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Monday, November 25, 2019

The 2019 National Book Awards winners

The winners of the 2019 National Book Awards were announced on Wednesday, November 20, at the 70th awards ceremony and dinner hosted by the National Book Foundation in New York City.

The National Book Awards are always fascinating, for you never know which famous people—who are often also authors—you will rub elbows with at the bar. LeVar Burton, perhaps best known as the host and executive producer of PBS’s Reading Rainbow and for his role in Star Trek: The Next Generation, hosted the awards. Director and author John Waters presented to Edmund White the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Author and bookseller Ann Patchett presented the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community to Oren J. Teicher, the outgoing CEO of the American Booksellers Association.

Congratulations to the authors whose books won an award this year, and to the very talented finalists.


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Trust Exercise: A Novel by Susan Choi

Susan Choi’s novel Trust Exercise is about two students at a performing arts high school who fall in love, but leaves the reader questioning what happened to their relationship as well as the relationship between fact and fiction.


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The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

Focused on her family’s property in New Orleans, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House tells the story of how a family, a home, and a city has weathered tragedy, catastrophe, and inequality.

Young People’s Literature

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1919 The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler

Martin W. Sandler looks back in history with 1919 The Year that Changed America, which uses archival images to explore a year that brought about Prohibition, suffrage, and a flood of molasses.


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Sight Lines by Arthur Sze

With an eye towards the impending climate crisis, Sight Lines, Arthur Sze’s tenth collection, uses a broad spectrum of voices and forms to reflect on the imperiled natural world.

Translated Literature

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Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai, Translated by Ottilie Mulzet

This is the final volume of Krasznahorkai’s four-part series, in which the aging Baron Bela Wenckheim returns home to his village far outside Budapest where he meets a colorful cast of characters – each more scheming as the next, as they try to take advantage of the Baron.

Looking for more book recommendations? See the 100 books the Amazon Books editors named the Best Books of 2019. Happy reading!

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