National Book Critic’s Circle Award

220px-Golden_Globe_TrophyAward season is in full swing in Hollywood with glamorous gowns and inarticulate acceptance speeches, but the lists of prize winning books for the year is adding to my reading list.  The latest announcement from the National Book Critic’s Award has The Goldfinch at the top of the list that I gave gold stars (my review), and inspired me to find Tartt’s first acclaimed book – The Secret History – a dark murder mystery which I am reading now.  Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being stays with me, not only for my affinity with news from the Japan tsunami but also for its haunting reminder of how difficult finding one’s “place” can be (my review).

Need a few more books to add to your pile?

The 2013 National Book Critic’s Award Finalists for Fiction:

  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
  • Someone by Alice McDermott
  • The Infatuations by Javier Marias

And Nonfiction:

  •  Going Clear by Lawrence Wright (the church of Scientology)
  • The Unwinding by  George Packer (American institutions)
  •  Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice by Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sherri Fink
  • Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel
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National Book Critics Circle Award Finalists

Algonquin Round Table Members

Celebrated wit and writer, Dorothy Parker, and her Algonquin Round Table live on in the National Book Critics Circle, founded in 1974 at the famous site in New York City where Parker, with contemporaries Alexander Woollcott, Edna Ferber, Roberty Benchley, Harpo Marx and other artists met in the 1920s over lunch to share ideas and critique their contemporaries.   The current group of freelance writers and critics continues the conversation and creates an annual award list of fiction, nonfiction, biography, poetry, criticism, and authobiography.

For me – another source of good books to read.

Last year’s winners included Sarah Blakewell’s How to Live: Or, A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer – one of my favorite biographies (read my review – here).

This year’s fiction finalists are:

  • Open City by Teju Cole (about a Nigerian graduate student in New York City)
  • The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (reviewed here)
  • The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst (reviewed here)
  • Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman (collection of short stories)
  • Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta (about the relationship between siblings)

War seemed to dominate the nonfiction finalists:

  • A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War 
  • To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918
  • Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary War