Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And The Winner Is.....

The winners for the National Book Award will be announced tonight and, once again, I've spent the past five weeks reading the five finalists for fiction and handicapping the field. It was touch and go whether I'd complete the reading, as one of the finalists, "Lord of Misrule," didn't reach the printers until Oct. 29 and didn't land in my mailbox until Monday. Fortunately, at 294 pages it was the shortest of the five finalists and, as J.G. can attest, I've spent every free moment these past couple of days zipping through the novel. Mission accomplished.

I've correctly predicted four of the past five winners, but I'm not feeling so confident this year. There wasn't a standout, in my mind, and only one or two that I thought to be outclassed. That said, here's my ranking with odds:

"Great House" by Nicole Krauss -- 3-1
"Parrot and Olivier" by Peter Carey -- 5-1
"Lord of Misrule" by Jaimy Gordon -- 8-1
"So Much for That" by Lionel Shriver -- 12-1
"I Hotel" by Karen Tei Yamashita -- 20-1


  1. I'm curious about one thing, do you simply go with what you think should win or are you more strategic and go for what you think the Booker judges would chose?

  2. I haven't quite made it. I have a little over 100 pages left of Lord of Misrule, so I'm unlikely to finish tonight, but I've read enough to sense it won't eclipse my favorite, Great House. I think Great House or I Hotel is the most likely winner. (I Hotel was a mixed success for me, but it was so daring and unconventional that I could see it getting the nod for that.)

    And I'm curious about orenata's question, too!

  3. I am so impressed (and a tad jealous) that you got through all of those books!

  4. Good question, Oreneta. I've read all the winners and finalists, so I have a good idea of what wins. I blew it this year (see my latest post).

    Did you finish "Lord of Misrule" yet, Teresa? What did you think? I didn't care for I Hotel, thought it was far too experimental.

    ModernMom, for me, it's one of those small pleasures in life. Reading five novels in five weeks isn't that difficult, at least as long as they're not all tomes.


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