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National Book Award Finalists 2012

The National Book Foundation has announced the 20 finalists for the National Book Award. The winners for each category will be named November 14.

FICTION

 

This Is How You Lose HerThis Is How You Lose Her 
by Díaz, Junot

 A Pulitzer Prize winner turns his prodigious talent to the haunting, impossible power of love. Hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, these stories lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. …More


A Hologram for the KingA Hologram for the King 
by Eggers, Dave

In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter's college tuition, and finally do something great. In "A Hologram for the King," Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy's gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment -- and a moving story of how we got here. …More


Billy Lynn's Long Halftime WalkBilly Lynn's Long Halftime Walk 
by Fountain, Ben

 A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America's most sought-after heroes in this riotously funny and exquisitely heartbreaking portrait of our time. …More


The Yellow BirdsThe Yellow Birds 
by Powers, Kevin
 

In Al Tafar, Iraq, 21-year old Private Bartle and 18-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side. …More


The Round HouseThe Round House 
by Erdrich, Louise

One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared. …More


NONFICTION

 

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 
by Applebaum, Anne

At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union to its surprise and delight found itself in control of a huge swath of territory in Eastern Europe. Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to Communism, a completely new political and moral system. In Iron Curtain, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created and what daily life was like once they were complete. She draws on newly opened East European archives, interviews, and personal accounts translated for the first time to portray in devastating detail the dilemmas faced by millions of individuals trying to adjust to a way of life that challenged their every belief and took away everything they had accumulated. …More


Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai UndercityBehind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity 
by Boo, Katherine

From Pulitzer Prize-winner Boo comes a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the 21st century's great, unequal cities. …More


The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon JohnsonThe Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson 
by Caro, Robert A.

The fourth volume in Caro's monumental biography of Lyndon Johnson follows Johnson through his volatile relationship with John and Robert Kennedy in the fight for the 1960 Democratic nomination for president and through Johnson's unhappy vice presidency. …More


The Boy Kings of Texas: A MemoirThe Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir 
by Martinez, Domingo

A lyrical and authentic book that recounts the story of a border-town family in Brownsville, Texas in the 1980s, as each member of the family desperately tries to assimilate and escape life on the border to become "real" Americans, even at the expense of their shared family history. …More


House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle EastHouse of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East 
by Shadid, Anthony

In a compelling saga of redemption and renewal, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner tells the story of rebuilding his family's ancestral home in Lebanon amid political strife, and his eventual understanding of the emotions behind the turbulence in the Middle East. …More


POETRY

 

Bewilderment: New Poems and TranslationsBewilderment: New Poems and Translations 
by Ferry, David
 

 

 


Heavenly BodiesHeavenly Bodies 
by Huntington, Cynthia

 

 


Fast AnimalFast Animal 
by Seibles, Tim
 

 

 


Night of the RepublicNight of the Republic 
by Shapiro, Alan

 

 


MemeMeme 
by Wheeler, Susan

 

 


YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE

 

Goblin SecretsGoblin Secrets 
by Alexander, William

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Hoping to find his lost brother, Rownie escapes the home of the witch Graba and joins a troupe of goblins who perform in Zombay, a city where humans are forbidden to wear masks and act in plays.


Out of ReachOut of Reach 
by Arcos, Carrie

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Accompanied by her brother's friend, Tyler, 16-year-old Rachel ventures through San Diego and nearby areas seeking her brother, 18-year-old Micah, a methamphetamine addict who ran away from home.


Never Fall DownNever Fall Down 
by McCormick, Patricia

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From National Book Award finalist McCormick ("Sold") comes a raw, powerful novel based on the true story of Arn Chorn Pond, a boy who survived the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia to become a human rights activist.


EndangeredEndangered 
by Schrefer, Eliot
2012-10 - Scholastic Press
9780545165761 
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Schrefer ("The Deadly Sister") presents the compelling tale of a girl who must save a group of bonobos and herself from a violent coup in The Congo.


Bomb: The Race to Build--And Steal--The World's Most Dangerous WeaponBomb: The Race to Build--And Steal--The World's Most Dangerous Weapon 
by Sheinkin, Steve

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In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.

 

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