National Book Awards Cheat Sheet

Ready for the National Book Awards aka just the Oscar’s of the publishing world. Have you read everything? Do you have well formed opinions that you can eloquently defend about what should and shouldn’t win?

Of course not. We all have busy lives. It’s hard to read everything–reading takes time. Or maybe you have read all the nominated books (in which case, great, but stop showing off) but still need a reminder because you read some of those books so very long ago.

Here is a refresher on what’s nominated–plus links to sample chapters so you can talk about the winners without doing too much legwork. Check out the list below (thanks to the good people over at Galleycat).

Oh yes, and follow us on Twitter (you should follow us anyway). We will be live-tweeting the ceremony.

National Book Award Finalists for 2012


Junot Dí­azThis Is How You Lose Her
Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Dave EggersA Hologram for the King
McSweeney’s Books

Louise ErdrichThe Round House
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

Ben FountainBilly Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

Kevin PowersThe Yellow Birds
Little, Brown and Company


Anne ApplebaumIron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956 Doubleday

Katherine BooBehind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
Random House

Robert A. CaroThe Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4

Domingo MartinezThe Boy Kings of Texas
Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press

Anthony ShadidHouse of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


David FerryBewilderment: New Poems and Translations
University of Chicago Press

Cynthia HuntingtonHeavenly Bodies
Southern Illinois University Press

Tim SeiblesFast Animal
Etruscan Press

Alan ShapiroNight of the Republic
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Susan WheelerMeme
University of Iowa Press


William AlexanderGoblin Secrets
Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Carrie ArcosOut of Reach
Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Patricia McCormickNever Fall Down
Balzer+Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

Eliot SchreferEndangered

Steve SheinkinBomb: The Race to Build—- and Steal– – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon
Flash Point, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press

National Book Awards Cheat Sheet