2017 National Book Awards Longlist: Fiction

So my reaction to this morning’s fiction longlist was basically, “Huh.” Because I haven’t read a single book on this list and I’ve only heard of about half of them. I like to think I keep up with these things, but apparently not! Anyway, that is not a complaint. I’m interested to see how I feel once I’ve read them.

Without further ado, here’s the longlist:

I think this is a really intriguing list. Before this morning, only Manhattan Beach, The Leavers, and Sing, Unburied, Sing had been on my radar–I’d heard of a couple of the others but I wasn’t actively planning to read them.

I’m always excited to see short stories on lists like this, because I think they’re so often under appreciated. The list is geographically and culturally diverse, which is exciting to me. And 80% women! Overall, I’m looking forward to digging into this bunch of books.

2017 National Book Awards Longlist: Non-Fiction

Oh, how I love longlists. Seriously, I am geeky enough to admit that I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of the non-fiction and fiction NBA longlists for at least a week, despite the fact that my TBR list is already a mile long and I already despair of ever finishing it.

So here’s the list:

My reaction:

Geez Louise, publishers need to dial back on the length of subtitles. Half of these titles are practically novels in and of themselves.

Race and politics are very strong themes this year, which is not remotely surprising.

I’ve read two of the books so far: Never Caught and Killers of the Flower Moon. Killers of the Flower Moon is the superior book, but I wasn’t blown away by either of them. They struck me as pretty straight-forward histories, and although they told interesting stories I didn’t feel like they left me with a lot to ponder.

Very excited to get my hands on The Evangelicals, The Future Is History, and The Color of Law. Much less excited about Democracy in Chains–I have read that there are some historiographical issues with some of MacLean’s interpretations, which I’m going to have to dig into more. And as the mother of two teenage boys I am really dreading The Blood of Emmett Till.

Happy reading! And onto the fiction longlist tomorrow.