Even though I find it a rather boring list, I feel I should let anyone under a rock who only has access to this sad li'l blog know about the National Book Award finalists for this year:
Mischa Berlinski, Fieldwork (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Lydia Davis, Varieties of Disturbance (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End (Little, Brown & Company)
Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Jim Shepard, Like You’d Understand, Anyway (Alfred A. Knopf)
Fiction judges: Francine Prose (chair), Andrew Sean Greer, Walter Kirn, David Means, and Joy Williams.
Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I’m Dying (Alfred A. Knopf)
Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (Twelve/Hachette Book Group USA)
Woody Holton, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (Hill and Wang/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Arnold Rampersad, Ralph Ellison: A Biography (Alfred A. Knopf)
Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (Doubleday)
Nonfiction judges: David Shields (chair), Deborah Blum, Caroline Elkins, Annette Gordon-Reed, and James Shapiro.
Linda Gregerson, Magnetic North (Houghton Mifflin Company)
Robert Hass, Time and Materials (Ecco/HarperCollins)
David Kirby, The House on Boulevard St. (Louisiana State University Press)
Stanley Plumly, Old Heart (W.W. Norton & Company)
Ellen Bryant Voigt, Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006 (W.W. Norton & Company)
Poetry Judges: Charles Simic (chair), Linda Bierds, David St. John, Vijay Seshadri, and Natasha Trethewey.
Kinda boring, no? And Joshua Ferris? I wrote about this book here, and I cannot believe it's getting this kind of distinction. I have yet to hear justification for its presence on the NBA finalist list.
Maybe I'm just out of touch.