Every year, the National Book Award Committee doles out the honor to winners in different categories. Nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s categories each feature a winner, but let’s skip those and head straight to the fiction nominees, for now, because honestly, that’s what readers really care about, anyway.

On Wednesday, the fiction finalists were announced, and both some familiar names and some less familiar names are present on the list. Dave Eggers’ A Hologram For The King and prolific author Louise Erdrich’s newest title The Round House are notably present. Filling out the rest of the fiction nominees are Junot Díaz's This Is How You Lose Her, Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, and Kevin Powers’The Yellow Birds.

The National Book Awards often get knocked down a peg or two by literary purists, but at least the awards always manage to give out a fiction prize, a feat the most recent Pulitzer committee could not be bothered to accomplish. Beyond that, even if the National Book Awards often choose obscure authors—which the NBA's argue doesn’t happen (See today’s Huffington Post article)—it’s nice for some interesting books to feature a cool sticker that helps to single out the title on book displays. Plus, when people are searching through shelves of books at a store or library, having a list of NBA winners handy can help out patrons who are in a hurry.

In the poetry, young people, and nonfiction categories a few bigger names do jump out, including Patricia McCormick for her Young People’s title Never Fall Down. The full list is available, complete with the cover art and the title’s snazzy new stickers over at the NBA’s official site.


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