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The 2022 National Book Award winning titles and what they are about  …

Can you read 500 books over the summer? If you were one of the twenty-five distinguished panelists for the National Book Awards, your answer would certainly be “yes.” Each summer, a new group of distinguished panelists reads anywhere from 150 titles up to 500 for the National Book Awards in one of five categories; Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature. After reading, the panelists make a long list comprised of the best ten books for each category. On the day of the National Book Award ceremony, the best title of each category is chosen and then revealed. 


The 2022 winning titles are available for request on your CloudLibrary reading app. If you do not have CloudLibrary, you may download it from your Apple store, Google Play store, Kindle store, or web browser. You may then create an account using your e-mail address, library card number, and library PIN. So, what are the best books in America this year? 


Fiction: The Rabbit Hutch: A Novel by Tess Gunty 

Four teenagers that aged out of their state foster care system share an apartment to get by. A story of loneliness and longing, they are searching for meaning and change in their life. Gunty used one sweltering week in July, and one bizarre act of violence to paint a bitingly funny picture of contemporary America and provide freedom for her teenage characters.  


Nonfiction: South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon Line to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry 

This is a story of a black woman returning home with a native Alabaman and her surprising journey through the history, rituals, and landscapes of the American South—and a revelatory argument for why you must understand the South to understand America. 


Poetry: Punks: New & Selected Poems by John Keene 

According to Keene’s Publisher, Song Cave, this is a landmark collection of poetry by acclaimed fiction writer, translator, and MacArthur Fellow John Keene, PUNKS: NEW & SELECTED POEMS is a generous treasury in seven sections that spans decades and includes previously unpublished and brand-new work. With depth and breadth, PUNKS weaves together historic narratives of loss, lust, and love. The many voices that emerge in these poems–from historic Black personalities, both familial and famous, to the poet’s friends and lovers in gay bars and bedrooms–form a cast of characters capable of addressing desire, oppression, AIDS, and grief through sorrowful songs that “we sing as hard as we live.” At home in countless poetic forms, PUNKS reconfirms John Keene as one of the most important voices in contemporary poetry. 


Translated Literature: Seven Empty Houses by Samanta Schweblin 

According to Schweblin’s publisher, Riverhead Books, the seven houses in these seven stories are strange. A person is missing, or a truth, or memory; some rooms are enticing, some unmoored, others empty. But in Schweblin’s tense, visionary tales, something always creeps back inside: a ghost, a fight, trespassers, a list of things to do before you die, a child’s first encounter with darkness or the fallibility of parents. 
In each story, twists and turns will unnerve and surprise: Schweblin never takes the expected path and instead digs under the skin, revealing surreal truths about our sense of home, of belonging, and of the fragility of our connections with others. This is a masterwork by one of our most brilliant modern writers. 


Young People’s Literature: All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir 

One of today’s bestselling young adult authors, Tahir, brings us a heart-wrenching contemporary novel about family and forgiveness, love, and loss, in a sweeping story that crosses generations and continents. 

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