National Book Award finalists announced

The finalists for the National Book Award were announced today. There’s five books from four categories nominated: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature.

I love when these lists come about because I like to see which of the novels I have read. Often it tends not to be many because I don’t always read books within the year they have been published. Of the National Book Award finalists, I am reading teen fiction novel “Endangered” by Eliot Schrefer and have sitting on my coffee table Katherine Boo’s “Behind the Beautiful Forevers.”

The finalists for this prize include:


  • Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her
  • Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King
  • Louise Erdrich, The Round House
  • Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds


  • Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956
  • Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
  • Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4
  • Domingo Martinez, The Boy Kings of Texas
  • Anthony Shadid, House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East


  • David Ferry, Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations
  • Cynthia Huntington, Heavenly Bodies
  • Tim Seibles, Fast Animal
  • Alan Shapiro, Night of the Republic
  • Susan Wheeler, Meme

Young People’s Literature

  • William Alexander, Goblin Secrets
  • Carrie Arcos, Out of Reach
  • Patricia McCormick, Never Fall Down
  • Eliot Schrefer, Endangered
  • Steve Sheinkin, Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

The winners will be announced Nov. 14 at a reception in New York. My bets are on Junot Diaz, Katherine Boo, Robert Caro and Eliot Schrefer. Though having not read all the books nominated, I think the judges are the best ones to truly decide the winners.


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