Thursday, November 21, 2013

National Book Awards 2013

National Book Awards 2013

It’s that time of year again. No, not turkey, or shopping, or nasty weather, I am referring to the 63 National Book Awards, which were announced on November 20th. For those enquiring minds, this award was established in 1950 by the National Book Foundation as a literary prize for American authors. There are four categories, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature, and a total of twenty Judges. The 20 judge panel read and reread a list of 150-500 books, continually narrowing the list of potential winners. To be considered for the National Book Awards, the book must be written by an American citizen, published by and American publisher, and  released between December 1 of the previous year and November 30 of the current year.

Anyway, stop by the library and check this year’s winners or peruse past winners.

The Good Lord Bird  by James McBride
Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he’s a girl.

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer
A riveting examination of a nation in crisis, from one of the finest political journalists of our generation American democracy is beset by a sense of crisis. Seismic shifts during a single generation have created a country of winners and losers, allowing unprecedented freedom while rending the social contract, driving the political system to the verge of breakdown, and setting citizens adrift to find new paths forward.

Incarnadine: Poems by Mary Szybist
Mary Szybist’s richly imagined encounters offer intimate spaces and staging for experiences that are exploratory and sometimes explosive. Through the lens of an iconic moment, the Annunciation of an unsettling angel to a bodily young woman, Szybist describes the confusion and even terror of moments in which our longing for the spiritual may also be a longing for what is most fundamentally alien to us. In a world where we are so often asked to choose sides, to believe or not believe, to embrace or reject, Incarnadine offers lyrical and brilliantly inventive alternatives.

The Thing About Luck  by Cynthia Kadohata,
Summer knows that kouun means “good luck” in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan—right before harvest season. Summer and her little brother, Jaz, are left in the care of their grandparents, who come out of retirement in order to harvest wheat and help pay the bills.

For more information on the National Book Award, including a complete list of nominees in 2013 and previous years' winners, check out

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