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

April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.

Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet

Amara Lakhous delivers a mystery novel with its finger on the hot-button issues of today's Europe.  Immigration and multicultural conflicts erupt in the Italian city of Turin, as journalist Enzo Laganà looks to restore peace to his native burg.

Papers in the Wind

In this insightful novel by Eduardo Sacheri, a young girl left destitute by the death of her soccer-playing father is uplifted by the bold schemes of her uncle, his pals, and one newbie player to the professional leagues.