The National Book Award Finalists Are Announced

October 12, 2012

The National Book Award finalists for 2012 were announced recently. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, November 14th. “Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize given to writers by writers and administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization.” For more information on how the Awards work, click here.  You can keep up with the on-goings of the Foundation on their Facebook page here


This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao presents a lyrical collection of stories that explores the heartbreak and radiance of love as it is shaped by passion, betrayal and the echoes of intimacy.

A Hologram for the King
by Dave Eggers
A struggling American businessman travels to a rising Saudi Arabian city with the hopes of securing a contract that will earn him a commission large enough to stave off his economic woes and hold his family together.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich
When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, 14-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
A satire set in Texas during America’s war in Iraq that explores the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad. Follows the surviving members of the heroic Bravo Squad through one exhausting stop in their media-intensive “Victory Tour” at Texas Stadium, football mecca of the Dallas Cowboys, their fans, promoters, and cheerleaders.

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
In the midst of a bloody battle in the Iraq War, two soldiers, bound together since basic training, do everything to protect each other from both outside enemies and the internal struggles that come from constant danger.


Iron Curtain by Anne Applebaum (releases on Oct. 30th)
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created and what daily life was like once they were complete. She draws on newly opened East European archives, interviews, and personal accounts translated for the first time to portray in devastating detail the dilemmas faced by millions of individuals trying to adjust to a way of life that challenged their every belief and took away everything they had accumulated.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
A first book by a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist profiles everyday life in the settlement of Annawadi as experienced by a Muslim teen, an ambitious rural mother of a prospective female college student and a young scrap metal thief, in an account that illuminates how their efforts to build better lives are challenged by regional religious, caste and economic tensions.

The Passage of Power by Robert A. Caro
A latest entry in the award-winning series that includes The Path to Power profiles the 36th President’s volatile relationships with John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, describes JFK’s assassination from Johnson’s viewpoint and recounts his accomplishments as president before the Vietnam War.

Boy Kings of Texas by Domingo Martinez
Presents a memoir of growing up in 1980s Brownsville, Texas, describing intense relationships in a family surrounded by violence and poverty and caught between the conflicting values of two cultures.

House of Stone by Anthony Shadid
A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who was one of the four New York Times to be captured and freed in Libya traces the story of his family’s effort to rebuild an ancestral home in Lebanon amid political strife and how the work enabled a greater understanding of the emotions behind Middle East turbulence. By the author of Night Draws Near.

Young People’s Literature

Goblin Secrets
by William Alexander
Hoping to find his lost brother, Rownie escapes the home of the witch Graba and joins a troupe of goblins who perform in Zombay, a city where humans are forbidden to wear masks and act in plays.

Out of Reach
by Carrie Arcos (releases Oct. 16th)
Accompanied by her brother’s friend, Tyler, sixteen-year-old Rachel ventures through San Diego and nearby areas seeking her brother, eighteen-year-old Micah, a methamphetamine addict who ran away from home.

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick
Separated from his family and assigned to a labor camp when soldiers invade his home in Cambodia, young Arn volunteers to become a musician for the army and uses his wits to survive and steal food for other child prisoners before he is conscripted as a boy soldier.

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
When one girl has to follow her mother to her sancuary for bonobos, she’s not thrilled to be there. It’s her mother’s passion, and she’d rather have nothing to do with it. But when revolution breaks out and their sanctuary is attacked, she must rescue the bonobos and hide in the jungle. Together, they will fight to keep safe, to eat, and to survive.

Bomb: The Race to Build―and Steal―the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
A dramatic introduction to the international competition to create the first atomic bomb recounts the scientific discoveries that enabled atom splitting, the military intelligence operations that occurred in rival countries and the work of brilliant scientists hidden at Los Alamos. By the award-winning author of The Notorious Benedict Arnold.