2009 National Book Award Finalists

Fiction:

  • Bonnie Jo Campbell: American Salvage
  • Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin
  • Daniyal Mueenuddin: In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
  • Jayne Anne Phillips: Lark & Termite
  • Marcel Theroux: Far North

I have read only Jayne Anne Phillips’ Lark & Termite (and if you remember, I interviewed her here).  I actually signed on to the National Book Award website specifically to see if she’d been nominated because I assumed she would.  Very deserving.  I didn’t read last years shortlist in its entirety — we’ll see if I do it this year.

Nonfiction:

  • David M. Carroll: Following the Water: A Hydromancer’s Notebook
  • Sean B. Carroll: Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species
  • Greg Grandin: Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City
  • Adrienne Mayor: The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome’s Deadliest Enemy
  • T.J. Stiles: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

Poetry:

  • Rae Armantrout: Versed
  • Ann Lauterbach: Or to Begin Again
  • Carl Phillips: Speak Low
  • Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon: Open Interval
  • Keith Waldrop: Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy

Young People’s Literature:

  • Deborah Heiligman: Charles and Emma: The Darwin’s Leap of Faith
  • Phllip Hoose: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
  • David Small: Stitches
  • Laini Taylor: Lips Touch: Three Times
  • Rita Williams-Garcia: Jumped

4 thoughts on “2009 National Book Award Finalists”

  1. I have read and reviewed Let The Great World Spin and thought it was a very good book — it would have made my Booker longlist. And I have certainly read good things about In Other Rooms, Other Wonders. The final two on the fiction list are new to me.

  2. Mrs. Berrett says:

    I haven’t read any of the books. I didn’t know YA existed until a few years ago and so I’m not the most knowledgeable with authors.
    However, I can say the list intriques me. There is a much more fantastic element than I’ve seen before. Three of the books have been added to my Amazon Wish List (hint, hint Trev). I’m really interested how such stories could be impressive. Not to suggest fantastic stories are less-than, just that they are so popular right now (Twilight, Vampire Diaries) that sometimes the idea sells without decent writing.
    Of all YA awards, my favorite is the Prinz though. I don’t know who makes up the committee, but I’ve been impressed with every finalist I’ve ever read.

  3. Colette Jones says:

    I’ve heard good things about the McCann and if it’s good enough for Kevin, it’s good enough for me! Reserved at library. The others look good too.

  4. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders arrived today — a very nice volume, I must say. Will get to it soon. Good luck with the McCann, Colette — it is a bit off the wall, but I thought quite successful. You will need to stretch your tolerance just a bit.

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