2012 Man Booker Award Winner Announced

From a recent story in the Washington Post:

“Hilary Mantel won the Man Booker Prize last Tuesday night, becoming the first British writer and the first woman to win Britain’s most prestigious literary award more than once.

Mantel took home the 50,000-pound (about $82,000) prize for Bring Up the Bodies, the second volume of her planned trilogy about Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII. Her first volume, Wolf Hall, won the Booker in 2009 and was a bestseller in the United States.”

Both of Mantel’s books, like all previous Booker prize winners (and most finalists) are part of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System’s collections.

And last week, The New Yorker published this fascinating story about Mantel and her writing career.

Finally, you might want to take a look at the Huffington Post’s 12 Things You Didn’t Know about the Booker.


2012 National Books Award Finalists Announced

This year’s finalists for the American Booksellers Association’s National Book Awards were announced last week.

Readers who are interested in reading one or more of these titles before the winners are announced November 14th will find all of them listed in the library’s catalog.



Fiction Finalists:

  • This Is How You Lose Her  by Junot Díaz,
  • A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
  • The Round House by Louise Erdich
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
  • The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

Nonfiction Finalists:

  • Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956 by Anne Applebaum
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
  • The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4: The Passage of Power by Robert A. Caro
  • The Boy Kings of Texas by Domingo Martinez
  • House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid

Brief reviews of each of these titles, plus information about titles in other NBA categories, are available at Publishers Weekly.

The Problem with Literary Prizes

Reflecting on this year’s failure to award a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, author (and winner of several literary prizes) Benjamin Hale, believes literary prizes are largely counterproductive to the process of elevating superior fiction above, well, less-superior (or possibly less enduring) fiction.

Read Hale’s essay, published at The Millions.

As often happens with this particular often-visited controversy, the comments from readers to Hale’s screed are as provocative as the ideas in Hale’s essay.

Found via Book Riot

Disappointment Over the Pulitzer’s Non-Award for Fiction

Bestselling author – and bookstore owner – Ann Patchett is displeased with the Pulitzer Prize board’s refusal to announce earlier this week a winner of its annual prize for fiction. Read Patchett’ss New York Times op ed.

And National Public Radio’s coverage of the non-award – including a conversation with one of the disappointed fiction judges –  is here.

Found via Early Word

Writers Among This Year’s National Arts, Humanities Medalists

Twenty Americans were recognized last week by President Obama as the latest recipients of the National Medal of Arts or the National Humanities Medal.

Among the recipients were several well-known U.S. writers, including  Jacques Barzun, Wendell Berry, Donald Hall, Harper Lee, Joyce Carol Oates, and Philip Roth.

The complete list of recipients is available via the White House press release; the President’s remarks about each medalists at the awards ceremony are here; Wikipedia provides links here and here to entries about each of this year’s (and previous years’)  medalists and their books.

Books by all these writers are, of course, available in Atlanta’s libraries.

Found via The Reader’s Almanac