The National Book Critics Circle has announced finalists for this year's John Leonard Prize for a first book in any genre. A panel of member-volunteers will read the finalists and select a winner, to be announced in January. The prize will be presented March 16 at the NBCC Awards ceremony in New York City. The 2016 finalists are:
The Mothers by Britt Bennett (Riverhead)
The Girls by Emma Cline (Random House)
Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn (Liveright)
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf)
The Nix by Nathan Hill (Knopf)
Grief Is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter (Graywolf)
British bookseller Foyles has chosen Paul Beatty's Man Booker Prize-winning The Sellout as its book of the year, "pledging to promote the title heavily online and in-store in the run up to Christmas," the Bookseller reported, adding that copies of the book will be featured on special displays with gold and white "Foyles Book of the Year" stickers, marketed on in-store screens, windows and social media channels.
"Paul Beatty's novel is important, timely and original," said Simon Heafield, head of marketing and brand at Foyles. "From publication day the book has enjoyed a phenomenal reception at Foyles from our booksellers and customers alike, leading us to name it as our Book of the Year for 2016. We fully expect the huge demand we've seen at Foyles for this book to continue right up to Christmas, and beyond."
For its part, Waterstones has chosen The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry as its book of the year, the Bookseller reported. Managing director James Daunt called the book, a work of historical fiction set in Victorian London and Essex in the 1890s, "the overwhelming choice by our booksellers to be their Book of the Year. A novel of rare intelligence and utterly compelling to read, it takes complete possession of the reader. It is a treasure and we recommend this wonderful book to everyone."
Waterstones will sell an exclusive edition of the book that has a blue cover with gold foil and embossed finishes, top and tail binding and bespoke endpapers, making it "a book whose exterior beauty matches the majesty of its writing."