Today the National Book Critics Circle announced its finalists for the 2012 publishing year (click here for their release). The winners will be announced on February 28:


  • HHhH, by Laurent Binet, tr. from the French by Sam Taylor
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain
  • The Orphan Master’s Son, by Adam Johnson
  • Magnificence, by Lydia Millet
  • NW, by Zadie Smith


  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo
  • Private Empires: ExxonMobil and American Power, by Steve Coll
  • Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story, by Jim Holt
  • Spilover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, by David Quammen
  • Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, by Andrew Solomon


  • Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations, by David Ferry
  • On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths, by Lucia Perillo
  • Fragile Acts, by Allan Peterson
  • Landscape, or A Guide for Boys, by D.A. Powell
  • Olives, by A.E. Stallings


  • The Distance Between Us, by Reyna Grande
  • My Poets, by Maureen N. McLane
  • House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East, by Anthony Shadid
  • Swimming Studies, by Leanne Shapton
  • In the House of the Interpreter, by Ngügï wa Thiong’o


  • The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, by Robert A. Caro
  • All We Know: Three Lives, by Lisa Cohen
  • Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece, by Michael Gorra
  • Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus: A Biography, by Lisa Jarnot
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo, by Tom Reiss


  • Reinventing Bach, by Paul Elie
  • Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture, by Daneil Mendelsohn
  • Madness, Rack, and Honey, by Mary Ruefle
  • Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights, by Marina Warner
  • The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness, by Kevin Young
Liked it? Take a second to support The Mookse and the Gripes on Patreon!