The Samuel Johnson Prize: We Have a Winner!

I think you know by now that Literary Masters book groups and literary salons focus mainly on fiction, but each season we ‘dig deep’ into a non-fiction treasure.  My favorite so far, and I think my LM members would agree, is Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the UK’s premier award for non-fiction work, in 2010.

The 2013 winner of this prestigious award has just been announced, so let’s congratulate Lucy Hughes-Hallett, author of The Pike.  Her account of “a celebrated poet and Italian nationalist who was simultaneously repugnant and alluring” is evidently a form-breaking type of biography that escapes the restrictions of the genre.  Sounds intriguing.  The book won over an impressive shortlist of titles:

 

For more information on the Samuel Johnson Prize, including past winners, click here.

What good non-fiction have you read recently?

Long List Out for Non-Fiction Award!

The long list has been announced for the Samuel Johnson Prize, which is the UK’s most prestigious award for non-fiction.  Click here for the website and more info.  As you know, Literary Masters always has one non-fiction selection and this season we’ll be reading In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick, which won the National Book Award in 2000.  Two years ago the Literary Masters non-fiction selection was Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize that same year.  Take a look at this long list and let me know what you think…

The 14 titles on this year’s longlist are:

  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo (Portobello Books)
  • One on One, by Craig Brown (Fourth Estate)
  • Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest, by Wade Davis (The Bodley Head)
  • The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, by Masha Gessen (Granta Books)
  • Feathers, by Thor Hansen (Basic Books)
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman (Allen Lane)
  • The Old Ways, by Robert MacFarlane (Hamish Hamilton) Inside the Centre: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, by Ray Monk (Jonathan Cape)
  • Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genuis, by Sylvia Nasar (Fourth Estate)
  • Winter King, by Thomas Penn (Allen Lane)
  • The Better Angels of our Nature, by Steven Pinker (Allen Lane)
  • The Spanish Holocaust, by Paul Preston (HarperPress)
  • Strindberg A Life, by Sue Prideaux (Yale University Press)
  • Joseph Anton, by Salman Rushdie (Jonathan Cape)