Fall is award season, and while you can explore various award winners in our catalog, the longer lists from which judges select winners are also often full of incredible reads.
If you’re ever just wanting a recommendation for a “good book”, the following will be a great place to look.
The Booker prize is awarded annually to the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK or Ireland.
This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges: Margaret Busby (chair), editor, literary critic and former publisher; Lee Child, author; Sameer Rahim, author and critic; Lemn Sissay, writer and broadcaster; and Emily Wilson, classicist and translator.
Nobel Prize in Literature
Poet Louise Glück is the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, which is awarded by the Swedish Academy.
The Nobel Prize was created by Alfred Nobel, “an inventor, entrepreneur, scientist and businessman who also wrote poetry and drama,” and left his fortune to establish prizes for “those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.”
The Swedish Academy awarded Glück “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.” Learn more about Glück’s span of work here, and listen to clips from NPR interviews with her below.
National Book Award
The National Book Awards have been overseen by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture.
They give awards in multiple different categories. Below you will find the longlist for three of those categories: Fiction, Poetry, and Translated Literature. The latter in particular is a great list for broadening one’s literary perspective and learning about the amazing creative work being done in the non-English speaking world.
Any prize is only as good as those who select a winner. Learn more about this year’s judges for the various categories of the National Book Awards.
Judges for fiction are: Roxane Gay, author and columnist; Cristina Henríquez, author; Laird Hunt, author; Rebecca Makkai, author, professor, and artistic director; and Keaton Patterson, lead buyer for an independent bookstore.
Judges for poetry are: Rigoberto González, author and MFA director; John Hennessy, author and creative writing professor; Layli Long Soldier, author; Diana Khoi Nguyen, poet and multi-media artist; and Elizabeth Willis, author and creative writing professor.
Judges for translated literature are: Heather Cleary, writer and translator; John Darnielle, singer, songwriter, and author; Anne Ishii, writer, editor and translator; Brad Johnson, owner of East Bay Booksellers; and Dinaw Mengestu, author.