Speed Reads


Ta-Nehisi Coates, Adam Johnson win National Book Awards

Ta-Nehisi Coates' bestseller Between the World and Me won the National Book Award for nonfiction Wednesday night.

Coates said the book was dedicated to his friend Prince Jones Jr., who was killed by a Virginia police officer in 2000 "because he was mistaken for a criminal," USA Today reports. The fiction prize went to Adam Johnson for Fortune Smiles, a collection of stories, and Neal Shusterman's Challenger Deep received the Young People's Literature Award. Shusterman was inspired to write the book by his son, Brendan, who has anxiety, and he said he hopes Challenger Deep will help "remove the stigma of mental illness." Robin Coste Lewis was awarded the poetry prize for her first book, Voyage of the Sable Venus.

Novelist Don DeLillo received the 2015 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation, and James Patterson, creator of the Alex Cross series, was honored with the 2015 Literation Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.