Awe and gratitude. And a few tears. That is my response to the news that Hiroshima in the Morning was nominated as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

The selection committee chose a shortlist of books that give me great hope, not just for books and writers, but for who we are and what we care about as human beings. Each book grapples with our most important subjects – death, war, friendship; each expands our universal experience by sharing it through a single, compassionate heart. They are thoughtful, provocative and necessary. Read them.