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Reinforcing my status as an illiterati

The finalists for the National Book Awards were announced today. If literati means being part of literary intelligentsia, the finalist list evidently makes me an illerati.

I have not read any of the finalists in fiction or poetry. Of the five non-fiction finalists, 102 Minutes still sits on the “to be read” shelf by the bed. Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking rests on the headboard on my wife’s side of the bed. We picked it up at the local chain bookstore Monday night because everything I’ve seen and heard about it has been highly enthusiastic.

The nomination ofThe Year of Magical Thinking certainly is a marketing bonanza for Didion. The book was just released last week. Interestingly, the award’s entry rules and guidelines, indicate that books scheduled to be published through November 30, 2005, are eligible for this year’s award. The publisher just needed to have the book or “[p]roofs, bound galleys [or] bound manuscripts” in the hands of the judges by August 15.


I can’t feel you anymore
I can’t even touch the books you’ve read

“Idiot Wind,” Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks

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