• The 2013 National Book Awards finalists were announced this week, narrowing each category down from 10 to 5 contenders. The winners will be revealed on November 20. In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with the books in the running by downloading free excerpts here.

• With Halloween right around the corner, we can't get enough of Flavorwire's amazing collection of photos of famous authors dressed up in costumes.

• Speaking of Halloween, if you like creepy stories, Byliner is offering up an exclusive new tale called "Devotion" by Maile Meloy. (Those who aren't Byliner subscribers can download the book for $1.99.)

• In a fascinating article from the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Jennifer Szalai and Mohsin Hamid discuss whither the Great American Novel by a woman.

• Two of our favorites meet! BookRiot featured this super-fun guest post by Josh Hanagarne about meeting his literary idol, Stephen King. (Bonus: There's a photo of them arm wrestling!)

• Bloomsbury is launching a new popular science imprint, Sigma, which will feature books on subjects such as evolutionary biology, astronomy, robotics, bioengineering and climatology. Inaugural titles publishing in October 2014 will include Sex on Earth by Jules Howard and The World's Smallest Mammoth by Victoria Herridge.

• What's the most famous book set in your state?

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