"Owls of the Eastern Ice," a nonfiction narrative account of a scientist's search to find and conserve a rare owl in far eastern Russia, has been named to the National Book Awards longlist for nonfiction. Its author, Jonathan C. Slaght, lives in Minneapolis and did his graduate work at the University of Minnesota. It is his first book.

Other books on the long list include "Caste" by Isabel Wilkerson and Claudio Saunt's "Unworthy Republic."

Once again, the National Book Awards longlists for each genre are being rolled out daily. "The Galleons" by Rick Barot, published by Minneapolis' Milkweed Editions, and "Guillotine" by Eduardo C. Corral and "Postcolonial Love Poem," by Natalie Diaz, both published by Graywolf Press of Minneapolis, are longlisted for the poetry award.

Two of the summer's most talked about novels, Brit Bennett's "The Vanishing Half" and Megha Majumdar's "A Burning," are on the fiction longlist. Judges also nominated the story collection "If I Had Two Wings," by Randall Kenan, who died in August.

Trove of Elton John tracks

Elton John is opening up his vault and releasing an expansive collection of rarely heard and unreleased tracks. John announced Thursday that the eight-CD collection, "Elton: Jewel Box," will be released on Nov. 13. The collection includes "Sing Me No Sad Songs," an unreleased studio demo from 1969. The "Jewel Box" collection includes 148 songs, 60 of them unreleased, that span recordings from 1965 to 2019 and his early collaborations with songwriter Bernie Taupin.

stalker sentenced: A federal judge has sentenced an Austin, Texas, man to 30 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to stalking and sending threatening letters and e-mails to pop star Taylor Swift's former record label. The terms of the sentence for Eric Swarbrick, which includes three years of supervised release, were agreed on by prosecutors in a plea agreement that Swarbrick entered in 2019.

Speaking out: Van Morrison has never been one to hold back over the years. Why start now? In "No More Lockdown," the Northern Irishman says that the virus curbs "enslave" people, condemns celebrities for "telling us what we are supposed to feel" and charges scientists for "making up crooked facts." Morrison, who was knighted in 2016 for his services to music and to tourism in Northern Ireland, is also releasing '"Born To Be Free" and "As I Walked Out."

farewell: Winston Groom, the writer whose novel "Forrest Gump" was made into a six-Oscar winning 1994 movie that became a soaring pop cultural phenomenon, has died at 77. Mayor Karin Wilson of Fairhope, Ala., said in a message on social media that Groom had died there. "While he will be remembered for creating Forrest Gump, Winston Groom was a talented journalist & noted author of American history. Our hearts & prayers are extended to his family," Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said.

staff and wire Services