Wednesday, November 17, 2010

National Book Awards Tonight!!

Oh man.  So today's the day the National Book Awards are announced, and I didn't get around to writing up little reviews of the finalists.  Not surprising.  Still, I have to make a prediction, just so I can be wrong again. 

But I'm sort of torn.  Personally I thought Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi was the best of the bunch.
If you haven't read it, it's story set in a future gulf coast where the cities are drowned and gangs of indentured servants scavenge old oil rigs.  And then a wrecked clipper shows up with a not-quite-dead rich girl aboard, and adventure ensues.  Plus there are bioengineered half-men—there's no way a story can go wrong if it's got that!   So I enjoyed reading it; it felt similar to Nancy Farmer's The House of the Scorpion in some ways, but I also realize that I'm sort of a sucker for a good dystopia, and I might be giving it extra points just for that. 

My second fave, Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers, will probably win.  Maybe. It's about a kid in jail who gets selected for a special work program that has him cleaning rooms in a nursing home. Of course he meets a patient who has a big impact and blah-di-blah, but this book should win a thousand awards for avoiding the cheesiness that you'd expect from such a plot.  Good characters all around, good nuanced story.  Etc. etc.  Plus Myers has earned this.  It's his third nomination—just give him the award already.

So, basically, one of the other three will win.  Cause I'm always wrong. 
Go here http://nationalbook.org/nba2010.html for all the finalists and interviews with the authors.

And then tune in tonight! 
There's twitter: http://twitter.com/nationalbook
There's facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Book-Foundation-National-Book-Awards/75553539481
Or, you know, check back here.

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