Yes, it's book awards season, with which I have a love-hate relationship. In some ways, it's like Christmas, with a huge pile of presents that I feel compelled to read all at once. On the other hand, couldn't we spread it out a little more?Yesterday, the Man Booker Prize winner was feted in London, so today the National Book Award committee announces its short list finalists. Sure, why let that prize winner have a moment to enjoy? Let's just cut that off right at the knees.
Okay, I'm done ranting about that. Now let's move on to the finalists for those NBA awards. I find myself in the confounding place of actually approving of this year's list of nominees. Usually I think the nominee lists are too packed full of stuffy tomes that no one actually wants to read - but not this year. I've read a couple of these and I am looking forward to reading the rest, which is not something I've ever said about this award program before. So bully for the NBAs!
The nominees for Fiction are All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine, Lila by Marilynne Robinson, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, and Redeployment by Phil Klay. Redeployment is a collection of short stories, which I normally don't read, and Station Eleven is yet another apocalyptic future novel, so we'll see if I make it through those two. See my rant on the glut of "the future is scary" books in yesterday's post.
For Nonfiction, the nominees are Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast, The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O. Wilson, No Good Men Among the Living by Anand Gopal, and Tennessee Williams by John Lahr. I was disappointed that When Paris Went Dark didn't make it the cut from the long list - it's a great book.
And the nominees for Young People's Literature are Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Noggin by John Corley Whaley, The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin, Revolution by Deborah Wiles, and Threatened by Eliot Schrefer. This category usually has some gems, so I'm looking forward to reading these.
Yes, I skipped the Poetry category. I won't read them, so if you want to find out who is nominated, you can click here.
Tomorrow, I'll list another of my favorite awards programs, the Crime Thriller Awards for both television and books, which will be held in London on Oct. 24. See what I mean? So many books, so little time.