We reported last April that Zocalo would begin giving an annual $5,000 prize to a nonfiction book that "most effectively—and most creatively, strikingly, or enjoyably—enhances our understanding of community." From thousands of published candidates and eighty contenders, the judges have selected three finalists. They're listed after the jump; the winner will be announced next week and will give a lecture at the prize ceremony on April 8.
Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light. Jane Brox
- Brilliant is a quirky and delightful look at the history of artificial light and how it changed everything—starting with candles, proceeding to gas lights, and ending with our present age, as we prepare to step away from Thomas Edison’s incandescent bulb.
What Technology Wants. Kevin Kelly
- Kevin Kelly, former executive editor of Wired, offers a provocative take on the nature of technology and its potential to give greater meaning to our lives and to improve the functioning of our communities.
In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time. Peter Lovenheim
- When Peter Lovenheim, a resident in the suburbs of Rochester, NY, learned of a husband-wife murder-suicide that had taken place on his normally quiet street, he realized how little he actually knew of his neighbors or his neighborhood.