National Book Award Finalists.

Lost during the news of Mo Yan’s big win of the Nobel for Literature, the finalists for the National Book Award have been announced. The fiction finalists:

  • A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
  • This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Dí­az
  • The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
  • The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

I’m happy to see Dave Eggers’ fantastic A Hologram for the King was included. (I reviewed that book for the Lincoln Journal-Star here; if you read it, you must read the physical copy, not the ebook—it’s such a well-designed novel.)

Sadly, I’ve not read any of the other nominated books—my reading time these days has been mostly spent reading Fukuyama and Tolstoy—although I’ve read about 50 pages of the Katherine Boo’s Beyond the Beautiful Forevers (a nonfiction nominee), all of which (and I mean that, every page) were quite excellent, and I’ve read at least one story collected in This is How You Lose Her when it was published in The New Yorker. The Fountain and the Erdrich have been on my to-read lists for a bit of time, and I’m unfamiliar with Powers’ debut, although it sounds interesting.