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2013 National Book Award Finalists: Read Free Excerpts


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The 2013 National Book Award finalists were announced just a few days ago.  It's one of the most prestigious awards given out annually in the U.S. in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young adult categories.  The awards will be announced on November 20th.

This site rounded up links to free online excerpts of most of the finalists, which you can check out here:


Here are the finalists below. Have you read any of these books?  Or perhaps some other works of these authors?  If so, let us know what you thought of them. :)

Fiction Finalists

Rachel Kushner, "The Flamethrowers"

Jhumpa Lahiri, "The Lowland"

James McBride, 'The Good Lord Bird'

Thomas Pynchon, "Bleeding Edge"

George Saunders, "Tenth of December"

Nonfiction Finalists

Jill Lepore, "Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin"

Wendy Lower, "Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields" 

George Packer, "The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America" 

Alan Taylor, "The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832" 

Lawrence Wright, "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief" 

Poetry Finalists

Frank Bidart, "Metaphysical Dog" 

Lucie Brock-Broido, "Stay, Illusion"

Adrian Matejka, "The Big Smoke" 

Matt Rasmussen,"Black Aperture 

Mary Szybist, "Incarnadine: Poems"

Young Adult Literature Finalists

Kathi Appelt, "The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp"

Cynthia Kadohata, "The Thing About Luck"

Tom McNeal, "Far Far Away"

Meg Rosoff, "Picture Me Gone"

Gene Luen Yang, "Boxers & Saints"

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I'm sorry to say I'm only familiar with two of the authors; Thomas Pynchon and Gene Luen Yang.

Both are very good, and quite different from each other. I recommend them unreservedly, though. I haven't read the particular works on the list, unfortunately, so I'll recommend ones I have read :)

Pynchon's Against the Day took me forever to read, since he's not all that concerned with plot, but man can he write! The language is gorgeous, and it's quite funny as well. Luen Yang's American Born Chinese is a classic, and very insightful too.

I'm behind on my reading at the moment, but I'll have to pick up their books on this list, ans maybe explore some of the other authors.

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