The National Book Award… honest, we have a National book award… they have a website…

It happened again. The National Book Award released a list of finalists and I completely missed it. Fortunately, The Huffington Post was on the ball, so check out the link at the end of this post.

I really wish this prize was better marketed. They even tried to jazz it up this year for the 60th Anniversary by allowing readers to vote for the best of the best. But where are the cardboard media stands in stores displaying the choices and encouraging you to “Vote for the Best of the National Book Awards Fiction!”? Or the feature tables – don’t those big box bookstores live for feature tables? At the very least someone should have picked up the phone and called Oprah!

Here are the Fiction Nominees:

  • Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage
  • Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin
  • Daniyal Mueenuddin, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
  • Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite
  • Marcel Theroux, Far North

And Non-Fiction:

  • 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

Sadly, the only one of the current nominees I’ve read is Sean B. Carroll’s Remarkable Creatures which I reviewed back in July.  Good book, but award-winning?  I’m not sure.

There are also categories for Poetry and Young Adult.

And here’s a link, as promised, to the poll being run by the Huffington Post.

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