In a month, the winners of the National Book Awards will be announced in Manhattan. The New York Times published a list today of the finalists:
In fiction, the finalists are Rachel Kushner for “The Flamethrowers” (Scribner); Jhumpa Lahiri for “The Lowland” (Knopf); James McBride for “The Good Lord Bird” (Riverhead); Thomas Pynchon for “Bleeding Edge” (Penguin Press); and George Saunders for “Tenth of December” (Random House).
The nonfiction finalists are Jill Lepore for “Book of Ages” (Knopf); Wendy Lower for “Hitler’s Furies” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); George Packer for “The Unwinding” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux); Alan Taylor for “The Internal Enemy” (Norton); and Lawrence Wright for “Going Clear” (Knopf).
In young people’s literature, the finalists are Kathi Appelt for “The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp (Atheneum); Cynthia Kadohata for “The Thing About Luck” (Atheneum); Tom McNeal for “Far Far Away” (Knopf); Meg Rosoff for “Picture Me Gone” (Putnam); and Gene Luen Yang for “Boxers & Saints” (First Second).
In the poetry category, the finalists are Frank Bidart for “Metaphysical Dog” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux); Lucie Brock-Broido for “Stay, Illusion” (Knopf); Adrian Matejka for “The Big Smoke” (Penguin); Matt Rasmussen for “Black Aperture” (Louisiana State University Press); and Mary Szybist for “Incarnadine” (Graywolf Press).
It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I have read none of the titles on this list >.< Hopefully some of the rest of you have done better.