The National Book Awards & Best of the Year Lists | Book Pulse

The National Book Awards






The winners of the National Book Awards are:

Fiction: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner: Simon & Schuster)

Nonfiction: The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen (Riverhead: Penguin)

Poetry: Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart (FSG: Macmillan)

Young People’s Literature: Far from the Tree by Robin Benway (HarperTeen: HarperCollins)

Annie Proulx received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters

The LA Times, the NYT, and USA Today offer coverage. Vanity Fair interviews Lisa Lucas, the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation.

A film of the evening is on the National Book Foundation’s site.

Best Books of the Year Lists

The Washington Post announces its Best of the Year lists:

LJ will announce its list of the ten Best Books of the Year and the Top Five Genre Lists on Nov. 20. Best of Lists in other subjects will be revealed over the following week.

Amazon has its yearly list out too and more will come from the consumer media. We will keep track here.

Briefly Noted

Michael Dirda reviews Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr by John Crowley, illustrated by Melody Newcomb (Saga Press: Simon & Schuster) for The Washington Post, writing that “John Crowley is one of the finest writers of our time…. Ka is just the kind of deeply moving, deeply personal “late work” that a great artist sometimes produces at the end of his or her career.”

The paper also reviews the literary news of the year, which they say was dominated by the 2016 election and accusations of sexual harassment.

BuzzFeed features Louise Erdrich.

USA Today reviews Tina Brown’s The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992 (Henry Holt: Macmillan), writing “At times Brown’s Diaries reads like a creaky time capsule (Dynasty’s Joan Collins and her sister Jackie having a real catfight), but it’s also fascinating how little has changed. Men have the power. Brown struggles mightily with work-life balance (work always seems to win). Will she ever be paid what she deserves?”

The Wall Street Journal reviews In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer’s by Joseph Jebelli (Little, Brown: Hachette), calling it “an elegant, thorough, compelling and touchingly personal biography of the disease.”

NPR reviews Artemis by Andy Weir (Crown: Random House). While calling out its shortcomings, reviewer Tasha Robinson also says “the book has the same strengths that made The Martian so compelling — Weir’s palpable fascination with the rigors of life in space, and his devotion to scientific accuracy, which lets real-world facts drive the plot. He has a talent for setting up nerve-racking threats requiring jury-rigged solutions.”

Get ready for Justice League with a crash course on the comics. As for the film’s reviews, The Hollywood Reporter says “to say they’re mixed would be an understatement.”

Mark Millar will publish a new Kick-Ass comic, marking the original’s 10 year anniversary.

The Hollywood Reporter provides a cheat sheet to Netflix’s The Punisher. The show is based on the comic book antihero character.

Entertainment Weekly has an early excerpt from The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy (Harper: HarperCollins). It does not publish until May but has already been slated for a film adaptation, starring Kerry Washington.

Authors on Air: A.J. Jacobs, It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree (Simon & Schuster), will be on NPR’s On Point.

Tyler Perry, Higher Is Waiting: Passages of Inspiration (Spiegel & Grau: Random House) will be on The View.

Chris Hayes will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers. His most recent book is A Colony in a Nation (W.W. Norton).

American Rust by Philipp Meyer (Spiegel & Grau: Random House) is headed to TV.

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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ's reader's advisory columnist. She writes The Reader's Shelf, RA Crossroads, Book Pulse, and Wyatt's World columns. She is currently revising The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2018). Contact her at

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