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The 'New York Times' names its 100 Notable Books of 2011


As a ramp-up to naming the 10 best of the year, the New York Times released its annual long-long list of notable books of 2011, splitting it 45-55 between fiction and nonfiction. The list hits many of the big literary names: Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding (Amazon’s pick for book of the year), Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot, Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, Téa Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife, and Joan Didion’s Blue Nights, although it doesn’t include perhaps the buzziest book of the year, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Big award winners like The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (the Man Booker Prize) and The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt (the National Book Award for nonfiction) both earned a nod, but the National Book Award winner for fiction, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, is noticeably missing.

Read more:
Amazon chooses Top 10 Books of 2011 — ‘The Art of Fielding’ is no. 1
‘Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson: EW review
Jesmyn Ward on winning the National Book Award — plus, she takes the EW Book Quiz!
National Book Awards: Jesmyn Ward wins fiction prize

Amazon chooses Top 10 Books of 2011 -- 'The Art of Fielding' is no. 1


November marks the beginning of year-end best lists, and now Amazon’s book editors have unveiled their picks for the top 10 books of 2011. The list runs the gamut as far as genre: adult literary (The Marriage Plot, The Tiger’s Wife), young adult (Daughter of Smoke and Bone), nonfiction (Steve Jobs), and thrillers (Before I Go to Sleep). I support any list that draws deserved attention to both Lost in Shangri-La and Laini Taylor’s beautiful Twilight alternative — but I’m in the minority who thinks Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding doesn’t deserve the hype or praise it’s received. No doubt it’ll continue to top  lists before the year is up.

Check out Amazon’s full list below: READ FULL STORY

National Book Awards finalists announced -- Tea Obreht reacts to her nomination

The finalists for the National Book Awards were named today in Portland, Oregon. The list includes 20 authors in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. In the fiction category, books about war and ones with an international bent reigned supreme. Not surprisingly, 26-year-old wunderkind Téa Obreht received a nod for her highly praised debut The Tiger’s Wife. EW was the first to reach her for comment soon after the announcement: “I am so thrilled and thankful for this honor. I was driving when I heard the news, and it was very difficult to stay in a straight line. I can’t wait for November and the chance to meet the other finalists.”

A bit more surprisingly, the most hyped literary novel of the year, Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding, was not listed, and neither was Pulitzer winner Jeffrey Eugenides’ first novel in nearly a decade, The Marriage Plot. Instead, rounding out the fiction category are great but somewhat lesser known books by Andrew Krivak, Julie Otsuka, Edith Pearlman, and Jesmyn Ward.

Unlike fiction, the poetry category is populated mostly by established names like Adrienne Rich. Manning Marable, who died just before the release of Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, received a nonfiction nomination. For young adult titles, Lauren Myracle was recognized for the rather controversial Shine.

The winners of the National Book Awards will be announced in Manhattan on Nov. 16 in a ceremony hosted by actor John Lithgow, who is also an author.

See the full list of the nominated authors and their works below: READ FULL STORY

Téa Obreht, author of 'The Tiger's Wife,' on craft, age, and early success

Tea-ObrehtImage Credit: Beowulf Sheehan25-year-old author Téa Obreht couldn’t have asked for better buzz when she was the youngest author (24 years old at the time) featured in The New Yorker‘s “20 under 40″ issue in June 2010. Being a New Yorker-anointed author can be a strong predictor of a great career to come, as evidenced by Jonathan Franzen and Jhumpa Lahiri’s inclusion on the first iteration of the list back in 1999. The magazine took a gamble by giving her a boost before her first novel The Tiger’s Wife was even released, but it has paid off richly: Early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, including one from our own Lisa Schwarzbaum. The Tiger’s Wife is a wise, beautifully imagined novel well beyond Obreht’s years. As a 25-year-old writer myself, I spoke to Obreht about her stunning novel and her journey before, during, and since writing it.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: It was exciting to see “20 under 40″ make a discovery of sorts with you, and I came away from the issue remembering you even more  than some of the established writers on the list. Were you shocked by that level of public recognition?
I was. I think to some degree, it felt like it was happening to somebody else. It was a big accolade to get, and a really early one. It took a while to sink in. It was shocking for me, in a very good way. READ FULL STORY

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