And lo it was October, when all the new books come out, and all the awards are named, and Jenny made frequent use of her library and interlibrary loan in an attempt to try as many as possible. Pictures first, list and chatter at the end.
by Tom McCarthy
Elegy for a Broken Machine: Poems
by Patrick Phillips
Ordinary Light: A memoir
by Tracy K. Smith
Scattered at Sea
by Amy Gerstler
A Brief History of Seven Killings
by Marlon James
by Edith Pearlman
by Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Mistaking Each Other for Ghosts
by Lawrence Raab
How to Be Drawn
by Terrance Hayes
Welcome to Braggsville
by T. Geronomino Johnson
A Stranger's Mirror: New and Selected Poems, 1994-2014
by Marilyn Hacker
The McCarthy and James are the last of the Man Booker Prize shortlist that I hadn't read (other than the one that won't be available until 2016!) and hooray, Marlon James won the prize this week! I will try to get back to that one. It follows so many characters that I took a break for easier reads when I came down with the plague. I finished Satin Island and returned it already; I really wish I had liked it more! I had previously read and enjoyed a novel by McCarthy.
I always try to read the poetry nominees for the National Book Award, and that's why I checked out the Phillips, Gerstler, Ricardo Phillips, Raab, Hayes, and Hacker. Honestly none of these volumes (or those I read as eBooks) really blew me away this year, even the Hayes wasn't as striking to me as his last one, but I did probably still like it the best of the bunch.
The Smith is shortlisted for the non-fiction category of the National Book Award, while the Pearlman and Johnson are on the long list for fiction (but not the shortlist.) I had previously read the Lauren Groff and Hanya Yanagihara, both of which made the shortlist, but since the Johnson and Pearlman did not, I may return them to the library. They aren't bad but they're not really pulling me in. I will keep the Smith and finish it since it is one of the finalists.