National Book Award long list, aka, how my reading list got even longer

Life is still a bit challenging around these here parts, meaning blog posts have been few and far-between. That’s OK, because my reading life has been a bit slow as well, which is not really OK, but it is what it is.

Anyway, I meant to post the 2014 long lists for the National Book Award a few weeks ago, when they were released, so yeah, they’re late. But I like posting them here if only so that  I can keep track of them, and return to them for reading recommendations. I especially like keeping track of the books on the nonfiction long list, as I still have a hard time picking out quality nonfiction reads to mix up my traditionally fiction-heavy reading schedule.

As always, I’ve read none of these books, and have only read one of the fiction authors on the long list, Marilynne Robinson.


  • An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
  • The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol
  • Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • Redeployment by Phil Klay
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Thunderstruck & Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken
  • Orfeo by Richard Powers
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson
  • Some Luck by Jane Smiley


  • Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasantby Roz Chast
  • The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic by John Demos
  • No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes by Anand Gopal
  • The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942 by Nigel Hamilton
  • The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
  • Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr
  • Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos
  • When Paris Went Dark:The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 by Ronald C. Rosbottom
  • Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic by Matthew Steward
  • The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O. Wilson

Find the complete list, including the long lists for YA and poetry, at



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