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2009 in review with book awards

It is coming to that time of the year where awards and finalists are rounded up in the literary world. Opinions always vary, but it is worthy to feature what has made it to the top of the many lists. From major awards to various best reads lists, there are plenty of books to consider for your next read.

The 2009 National Book Awards winners were announced November 18, 2009 in New York City. With a small but encompassing mix of genres, there is surely something in this list to choose from for potential holiday gift giving.

The finalists are below, with the winner (linked to at the top of the genre's list:

Fiction Genre:
Winner: LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN by Colum McCann (Random House)
AMERICAN SALVAGE by Bonnie Jo Campbell (Wayne State University Press)
IN OTHER ROOMS, OTHER WONDERS by Daniyal Mueenuddin (W. W. Norton &
LARK AND TERMITE by Jayne Anne Phillips (Alfred A. Knopf)
FAR NORTH by Marcel Theroux (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Nonfiction Genre:
Winner: THE FIRST TYCOON: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T. J. Stiles (Alfred A. Knopf)
FOLLOWING THE WATER: A Hydromancer's Notebook by David M. Carroll (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
REMARKABLE CREATURES: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species by Sean B. Carroll (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
THE RISE AND FALL OF HENRY'S FORGOTTEN JUNGLE by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt)
THE POISON KING: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy by Adrienne Mayor (Princeton University Press)

Young People's Literature Genre:
Winner: CLAUDETTE COLVIN: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)CHARLES AND EMMA: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman (Henry Holt)
STITCHES by David Small (W. W. Norton & Co.)
LIPS TOUCH: Three Times by Laini Taylor (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic)
JUMPED by Rita Williams-Garcia (HarperTeen/HarperCollins)

Poetry Genre:
Winner: TRANSCENDENTAL STUDIES: A Trilogy by Keith Waldrop (University of California Press)
VERSED by Rae Armantrout (Wesleyan University Press)
OR TO BEGIN AGAIN by Ann Lauterbach (Viking Penguin)
SPEAK LOW by Carl Phillips (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
OPEN INTERVAL by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon (University of Pittsburgh Press)

A popular genre featured in the National Book Awards would be the Young Adult Genre. Library Journal columnist Angelina Benedettie has spotlighted some of her favorite reads on the LJ website which include aforementioned CHARLES AND EMMA, but include some others that have gotten some buzz this year such as CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins.

Earlier this month, Texas author John Pipkin was honored with 2009 Maxwell E. Perkins Award and First Novel Prize for his novel WOODSBURNER, which focuses on a fire set by Henry David Thoreau.



  • Lucy 5 years ago

    The First Tycoon is one I'd probably be interested in reading- Thanks.

  • Serena Agusto-Cox 5 years ago

    I haven't had the pleasure of reading any of these that made the list. Thanks for the tips.