Lightning Round

My favorite video from our Best of the National Book Awards-anniversary blog: literary criticism at Twitter Speed!


In this video, Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the National Book Award renders summary judgment on 15 past winners of the National Book Award for Fiction. Some are well known, some now rather obscure -- captured with the clock ticking.

More videos:
The Collected Stories of William Faulkner
Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man
The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor
Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
The Stories of John Cheever
Fifteen Books in 15 Seconds

Don't forget to vote for your choice among the six finalists for "Best of the National Book Award for Fiction" at

July 22: On this day in 1941, on his twelfth wedding anniversary, Eugene O'Neill presented the just-finished manuscript of Long Day's Journey into Night to his wife, Carlotta.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.


What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.