2011 National Book Critics Circle Finalists – Fiction


The National Book Critics Circle announced finalists in fiction for 2011 at an event in New York City earlier this month. The winners will be announced on March 8 at the New School in NYC.

Open City by Teju Cole

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst

Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman

Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta


2011 National Book Awards

The National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner was held on November 16, 2011 in New York City. In the fiction category, the winner was Jesmyn Ward for her novel, Salvage the Bones. The finalists were:

Winners in other categories, photos, and more details can be found at http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2011.html.

2011 Pulitzer Prizes

Every year the Pulitzer Prizes are awarded to recognize excellence in journalism and the arts. The 2011 Pulitzer Prizes were announced earlier this year, and many of these books are available here at WCU and/or in the WNCLN cooperative catalog. Here are the winners in Letters, Drama, and Music:


To learn more about these awards and to see information about past winners and finalists, check out the Pulitzer Prize website.

New Kindle Books!

Hunter Library’s popular Kindle lending service has gotten an update with some fresh titles. Included are new releases, such as Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest; favorite contemporary classics, such as C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe; popular children’s and young adult literature, like Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero and Maggie Stiefvater’s Linger; classic science fiction, like Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and Empire, cookbooks, including Martha Stewart Living’s Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast; and many other titles in these and other genres.
To add your name to the Kindle waiting list, you can request a hold through the Kindle page in the library catalog, or you can make a request at the library’s Circulation Desk. You can also browse the list of Kindle titles in the library catalog to see what books are available to read. Want to add something to the list? Let us know by sending a suggestion!

Ship Breaker: 2011 Printz Award Winner

This year’s Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults is Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker. This science fiction novel is set in a futuristic, dystopian version of America’s Gulf Coast Region, where the oil has run out and inhabitants scavenge wrecked tankers for copper wire and other parts. Main character Nailer finds a newly-beached ship after a hurricane and has to make a choice between trying to save the lone survivor or stripping the ship for all it is worth. Fans of The Hunger Games may also enjoy this adventure story.

Other ALA youth media award winners were announced this week, including winners and honor books of the prestigious John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals. Moon over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool, is the winner of the Newbery Medal, while A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Philip C. Stead, is this year’s Caldecott Medal winner. The complete list of ALA youth media award winners includes the Newbery and Caldecott honor books, the Coretta Scott King awards, and several other awards. Look for many of these books will be added to the WCU collection soon!

2010 Best Books Lists

The end of the year brings a flood of best-of lists, which can be handy for gift ideas and for those looking for reading material for the holiday break from work or school. Today’s post pulls together some Best of 2010 lists from book review publications and media outlets. To find out if a book is available at Hunter Library or through the collections of UNC-Asheville or Appalachian State, use our online catalog to search for it. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, drop us a line and let us know what you want by using our suggestion form.

James Beard Awards 2010

Today we are closing out November’s food-focused blog posts by featuring two recent James Beard Award winners, Colman Andrews’ The Country Cooking of Ireland and Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller.

Both of these sturdy, beautifully-photographed books can serve not only as cooking companions in the kitchen, but as coffee table centerpieces for conversation and visual enjoyment. The Country Cooking of Ireland won this year’s James Beard Award for Best International Cookbook, as well as the overall award for Cookbook of the Year. If you’re under the impression that there’s not much you’d want to know about Irish cooking, this book may change your opinion. Colman Andrews sets out mouth-watering recipes, each accompanied by notes on historical context, all documented in an extensive bibliography. Recipes include Colcannon, Watercress and Almond Soup, Potato-Oat Cakes, and Roast Pike with Lamb Sauce, Lovage, and Bacon. Eaters looking for hearty recipe ideas, as well as culinary and cultural historians with an interest in Ireland, should take note of this book.

Ad Hoc at Home is this year’s winner in the General Cooking category. Author Thomas Keller, best-known as chef/proprietor of The French Laundry and per se, is also the head chef at Ad Hoc, a family-style restaurant in Yountville, California and the basis for the recipes in this book. According to Keller’s introduction, here you’ll find “a big collection of family meals and everyday staples, delicious approachable food, recipes that are doable at home. No immersion circulator required. No complicated garnishes. I promise!” He follows through with home-style favorites like Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Braised Beef Short Ribs, Green Bean and Potato Salad with Mission Figs and Ibérico Ham, Scallion Potato Cakes, and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Most recipes include photographs, and some have step-by-step photographic depictions of processes like how to cut up a chicken, how to truss a chicken, and how to roll out and cut dough for soup crackers. The beginning of the book offers tips on equipment, ingredients, and some pointers on how to become a better cook. If you’re looking for an instructive volume of non-fussy recipes from a master chef, this might be the book for you.

Curious about what other books won James Beard Awards this year? Check out the complete list of award winners (pdf).

– Anna Craft, nonfiction selector