Reader alert

Since 1950, The National Book Awards have become the nation’s preeminent literary prizes, and The National Book Awards Ceremony and Dinner the most important event on our literary calendar. Today, the Awards are given to recognize achievements in four genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature.

If you’re looking for something to read, try these:

Colum McCann won the fiction prize for “Let the Great World Spin,” a novel about daring, luck and mortality in the pre-digital world of 1970s New York.

T.J. Stiles’ biography of Cornelius Vanderbilt, “The First Tycoon,” was the nonfiction winner.

Keith Waldrop’s “Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy” won for poetry.

The young people’s literature award went to Phillip Hoose’s “Claudette Colvin,” based on the true story of an early civil rights heroine.