Monday, January 26, 2009

NBCC Finalists, Newbery and Caldecott Awards, and More

It's a busy Monday in the book world, and we're here to cover it all.

The National Book Critics Circle announced its finalists on Saturday. You can read the full list here, but the fiction and non fiction finalists are as follows:

The real surprises here, obviously, are the university press titles, by Taylor in fiction and Herring in non-fiction. Trenchmouth is about "the oldest living man in West Viriginia," the titular Taggart, so named for a lifelong oral affliction. Sounds interesting. If I had to predict the winners, I would go with The Lazarus Project in fiction (just a hunch), and The Republic of Suffering in non-fiction. I don't have a reason for picking either, other than a vague hunch, so don't go running to the Flamingo with this (Does the Flamingo still exist?).

In other awards news, the Newbery and Caldecott winners were announced this morning. The Newberry went to Neil Gaiman for his book The Graveyard Book. The Newbery is awarded for "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." You can keep up with Gaiman by following his Twitter feed (@neilhimself), where his reaction has been, well, kind of awesome.

The Caldecott went to a book of poetry, The House in the Night, illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson.

Local writers were well represented in the ALA's two awards, as Kadir Nelson won the Koretta Scott King Award for We Are the Ship, and Marla Frazee was a Caldecott Honor for A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever. Congratulations to them for their acheivements. Both are books that deserve to be recognized.

It wasn't all wine and roses in the publishing world today, though, as Publishers Weekly parent company Reed Business laid off PW editor-in-chief Sara Nelson. Read David Ulin's reaction here.

And since it comes from a memoir, we must pass along Joe Torre's confirmation of what we all knew already: Alex Rodriguez is really weird and is obsessed with Derek Jeter. Good times.

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