National Book Critics Circle finalists

The annual list of National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) award finalists is almost always inspiring. Typically, I recognize books on the list I’ve read and loved the previous year as well as bought and left calling to me from the reading table. The best part is the ones I’m not familiar with that excite me.  The 2010 list is terrific. Ah! So many good books, so little time.

Here they are — five candidates in six categories — announced this Saturday night. Flannery already sits on my reading table. I’ll be heading to the library and/or bookstore for Blame and Enemies of the People.  They, too, will likely sit on my reading table for a while, but so be it.  They sound too good to miss.

The winners will be announced in March.

-Blame by Michelle Huneven
-American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell
-The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
-Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
-Lark & Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips



-The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes
-The Hindus: An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger
-Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin
-Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness by Tracy Kidder
-Imperial by William T. Vollmann

-Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir by Diana Athill
-Live Through This: A Mother’s Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love by Debra Gwartney
-Lit by Mary Karr
-Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America by Kati Marton
-City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960s and ’70s by Edmund White

-Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor by Brad Gooch
-Cheever: A Life by Blake Bailey
-Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector by Benjamin Moser
-Bitter Spring: A Life of Ignazio Silone by Stanislao G. Pugliese
-Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line by Martha A. Sandweiss


-A Village Life by Louise Gluck
-Versed by Rae Armantrout
-Chronic by D.A. Powell
-Captive Voices: New and Selected Poems, 1960-2008 by Eleanor Ross Taylor
-Museum of Accidents by Rachel Zucker


-Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression by Morris Dickstein
-Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays by Eula Biss
-Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry by Stephen Burt
-Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America by David Hajdu
-Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music by Greg Milner