Every year C.S. sets himself the goal of reading the National Book Awards finalists between the day they are named and the day the winner is announced.
He even handicaps the field. So far his record of picking the winner has been exceptional: 5 for 6 in the past 6 years.
Since the finalists list came out on October 13 and the winner is due to be named on November 17, you can imagine what C.S. says these days when I ask him what he's been up to. "Reading."
I'll let him make his own statement about the favorites and long shots this year. What I can tell you is that boy, all that reading is exhausting.