Today the NBCC announced their finalists.
- Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Someone, by Alice McDermott
- The Infatuations, by Javier Marías (my review here)
- A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki
- The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
- Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt that Brought Him to Justice, by Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy
- Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, by Sherri Fink
- Thank You for Your Service, by David Finkel
- The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, by George Packer
- Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, by Lawrence Wright
- Metaphysical Dog, by Frank Bidart
- Stay, Illusion, by Lucie Brock-Broido
- Blowout, by Denise Duhamel
- Elegy Owed, by Bob Hicok
- Milk and Filth, by Carmen Gimenez Smith
- Wave, by Sonali Deraniyagala
- The Book of My Lives, by Aleksandar Hemon
- The Faraway Nearby, by Rebecca Solnit
- Men We Reaped, by Jesmyn Ward
- Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti, by Amy Wilentz
- Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East, by Scott Anderson
- Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World, by Leo Damrosch
- Bach: Music in the Castles of Heaven, by John Eliot Gardiner
- Holding on Upside Down: The Life and Works of Marianne Moore, by Linda Leavell
- Birth Certificate: The Story of Danilo Kis, by Mark Thompson
- White Girls, by Hilton Als
- Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures and Innovations, by Mary Beard
- The Kraus Project: Essays by Karl Kraus, translated and annotated by Jonathan Franzen with Paul Reiter and Daniel Kehlmann
- Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers, by Janet Malcolm
- Distant Reading, by Franco Moretti
-The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award went to 84-year-old Rolando Hinojosa-Smith.
-The John Leonard Prize went to A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra. This prize was set up this year to “recognize outstanding first books in any genre.”
-The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing went to Katherine A. Powers. Finalists were Ruth Franklin, James Marcus, Roxana Robinson, and Alexandra Schwartz.
A few random thoughts:
- I began Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch last week. I’m not far, but she is proving to be an exceptional writer. I’m excited to keep going here, but don’t expect a review too soon — the book is over 700 pages long!
- I have also read most of Aleksandar Hemon’s The Book of My Lives, and I can confidently recommend it.
- I think the John Leonard Prize is interesting and it’s always nice to recognize debut works, but I also think it’s a bit weird the book was awarded there and is not a finalist in the fiction category. Do we really need a new award that recognizes debuts that didn’t become finalists in their own right?
- I love to read Katherine A. Powers’ frequent reviews at the B&N Review. You can find an index of them here.
- I cannot wait to get my hands on Mary Beard’s Confronting the Classics. I know nothing about this book, but Mary Beard is Mary Beard and it’s just going to be worth reading.