• 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 be. Very deserving. I didn’t read last years shortlist in its entirety — we’ll see if I do it this year.


  • 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


  • 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
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