this year, our book experts meticulously went through every nomination to find the ones that change the way organizations do business, educators create and teach curriculum, and communities understand and pursue wellbeing. In other words, the books shaping society today.

We are excited to be one step closer to finding the best books of 2023 as we have narrowed down the submissions to the top 5 books across our 10 book categories. We'll be announcing which top 3 books make it to the Shortlist next month, and announcing each category WINNER in January 2024. So without further ado, it is with great excitement that we announce our 2023 OWL Award Longlist! 

Business: Big Idea

Big idea business books are the intellectual powerhouses of the business world, designed to provoke innovative thinking, challenge the status quo, and reshape the way we think about how we do business. They delve into visionary concepts, emerging trends, and groundbreaking strategies that can reshape any industry and propel organizations forward.

This year we found some amazing titles from analyzing the future of AI to a deep dive into the science of how failing can help you ultimately find success. Explore our top five big idea books that made this year's longlist!

1. Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things by Adam Grant

2. Same as Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes by Morgan Housel

3. Awaken Your Genius: Escape Conformity, Ignite Creativity, and Become Extraordinary by Ozan Varol

4. The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-First Century's Greatest Dilemma by Mustafa Suleyman and Michael Bhaskar

5. Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well by Amy C. Edmondson 

Business: Leadership

Leadership books have long been essential tools in our business book tool set. They are the compass for individuals striving to navigate the complex and ever-changing realm of management and influence. They offer invaluable insights, strategies, and real-world anecdotes to help both seasoned CEO’s and aspiring leaders hone their skills, inspire their teams, and drive business success.

These 2023 leadership books have set the bar high, offering fresh perspectives on leadership today and leading with authenticity. Explore our top five leadership books that made this year’s longlist! 

1. Know What Matters: Lessons from a Lifetime of Transformations by Ron Shaich

2. The Wisdom of the Bullfrog: Leadership Made Simple (But Not Easy) by William H. McRaven

3. The Ultimate Guide to Great Mentorship: 13 Roles to Making a True Impact by Scott Jeffrey Miller

4. The Vagrant: The Inner Journey of Leadership: A Parable by Dan Rockwell and John David Mann

5. Clear Thinking: Turning Ordinary Moments Into Extraordinary Results by Shane Parrish


Business: Management & Culture

Management & culture books are the secret behind creating workplaces where productivity meets fun, innovation thrives, and people genuinely love the work they are doing. They address the intersection of leadership, human resources, and company culture to provide valuable lessons for those seeking to boost their management skills and create vibrant workplaces.

These 2023 management and culture books will help you through the challenges of today’s workplace such as creating inclusive cultures, embracing remote work, and boosting team morale. Explore our top five management & culture books that made this year’s longlist!

1. Say the Right Thing: How to Talk about Identity, Diversity, and Justice by Kenji Yoshino and David Glasgow

2. The Performance Paradox: Turning the Power of Mindset Into Action by Eduardo Briceño

3. Change: How to Turn Uncertainty Into Opportunity by Curtis Bateman, Marché Pleshette, Andy Cindrich, and Christi Phillips

4. Well at Work: Creating Wellbeing in any Workspace by Esther M. Sternberg

5. Team Habits: How Small Actions Lead to Extraordinary Results by Charlie Gilkey


Business: Sales & Marketing

Sales & marketing are the dynamic duo that propels businesses to success. They are the driving force behind brand recognition, revenue growth, and customer engagement making your organization one that wins the hearts of consumers. These sales and marketing business books are the strategic guides that help you master the art of persuasion, customer relations, and the ever-evolving digital landscape. Explore our top five sales & marketing books that made this year’s longlist!

1. Creating Superfans: How to Turn Your Customers Into Lifelong Advocates by Brittany Hodak

2. For the Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be by Marcus Collins

3. The Illusion of Choice: 16 ½ psychological biases that influence what we buy by Richard Shotton

4. Magic Words by Jonah Berger

5. The Unsold Mindset: Redefining What It Means to Sell by Colin Coggins and Garrett Brown


Business: Women in Business

Did someone say girlboss? Women in business books are the empowering narratives that shine a spotlight on the remarkable contributions of female leaders and entrepreneurs. The women who have shattered glass ceilings and made their lasting impacts in the corporate world. They also emphasize the importance of gender diversity in all areas of business, celebrating the unique perspectives, talents, and strengths that women bring to the table. Explore our top five women in business books that made this year’s longlist!

1. Glossy: Ambition, Beauty, and the Inside Story of Emily Weiss’s Glossier by Marisa Meltzer

2. Gravitas: The 8 Strengths That Redefine Confidence by Lisa Sun

3. In Her Own Voice: A Woman’s Rise to CEO: Overcoming Hurdles to Change the Face of Leadership by Jennifer McCollum

4. Money, Power, Respect: How Women in Sports Are Shaping the Future of Feminism by Macaela MacKenzie

5. Without a Doubt: How to Go from Underrated to Unbeatable by Surbhi Sarna


Education: Picture Books

Picture books are the magic behind making your kiddos' faces light up with wonder. These are the cornerstones of early education, fostering a love for reading, sparking creativity, and nurturing the imagination of young minds. These beautiful illustrations and unique stories spark laughter, empathy, and curiosity. Explore our top five picture books that made this year’s longlist!

1. The Girl Who Heard the Music by Marni Fogelson and Mahani Teave

2. Ninja Nate by Markette Sheppard

3. Bitsy Bat, School Star by Kaz Windness

4. Big by Vashti Harrison

5. The Artist by Ed Vere


Education: Elementary

Elementary books are the stepping stones to a child’s literary journey, bursting with lessons and laughter. They are the magical keys unlocking the door to a world of imaginative adventures and fantastical worlds. These books aren’t just pages but friends filled with lovable characters and bits of wisdom. Explore our top five elementary books that made this year’s longlist!

1. Welcome to Our Table by Laura Mucha and Ed Smith

2. Sejal Sinha Battles Superstorms by Maya Prasad

3. Enlighten Me by Minh Lê

4. The Invisible Elephant by Anna Anisimova

5. The Beach Dilemma by Laura Wiltse Prior


Education: Middle School

Middle school books play a pivotal role in a young reader’s journey to a lifelong love of literature and learning. These engaging stories and relatable characters captivate the minds and hearts of students and are tailored to the needs and interests of pre-teens. These titles will take your students from the streets of Ukraine to outer space and beyond. Explore our top five middle school books that made this year's longlist!

1. The First Magnificent Summer by R.L. Toalson

2. Finally Seen by Kelly Yang

3. Farther Than the Moon by Lindsay Lackey

4. The Antiracist Kitchen: 21 Stories (and Recipes) by Nadia L. Hohn

5. Lasagna Means I Love You by Kate O’Shaughnessy 


Education: FYE (First Year Experience)

The first year of college is an exciting, but daunting time for many students. First Year Experience (FYE) books are like compasses guiding college freshmen through the transition to higher education. These books become companions in the pivotal first steps of a student’s academic journey, inspiring critical thinking, personal growth, and a deeper understanding of the world.

They are not just books; they are the mentors that inspire confidence and ambition in the minds of tomorrow’s leaders. Explore our top five fye books that made this year's longlist!

1. Coleman Hill by Kim Coleman Foote

2. Hidden Genius: The Secret Ways of Thinking That Power the World’s Most Successful People by Polina Marinova Pompliano

3. First Gen: A Memoir by Alejandra Campoverdi

4. Outsmart Your Brain: Why Learning is Hard and How You Can Make It Easy by Daniel T. Willingham

5. Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life by Arnold Schwarzenegger


Education: Community-Wide Program

We’ve seen community-wide reading programs on the rise in recent years. The glue that binds neighborhoods and towns together through the love of literature. These programs bridge generations, cultures, and backgrounds to spark conversations and foster unity within the community. These community-wide program books will spark engaging discussions, ignite curiosity, and strengthen the bonds that make a community feel like home. Explore our top five community-wide program books that made this year's longlist!

1. The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

2. The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness by Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz

3. Burnt: A Memoir of Fighting Fire by Clare Frank

4. A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, a History, a Memorial by Viet Thanh Nguyen

5. While You Were Out: An Intimate Family Portrait of Mental Illness in an Era of Silence by Meg Kissinger


We wanted to congratulate all the amazing titles that have made it through to the next round of our OWL Awards. If you want to be the first to hear about what books make it to our shortlist be sure to sign up for our newsletter below. Happy reading!