Sunday, November 15, 2009

My cat! (also the NBA's are almost here)

Now that it's getting colder, I haven't been leaving the side window open for the cats to jump in and out of, which means I spend most of my spare time opening and re-opening the back door for them.  And one of them, when she wants to come in, doesn't meow, or scratch at the door, or figure how to turn the knob herself the way I hear clever cats do.  She scales the door with her claws and howls through the window while looking possessed.  Then when I open the door, she holds on and swings inside on it before hopping off.  The first time she did it it was absolutely terrifying.  So tonight, instead of letting her in, I took a really bad picture because I think it's funny.

But. That's not why you come to this blog, I know.  I know you've been dying to know which of the five finalists I think is going to win the National Book Award this very Thursday evening! 

I'm not super passionate about any of the books this year, but I guess I've made my pick.  It's an unusually diverse group this time (2 non-fiction, a graphic novel, a collection of fantasy short stories and a realistic novel).  There haven't been any non-fic finalists since 2004, and the only winner was Parrot in the Oven back in 1996, and that was a memoir.  So, since none of the fiction is blowing me away (except for Stitches, but that better not win because it's amazing, but it's also an adult book and shouldn't even be on the list), my money's on non-fiction, and I think it will be Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.  Phillip Hoose has earned it.

So basically that means one of the others will win.  I'm nearly always wrong about these things.  For instance:
In 2008 I was so into The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks, and also The Spectacular Now (as regular readers well know).
In 2007 I couldn't believe Skin Hunger didn't win.
In 2006 there was no way Octavian Nothing wasn't going to win, so it was hardly worth thinking about
In 2005 I was rooting for Inexcusable, but I wasn't that into it.
In 2004 all the finalists sort of sucked.  I mean, Luna??  It's nice to recognize one of the only transgender-related books out there at the time, but it really is not a particularly good book.
And that takes us to 2003, which is the last time I picked a winner and wholeheartedly agreed with it.  The Canning Season is still one of my fave YA's, and it is perfectly written (it's just too bad about the cover).

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