This past week The National Book Foundation announced the ‘long list’ of nominees for The National Book Award to be announced on November 16. The books nominated fall into four categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature.
A quick review of the titles provides a cultural snapshot of the issues we face as individuals and society as a whole. ‘The Saturday Read’ this week offers a list those nominated in the fiction and non-fiction categories.
The fiction nominees includes an Oprah Book Club pick, my favorite of the past year, and an anticipated new novel to be released in October.
In non-fiction, racism is a common topic; echoing the theme of last year’s ‘required reading’, 2016 award winner, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ ‘Between the World and Me’. The nominees in this category remind us why we read non-fiction: to listen, to understand the world in all its complexity, and to make thoughtful decisions about our future.
Andrew J. Bacevich, America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History
(Random House/Penguin Random House)
Patricia Bell-Scott, The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice (Alfred A. Knopf /Penguin Random House)
Adam Cohen, Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck (Penguin Press/Penguin Random House)
Cathy O’Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy (Crown Publishing Group/Penguin Random House)
Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Heather Ann Thompson, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy (Pantheon Books/Penguin Random House)