Thursday, April 16, 2009

2009 National Bestseller Short List

It shouldn’t take too much effort to blog up the National Bestseller short list for 2009: I can cut and paste a few nominees from entries on previous long lists, short lists, and winners. Here you go:

German Sadulaev's Таблетка (The Tablet) seems to be a constant prize candidate, the Miss/Mr. Congeniality that never wins. (summary on 2008 Booker short list post) It’s the frontrunner for the Natsbest, though, with 10 points.

Andrei Gelasimov was nominated for Степные боги (Steppe Gods), a mystical-sounding book that’s set to the east of Lake Baikal just before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Characters include a local child and a Japanese doctor who’s a prisoner of war. (6 points)

Sergei Nosov's Тайная жизнь петербургских памятников (The Secret Life of Petersburg Monuments) contains essays about, yes, little-known monuments in St. Petersburg. (6 points)

Sergei Samsonov’s Аномалия Камлаева (The Kamlaev Anomaly) is evidently about an underground musician. (6 points)

Aleksandr Snegirev was nominated for Нефтяная Венера (Oil [the petroleum kind] Venus), about a young, successful architect’s relationship with his son, who has Down’s syndrome. (6 points)

Il’ia Boiashov, a past Natsbest winner, reached the short list this year for Танкист, или "Белый тигр" (The Tank Driver or "White Tiger")a historical novel about World War 2 tank drivers that was nominated for last year’s Big Book and Booker. (5 points)

P.S. Several of these books -- Snegirev’s, Boiashov’s, and Gelasimov’s -- are available for PDF download on The site says all its downloads are legal, offered under an agreement with whomever holds the rights to the books. 


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