Book News and Notes: Awards Season

The Pulitzer Prize and Andrew Carnegie nominated and winning books are listed below. In addition, if you need more award winning picks, please visit the American Library Associations Notable Book Awards page.

Pulitzer Prize – Fiction

Winner: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

goldfinch

Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

Finalist: The Son by Philip Meyer

thesonComanche Indian captive Eli McCullough must carve a place for himself in a world in which he does not fully belong — a journey of adventure, tragedy, hardship, grit, and luck that reverberates in the lives of his progeny.

Finalist: The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis

womanwholosthersoulWhen the humanitarian lawyer Tom Harrington travels to Haiti to investigate the murder of a beautiful, seductive photojournalist, he is confronted with a dangerous landscape of poverty, corruption, and voodoo.

Pulitzer Prize – Nonfiction

 Winner: Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin

toms riverRecounts the decades-long saga of the New Jersey seaside town plagued by childhood cancers caused by air and water pollution due to the indiscriminate dumping of toxic chemicals.

Finalist: The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide by Gary J. Bass

the blood telegramA full-length account of the involvement of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in Pakistan’s brutal 1970s military dictatorship argues that they encouraged China’s military presence in India, illegally supplied weapons used in massacres and embraced military strategies that have negatively impacted geopolitics for decades. By the author of Freedom’s Battle.

Finalist: The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War by Fred Kaplan

the insurgentsThe inside story of the small group of soldier-scholars who changed the way the Pentagon does business and the American military fights wars, against fierce resistance from within their own ranks.

The Andrew Carnegie Awards haven’t been given out, but the shortlist has been selected. Check out these picks that are in the running this year.

Andrew Carnegie – Fiction

(Goldfinch was selected for this award as well)

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

americanahTo the women in the hair-braiding salon, Ifemelu seems to have everything a Nigerian immigrant in America could desire, but the culture shock, hardships, and racism she’s endured have left her feeling like she has “cement in her soul.” Americanah is a courageous novel of independence, integrity, community, and love.

Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat

claire of the sea lightIn interlocking stories moving back and forth in time, Danticat weaves a beautifully rendered portrait of longing in the small fishing town of Ville Rose in Haiti. The stories flow seamlessly one into another and are distinguished by Danticat’s luminous prose.

Andrew Carnegie – Nonfiction

On Paper: The Everything of it’s Two Thousand Year History by Nicholas A. Basbanes

on paperCombining crisp technical explanations with vivid historical and contemporary profiles, Basbanes unfolds the two-thousand-year story of paper, revealing in the process that paper is nothing less than an embodiment of humanity.

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink

five days at memorialAs the floodwaters rose after Hurricane Katrina, patients, staff, and families who sheltered in New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital faced a crisis far worse than the storm itself. Fink’s breathtaking account of the storm and what happened at Memorial offers a fascinating look at how people behave in times of crisis.

The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin

bully pulpitThis masterful study examines the complex relationship between two presidents, Roosevelt and Taft, who played major roles in the Progressive movement of the early twentieth century. Acclaimed historian Goodwin offers a superb re-creation of a period when many politicians, journalists, and citizens of differing political affiliations viewed government as a force for public good.

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