The National Book Award Nominees, plus a Video Chat

Posted by Patrick Brown on October 12, 2011
The nominees for the National Book Awards were announced today. The NBAs are among the most prestigious honors a book and an author can receive. Past winners of the award for fiction include The Corrections, The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor, and Goodbye, Columbus. The National Book Awards, though, are not without their controversies. Last year, the award went to Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon, a book that hadn't yet been released in the United States, prompting many confused phone calls to bookstores and probably a few errant purchases of other books with the same title.

This year's nominees are:

Fiction Finalists
The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Nonfiction finalists
The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism by Deborah Baker
Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution by Mary Gabriel
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss

Poetry Finalists
Head Off & Split by Nikky Finnery
The Chameleon Couch by Yusef Komunyakaa
Double Shadow by Carl Phillips
Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems: 2007-2010 by Adrienne Rich
Devotions by Bruce Smith

Young People's Literature finalists
My Name is Not Easy by Debbie Dahl Edwardson
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Flesh and Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin
Shine by Lauren Myracle
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

We are especially excited to announce that one of the nominees in fiction, Tea Obreht, will be joining us for a live video chat on November 10 at 5 p.m. Eastern time! Ms. Obreht is no stranger to accolades, having been chosen as one of The New Yorker's "40 Under 40" last year. So far, The Tiger's Wife is by far the most widely read of the books on Goodreads, with roughly 5,500 ratings. If you're interested in reading The Tiger's Wife, there is a giveaway for 50 copies of the paperback happening right now.

The NBAs may have picked another crop of relatively obscure books, as few of the nominees have more than 500 ratings. That will no doubt change, though, as Goodreads members will look to judge for themselves which books should take home the awards. Among the more interesting stories of this year's nominees is the inclusion of Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss, as it is the first graphic book ever nominated for the Non-Fiction award (Making it incorrect to call it a "graphic novel"). It's been well-received on Goodreads, boasting a 4.2 average rating.

Congratulations to all the nominees! We'll be eager to see who comes away with the prizes.

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message 1: by David (new)

David I kind of enjoy that several of the picks tend to be somewhat obscure; it provides more to discover!

Also, apparently there was some kind of kerfuffle with the nominations and Chime by Franny Billingsley is a 6th nominee in the Young Adult category. I'd love to see Shine win that award, but apparently that was the book that was accidentally included instead so I imagine its chances are pretty low or nonexistent.


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