Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Awards

The National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists for its 2009 awards. I especially like these awards. While some of the finalists come from major publishers, the NBCC scours regional and university presses to highlight the truly great books of each year. Beyond discovering great new books, I like to use the finalists list as a barometer for how well the Austin Public Library is doing in providing a robust collection. We’re doing well this year. All but one nominee is already in the collection or on order. Me, on the other hand? I have only read one of the finalists: Eula Biss’ Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays. It is incredible. Bess examines the world in a manner that I admire and writes with a deftness that leaves me jealous.

Diana Athill’s Somewhere Towards the End
Debra Gwartney’s Live Through This: A Mother’s Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love
Mary Karr’s Lit
Kati Marton’s Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America (on order)
Edmund White’s City Boy

Blake Bailey’s Cheever: a Life
Brad Gooch’s Flannery: a Life of Flannery O’Connor
Benjamin Moser’s Why This World: a Biography of Clarice Lispector
Stanislao G. Pugliese’s Bitter Spring: a Life of Ignazio Silone
Martha A. Sandweiss’ Passing Strange: a Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line

Eula Biss’ Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays
Stephen Burt’s Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry
Morris Dickstein’s Dancing in the Dark: a Cultural History of the Great Depression (on order)
David Hajdu’s Heroes and Villains: Essays on Music, Movies, Comics, and Culture (on order)
Greg Milner’s Perfecting Sound Forever: an Aural History of Recorded Music


Bonnie Jo Campbell’s American Salvage
Marlon James’s The Book of Night Women
Michelle Huneven’s Blame
Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall
Jayne Anne Phillips’ Lark and Termite

Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: an Alternative History
Greg Grandin’s Fordlandia: the Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City
Richard Holmes’ The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science
Tracy Kidder’s Strength in What Remains
William T. Vollman’s Imperial

Rae Armantrout’s Versed
Louise Gluck’s A Village Life (on order)
D.A. Powell’s Chronic
Eleanor Ross Taylor’s Captive Voices: New and Selected Poems, 1960-2008
Rachel Zucker’s Museum of Accidents

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