Several recordings from the November 2006 National Book Awards sessions in New York City are now available online. The recordings can be downloaded in MP3 format or played through a Web browser (using that method, I would suggest choosing “Play in Popup” so you can continue doing other work while listening). Among the podcast recordings are five sets of nominated authors reading from their nominated works and the acceptance speeches that the winning authors made after being named at the ceremony. (My only complaint about this collection is that the sessions are recorded in their entirety, instead of being excerpted by author, but that’s not a big deal as long as you have the timeÃ¢â‚¬â€most sessions are twenty to thirty minutes long.)
The goal of the National Book Awards is to increase the popularity of reading and to enhance awareness of exceptional books written by American authors in four genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. Lists of nominees and the annual award winners from 1950 to the present are available at the National Book Awards Web site, www.NationalBookAward.org.
Access to the podcasts is through a site hosted by BookExpo America (BEA). BEA is the largest annual exhibition of materials published in English in the world. The podcasts are produced by the same publishers who bring us the weekly series of author interviews, discussions, and readings known as Authors on Tour (which is sponsored by the Tattered Cover Book Stores in Colorado).