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Your Primer To The 2013 National Book Award Finalists

Too busy to read ten books by November? Here's a guide to the fiction and nonfiction finalists so at your next literary cocktail party, you can blurt out something vaguely knowledgeable before running to the bar for a refill.

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Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge

In which there are foot fetishists, hip hop gangsters, and sentient computers; in other words everyone you’d expect to meet in a Pynchon novel. Just don’t expect to meet Pynchon at the actual awards dinner.