The Best of the National Book Awards


Vote for the Best of the National Book Awards Fiction!


Back in July, to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the National Book Awards, the National Book Foundation announced a campaign to select the Best of the National Book Awards Fiction. Writers connected to the Foundation were sent ballots with all 77 past winners listed and ask to select three.


The top six vote getters were announced today:

The Collected Stories of William Faulkner

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

The Stories of John Cheever


These make up a short list on which the public is now invited to vote at in order to select the Best of the National Book Awards Fiction. The deadline for voting is October 21 (one vote per email address) and the winner will be announced at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Dine on November 18.


Each unique email address entered in the voting will be entered into a sweepstakes for two free tickets to the ceremony and dinner, and two nights in the Marriott Hotel near Wall Street.


In video interviews to be aired over the next four weeks, Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the NBF, discusses each of the six shortlisted titles with Jim Mustich, Editor-in-Chief of the Barnes & Noble Review. A seventh video, saluting fifteen NBA winners that did not make the shortlist, will appear in this space on October 21.


In addition to our video focus on the shortlisted titles, we will also present on our National Book Awards blog interesting sidelights on all 77 winners, composed by Daybook editor Steve King, and commentary on the cover designs of the books by John Gall, Vice President and Art Director for Vintage and Anchor Books. So stay tuned!


April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

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.