Posted by: Jeanie F | October 13, 2010

2010 National Book Award Finalists

The National Book Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2010 National Book Award:


Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America (Alfred A. Knopf)


Read the New York Times Review


Jaimy Gordon, Lord of Misrule (McPherson & Co.)

Product Details

Read the Kirkus Review


Nicole Krauss, Great House (W.W. Norton & Co.)






Read the Los Angeles Times Review


Lionel Shriver, So Much for That
(Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)





Read the New York Times Review


Karen Tei Yamashita, I Hotel (Coffee House Press)

Read the International Examiner Review

The big news, of course, is the omission of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom from this list. Also missing are Matterhorn (Karl Marlantes) and The Imperfectionists (Tom Rachman),  two other well-reviewed best-selling titles. As far as I’m concerned, it’s more interesting that two of these nominated books are virtually unknown and unreviewed. Is the absence of Freedom from this list a matter of sour grapes on the part of the reviewers (Andrei Codrescu, Samuel R. Delany, Sabina Murray, Joanna Scott, and Carolyn See) or do the more obscure titles selected have greater literary value? I haven’t read any of the nominees, so I’m not really in a position to say.

Have you read any? What are your thoughts? Speaking for myself, I’m interested in getting my hands on them to find out!


  1. Funny, I believe “The Imperfectionists” was nominated for the Canadian Giller Award. The author Tom Rachman apparently was originally from Canada but now lives in New York. I read another book by Lionel Shriver which was interesting. I thought Lionel Shriver was born in US but now lives in England. It’s really, really difficult to figure out an author’s nationality now. Kind of surprising also “Nemesis” by Philip Roth wasn’t nominated.

  2. I’ve read the Carey, because it was also shortlisted for the Booker this year. I’ve read the poetry books that were nominated (those that were available) and have started on the YA ones because I could zip through them this weekend. I plan to read all of them, but probably not before they choose the winner!

  3. Of the 5 nominees Nicole Krauss is the only one I’ve read. I bought Great House a couple of months ago but didn’t get a chance to read it yet. Her “History of Love” was one of the most beautiful novels I ever read but you can skip “Man Walks into a Room.”

  4. I loved History of Love, too!! Have heard mixed reviews on Great House – will probably read it, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

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