Wednesday, October 12, 2011

National Book Award Finalists Announced

Egads I have not read any of these.  So much reading, so little time!  Copied and pasted directly from the National Book Foundation website, which won't even load images at the moment.  It is just that busy!


Andrew Krivak, The Sojourn

Téa Obreht, The Tiger's Wife

Julie Otsuka, The Buddha in the Attic

Edith Pearlman, Binocular Vision

Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones


Deborah Baker, The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism

Mary Gabriel, Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution

Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

Manning Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

Lauren Redniss, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout


Nikky Finney, Head Off & Split

Yusef Komunyakaa, The Chameleon Couch

Carl Phillips, Double Shadow

Adrienne Rich, Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems 2007-2010

Bruce Smith, Devotions

I'm going to start with the poetry volumes, since one of the universities in my state has all of them available, hooray!

Any thoughts on the list?  The only author I've read anything of is Adrienne Rich, which seems surprising for the National Book Award.  Nothing like a list like this to make me feel I'm nowhere close to as well-read as I'd hoped.


  1. I haven't read any of these either. In non-fiction, two of them interest me: Radioactive by Laura Reniss and Convert by Deborah Baker. Do you normally read the non-fiction nominees too?

    And you say you are starting with poetry? I know very little about poets. No idea where to go there. I love Billy Collins. I have a few of his books. If you had a recommendation, I'd sure look him/her up.

  2. Oh dear, I haven't read any of these! I did enjoy Otsuka's previous book, When The Emperor Was Divine, though...

  3. @Scott - last year I read the fiction and YA, and tried to read all the poetry but couldn't get to half of it. I bought the winner for non-fiction but haven't read it yet. (That reminds me, actually... I think I left it in a suitcase in my closet.) I'm going to think about the poetry question. I've only recently started reading and enjoying it, and to me it is all about finding someone who resonates with YOU.

    @JoAnn - Then maybe Otsuka is a good place to start! I need to pick a place to start peeling the onion....

  4. I love the poetry list -- bigger names than the fiction list! Luckily, the fiction finalists are all short this year; there's plenty of time to get through them. My thoughts on the list are in a blog post, here, if you're interested.



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