Monday, January 24, 2011

NBCC Nominations and Random Thoughts

So the world is in fact passing me by. I leave and they annouce a bunch of awards. Here are the National Book Critics Circle Nominations.

Comedy in a Minor Key, by Hans Keilson
Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen
Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray
To the End of the Land, by David Grossman
A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

Jason is particularly hyped about Skippy Dies, which he has been pushing all fall. They won't be able to write those "what happened to Freedom" pieces for this one. My thought is that if the news departments, instead of the critics, were in charge of this award, it would go to Franzen right now. With Franzen included, the book that seemed missing to me based on media review saturation was David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet, by Jennifer Homans
Empire of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, by S.C. Gwynne
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North America, by Barbara Demick
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson

Wow, this is the closest list to The New York Times best books of the year I can remember, with four of the five nonfiction books matching (Empire of the Summer Moon is the odd book out). Fiction only has Jennifer Egan in common. It probably happens every year.

And yes, we have our event coming with Jennifer Homans and the Milwaukee Ballet on Thursday, February 3rd, at 7 PM. I tried to take a picture of our front window but it did not reproduce well. If anyone has any advice on how I can take the store display photo without glare, please let me know, as this has continued to vex me.

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