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LAT Announces Book Award Nominees

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The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is always kicked off by a ceremony that awards one book in each key category with a Book Prize. The nominees in each category were just announced and we're both thrilled and a tad flummoxed by some of their picks, listed below.

We're mostly pleased to see that the usual suspects, who have made up every other book awards list this year, are noticeably absent. This list doesn't feel quite as safe as other lists and so, for that, bravo LAT. The prizes will be awarded on April 25th and the Festival of Books will be held April 26th - 27th.

As we did last year, we'll be covering each category in depth over the next two months. We'll tell you who we're glad to see on the list and who should have made the cut and didn't. Who are you rooting for?

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Fiction
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Be Near Me by Andrew O’Hagan
Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan
Out Stealing Horses: A Novel by Per Petterson
The Shadow Catcher: A Novel by Marianne Wiggins