It’s that time of year again – the time of year when various orginizations and institutions take the cue from the NCAA basketball tournament to create their own contest in which various products are placed into brackets so that, via head to head competition, the best of the best can be determined. Usually this sort of thing is reserved for beer commercials, and it’s hard for anyone to pay that much attention to it, but, as they proved last year, The Morning News has taken the March Madness ripoff to a new level with its Tournament of Books. It was good fun for basketball fans and book fans alike last year and it promises to be good fun this time around to. To play along, meet the judges and download your bracket (pdf). Anyone want to start a pool?
The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award has unveiled its massive 2010 longlist. Recall that libraries around the world can nominate books for the prize, and these nominations, taken together, comprise the longlist. This year there are 156 novels on the list, nominated by 163 libraries in 43 countries. All of the books must have been published in English in 2008 (including translations). Because of the award’s global reach and egalitarian process, it’s always interesting to dig deeper into the longlist. Taken as a whole, the literary proclivities of various countries become evident, and a few titles recur again and again, revealing which books have made a global impact on readers. Overall favorites: books that were nominated by at least six libraries. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (9 libraries representing Belgium, Canada, England, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, and the United States) A Mercy by Toni Morrison (8 libraries representing Barbados, Lebanon, Portugal, Switzerland, and the United States) The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway (8 libraries representing Belgium, Canada, England, and Finland) The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (8 libraries representing Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, and the United States) The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (8 libraries representing the Czech Republic, England, Ireland, South Africa, and the United States) Netherland by Joseph O'Neill (7 libraries representing Austria, Ireland, South Africa, and the United States) Breath by Tim Winton (6 libraries representing Australia, Germany, New Zealand, and the United States) Indignation by Philip Roth (6 libraries representing Belgium, Germany, Spain, and the United States) The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon (6 libraries representing Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and the United States) The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher (6 libraries representing Australia, England, Greece, New Zealand, and the United States) The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (6 libraries representing the United States) You can also look at the list and see which books are favorites in different countries. Several books were nominated by multiple libraries in the same country. Here’s a few: In the Netherlands, The Jewish Messiah by Arnon Grunberg and The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker In Canada, Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden and The Great Karoo by Fred Stenson In New Zealand, Novel About My Wife by Emily Perkins There were also several countries with only one library nominating just one or two books. Here are a few of those: From Jamaica, The Same Earth by Kei Miller From Romania, The Outcast by Sadie Jones From Columbia, The Armies by Evelio Rosero From Denmark, Machine by Peter Adolphsen From Iceland, Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason
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The 2014 National Book Award winners were announced tonight in New York City. The big prize for Fiction went to Redeployment by Phil Klay, whose stories of Iraq and Afghanistan have help lead a wave of fiction reckoning with a over a decade of war in the Middle East and America's involvement in it. The Nonfiction award went to Evan Osnos for his exploration of today's China, Age of Ambition. We took a look at the nonfiction longlist last month and wondered why nonfiction - the sort that seems to win prizes - tends to be so male dominated. The Poetry award was won by Louise Glück for Faithful and Virtuous Night. In 2013, we wrote about Glück's "words and wisdom." The winner in the Young People's Literature category was Jacqueline Woodson for Brown Girl Dreaming. Bonus Links: Earlier in the year we dove into both the Shortlist and the Longlist to share excerpts and reviews where available.