Finalists Announced For 2012 National Book Awards

2012 National Book Awards Finalists

The finalists for the 2012 National Book Awards are out! It's like the Oscars for literary nerds! 

Here are your fiction nominees, folks: 

  • 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 

And non-fiction: 

  • 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 

And "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

Click through to the National Book Foundation for more information, like the judges and the poetry nominees. The winners will be announced Nov. 14 (when they'll also be honoring Elmore Leonard!). 

So, what do you think? What have you read? Who are you rooting for? Do we have any poetry fans here, and should I have included those nominees in this post? What's with this Junot Díaz guy? Just last week he got a MacArthur genius grant! It's like, c'mon man. Let someone else have the spotlight. 

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Nathan's picture
Nathan from Louisiana (South of New Orleans) is reading Re-reading The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste, The Bone Weaver's Orchard by Sarah Read October 11, 2012 - 12:42pm

Cool post. Junot Díaz is my favorite author, so I guess I’m rooting for him. Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao are two of my favorite books, and while I just started/am enjoying This Is How You Lose Her, I’m not sure it’s deserving of a National Book Award. It’s basically a collection of 9 short stories, following the adventures of Yunior, but it’s not Drown, and the fresh factor of his voice and style is starting to fade a bit.

I do, however, believe that he should have all of the spotlight that he can get. I overhead a few co-workers at a previous place of employment actually talking about him and his books, openly, without me even saying anything, and you just don’t hear people in the every day talking about authors and books like that anymore, unless of course it’s Dan Brown, Harry Potter, Twilight, and now 50 Shades.

So I say give him more spotlight, and any author for that matter, of course. Any author who can somehow sneak into an everyday conversation about Simon Cowell at the watercooler, I’m all for it.