Books All Georgians Should Read

Authors of the Month: December

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NBA Nominees

The lists of National Book Award nominees are out now, and they contain some very fine books while omitting at least as many deserving ones. And that’s about par for this course; it hard to get two readers to agree much less entire panels of critics. In case you missed them, here are the nominees along with a few comments by me. (The awards will be presented on November 14).

FICTION

Juniot Diaz: “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.”

A good, strong list, but how do you leave off Jonathan Odell’s “The Healing?” Or, Ron Rash’s “The Cove,” another terrific book by probably the least critically appreciated serious writer around?

NONFICTION

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 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”

The focus is clearly on books looking abroad along along with yet another Caro opus. So let’s do the ABC: Anybody But Caro. Please.

POETRY

David Ferry: “Bewilderment”

Cynthia Huntington: “Heavenly Bodies”

Tim Seibles: “Fast Animal”

Alan Shapiro: “Night of the Republic”

Susan Wheeler: Meme.

I haven’t read any of the nominees, so best of luck to all. I spent much of the year re-reading Robert Frost. I say let’s nominate him.

YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE

William Alexander: “Goblin Secrets”

Carrie Arcos: “Out of Reach”

Patricia McCormick: “Never Fall Down”

Ellen Schrefer: Endangered”

Steve Sheinkin: “Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon”

Again, I haven’t read any of the nominees. Wish something by Carmen Deedy has been included, but Judith Ortiz Cofer from UGA was one of the judges, and I accept her choices.

 

 

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