Saturday, January 20, 2007

National Book Critics Circle Award

The National Book Critics Circle announced their finalists on Saturday and the West Coast is well-represented. On a personal note, I know three of the finalists, Michael Pollan, Sandy Tolan, and Jason Roberts, and feel a vicarious thrill by their nominations.

But the nominations are a reminder how many good books are out there and how few I get the chance to read.

Here are the nominees. The winners will be announced March 8.


Patrick Cockburn, The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq (Verso)
Anne Fessler, The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade (Penguin Press)
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Penguin Press)
Simon Schama, Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution (Ecco)
Sandy Tolan, The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew and the Heart of the Middle East (Bloomsbury)


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun (Knopf)
Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss (Grove/Atlantic)
Dave Eggers, What is the What (McSweeney’s)
Richard Ford, The Lay of the Land (Knopf)
Cormac McCarthy, The Road (Knopf)


Donald Antrim, The Afterlife (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (Houghton Mifflin)
Alexander Masters, Stuart: A Life Backwards (Delacorte)
Daniel Mendelsohn, The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (HarperCollins)
Teri Jentz, Strange Piece of Paradise (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)


Daisy Fried, My Brother is Getting Arrested Again. (University of Pittsburgh Press)
Troy Jollimore, Tom Thomson in Purgatory. (Margie/Intuit House)
Miltos Sachtouris, Poems (1945-1971) (Archipelego Books)
Frederick Seidel, Ooga-Booga (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
W.D. Snodrass, Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions)


Bruce Bawer: While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the WestFrom Within (Doubleday)
Frederick Crews, Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays (Shoemaker & Hoard)
Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion As A Natural Phenomenon(Viking)
Lia Purpura, On Looking: Essays (Sarabande Books)
Lawrence Wechsler, Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences(McSweeney's)


Debby Applegate: The Most Famous Man in Amerca: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher (Doubleday)
Taylor Branch, At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968 (Simon& Schuster)
Frederick Brown, Flaubert: A Biography (Little, Brown)
Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon (St.Martin's Press)
Jason Roberts, A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler (HarperCollins)

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing:

Winner: Steven G. Kellman

The finalists:
Ron Charles
Donna Rifkind
Gideon Lewis-Kraus
Kathryn Harrison

The Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement:

John Leonard

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