Betting on the NBA

The National Book Awards will be announced tomorrow night and the excitement in the press is less than overwhelming, in a marked contrast to the comparative frenzy that greeted the lead-up to the Bookers in the UK (is it legalized betting that makes that race seem more interesting?)

Just a reminder; although it’s accepted wisdom that the NBA has little effect on sales, last year’s winner went on the the NYT Trade Paperback Best Seller list and remained there for most of the year, occasionally slipping to the extended list (where it is now, at #29).

Among the national newspaper critics, only Ron Charles, in the guise of the “Totally Hip Book Reviewer,” makes predictions. He looks at  the fiction nominees, satirizing several of the selections, but coming down on the side of Lionel Shriver’s So Much for That (Harper, March).

For a more serious look at the field, turn to the The Barnes & Noble Review, which offers passages from each book, along with intelligent analyses of each one’s chances (the author, Tom LeClair, was a judge the year that William Vollmann’s Europe Central won). LeClair wants to see Karen Tei Yamashita win for  I, Hotel (Coffee House Press, June), because it “is the most ambitious in its cultural range, the most diverse in character, the most ingenious in form, and the most idiosyncratic in style.” However, the book may be “too off-putting” to get the necessary votes, so he predicts Nicole Krauss will win for Great House (Norton, Oct).

What about the other categories? Looks like they will have to wait until tomorrow to get press attention.

One Response to “Betting on the NBA”

  1. Junita Says:

    Actually, the NBA does have an impact on book sales. At least for an indie publisher, it does!