The National Book Foundation took a new approach to its award nominee announcements this year, releasing longlists for each of four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young Adult Literature. The lists each consist of 10 nominees, which will be halved in the next few weeks. The winners will be announced at the National Book Awards ceremony in New York on Nov. 20.
But you don't have to wait that long to learn the winners of public opinion. We presented each longlist as a poll in which our readers could vote for their favorites. The results are in! The full longlists and those results follow. And a big thank you to everyone who participated!
FictionNew York's big publishing houses have swept the fiction category this year, with each nominee representing a different imprint. Three of our Best of the Month picks made this perfectly gender-balanced list: Anthony Marra's debut novel, George Saunders' short story collection, and Jhumpa Lahari's sophomore novel.
From the get-go, our readers kept Lahiri and Saunders neck-and-neck, but ultimately it was Lowland that ended up on top with 28 percent of the vote.
Here's the complete list of nominees:
- Pacific by Tom Drury
- The End of the Point by Elizabeth Graver
- The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
- The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
- A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
- The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
- Someone by Alice McDermott
- Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon
- Tenth of December by George Saunders
- Fools by Joan Silber
Two themes can be immediately gleaned from the Nonfiction contenders. First, all are first-time NBA nominees, except for Lawrence Wright (who was previously nominated in 2006 for The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11). Second, it's almost all about America, Gretel Ehrlich and Wendy Lower offering international exceptions.
Wright was our readers' favorite, taking 31 percent of the votes.Here's the complete list of nominees:
- Finding Florida: The True Story of the Sunshine State by T.D. Allman
- Facing the Wave: A Journey in the Wake of the Tsunami by Gretel Ehrlich
- The Wolf and the Watchman: A Father, a Son, and the CIA by Scott C. Johnson
- Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore
- Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields by Wendy Lower
- Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 by James Oakes
- The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer
- The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 by Alan Taylor
- Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington by Terry Teachout
- Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright
PoetryAgain including many first-time nominees, the veterans here are, within poetry circles, familiar names. Frank Bidart -- a Pulitzer Prize finalist -- has received three NBA nods, and Andrei Codrescu should be known to NPR listeners.
It was Adrian Matejka's The Big Smoke, a collection of poems about heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson, that our readers are rooting for, garnering 26 percent of the votes.Here's the complete list of nominees:
- Metaphysical Dog by Frank Bidart
- Bury My Clothes by Roger Bonair-Agard
- Stay, Illusion by Lucie Brock-Broido
- So Recently Rent a World, New and Selected Poems: 1968-2012 by Andrei Codrescu
- Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire by Brenda Hillman
- The Big Smoke by Adrian Matejka
- American Amnesiac by Diane Raptosh
- Black Aperture by Matt Rasmussen
- Transfer of Qualities by Martha Ronk
- Incarnadine by Mary Szybist
The list includes some great books for younger readers, representing a range of ages, genres, and themes. Four of our own Best of the Month picks (indicated by * below) made the cut. But for our readers, it seems, the clear winner is Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, which earned an impressive 44 percent of the votes.
Here's the complete list of nominees:
- *The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt*
- *Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by K.G. Campbell*
- *A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff*
- The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
- The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata
- Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
- *Far Far Away by Tom McNeal*
- Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
- The Real Boy by Anne Ursu, illustrated by Erin McGuire
- Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang