Congratulations to Elizabeth Strout, whose story collection, Olive Kitteridge, is among the five finalists for the National Book Critics Circle awards. (Of course, we're pulling for it to win.) The other four books are novels: Roberto Bolaño's 2666, Marilynne Robinson's Home, Aleksandar Hemon's The Lazarus Project, and M. Glenn Taylor's The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart. It's good to see that a university press is also in the mix (the publisher of Taylor's novel is West Virginia University Press).
Olive Kitteridge is an excellent collection and one of The Story Prize's other notable books of the year. It also made a lot of 2008 best books lists, second only to Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth, according to our unscientific tally of mentions.