MORGANTOWN , W.Va. ForeWord magazine has named three West Virginia University Press books finalists for the 2008 Book of the Year Award, which aims to promote the work of independent publishers.

The books being honored includeMacrofungi Associated with Oaks of Eastern North America,The Historical Atlas of West VirginiaandMatewan Before the Massacre.

Macrofungi Associated with Oaks of Eastern North America by Denise Binion, Steve Stephenson, William Roody, Harold H. Burdsall Jr., Orson K. Miller Jr. and Larissa Vasilyeva is the first major publication devoted exclusively to the macrofungi that occur in association with oak trees in the forests of eastern North America. The book contains information on over 200 species of macrofungi, including edibility, medicinal properties, and other novel uses, and was nominated in the reference category.

Frank S. Riddels The Historical Atlas of West Virginia explains how the distribution of natural resources intersects with other means of distribution. Through illustrations of maps, tables, and charts, the book depicts various distribution methods�€from geological depositscontributions to the states industries to immigration patterns. It is also nominated in the reference category.

Matewan Before the Massacre by Rebecca Bailey documents the history of Matewan, W.Va., before the 1920 massacre that led up to the second Mine War, covering early 18th century economic, labor, transportation, political history, and state governmentissues. It is nominated in the regional category.

The WVU Press books are three out of 668 award finalists chosen by ForeWord magazine, which received more than 1,400 book nominations in 61 categories. Winners will be determined by a panel of librarians and booksellers selected from ForeWord magazines readership. The winners will be announced at the BookExpo America on May 29 at the Javits Center in New York City. For a complete list of ForeWord magazine finalists, go to .

Discover other books published by the WVU Press at . For more information, contact Carrie Mullen, director of the WVU Press, at (304) 293-8400 or .