The countdown is on for the 2013 RITA Awards—given out by the Romance Writers of America (RWA). During the lead-up to the glamorous July 20 award gala in Atlanta, romance fans have the opportunity to meet each other and interact with the nominated authors through a series of weekly online Q&A events.
Each video chat get-together is devoted to a particular award category—such as Best First Book, Best Historical Romance and Best Paranormal Romance—and completely free. But space is limited to 1,000 participants, so secure your spot(s) soon! The first chat is next Thursday, April 18.
Visit the RWA site to see the full schedule and make a reservation.
What was your favorite romance this year? Is it a RITA finalist?
Children's Book Week is coming up—May 13 to 19—and the Children's Choice Book Awards finalists have just been announced. Up for Author of the Year are:
Both The Fault in Our Stars and Wonder made our Readers' Choice: Best Books of 2012 list, and we're big fans of Jeff Kinney here on The Book Case. Which books are you (and the little ones in your life) going to vote for? Are there any books that you think were snubbed?
Claire Vaye Watkins is on a literary award roll. In November she was named one of the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35," and her short story collection, Battleborn, was included on many best of 2012 lists (including ours).
Yesterday, she collected two more awards. Beating out the likes of Junot Díaz, she won The Story Prize, which is awarded for the best short story collection of 2012 and comes with a prize of $20,000. She was also named a One Story 2013 Literary Debutante, who will be feted at the One Story Literary Debutante Ball in Brooklyn on June 6.
This morning she was named a recipient of the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award—given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters—honoring “a young writer of considerable literary talent for a work published in 2012" and accompanied by a prize of $10,000.
We love when writers and critics get along! Last night, at a NYC ceremony packed with writers, literary critics and other publishing folk, the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) announced the winners of their 2012 book awards.
Among the distinguished recipients is Ben Fountain, with whom we were thrilled to share a table at last year's Author in the Round dinner, part of the Southern Festival of Books. Fountain's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk—one of our Best Books of 2012—won in the fiction category.
Here's a complete list of the winners:
Andrew Solomon, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (Scribner)
Leanne Shapton, Swimming Studies (Blue Rider Press)
D. A. Powell, Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf Press)
Marina Warner, Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights (Belknap Press: Harvard University Press)
What do you think of the winners? How many of them have you read, and which ones will you be adding to your list of books to read?
Everyone's got Oscar fever this week, but we're also really excited about another awards ceremony coming up—the 2013 Audies, which recognize distinction in audiobooks.
Finalists were announced by the Audio Publishers Association today, and the winners will be awarded at the Audies Gala on May 30 in New York City. Our own Associate Publisher Julia Steele and Contributing Editor Sukey Howard (who writes our monthly audio column) are serving as judges in the competition.
Here are some highlights from the list of finalists:
• Sex and God at Yale by Nathan Harden (narrated by Scott Aiello), Audible Inc.
• Love Is the Cure by Elton John (narrated by Elton John), Hachette Audio
• Breasts by Florence Williams (narrated by Kate Reading), Tantor Media
• Cemetery John by Robert Zorn (narrated by Sean Runnette), Tantor Media
• The Crisis of Zionism by Peter Beinart (narrated by Lloyd James), Tantor Media
• A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes (narrated by Samuel L. Jackson), Audible Inc.
• The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (narrated by Claire Daines), Audible Inc.
• Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon (narrated by Edoardo Ballerini), Audible Inc.
• Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (narrated by Edoardo Ballerini), Harper Audio
• The Bartender's Tale by Ivan Doig (narrated by David Aaron Baker), Recorded Books
• America Again by Stephen Colbert (narrated by Stephen Colbert), Hachette Audio
• I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern (narrated by Sean Schemmel), Harper Audio
• The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days by Ian Frazier (narrated by Cynthia Nixon), Macmillan Audio
• Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (narrated by Jenny Lawson), Penguin Audio
• Me the People by Kevin Bleyer (narrated by Kevin Bleyer), Random House Audio/Books on Tape
• Don't Cry for Me by Sharon Sala (narrated by Kathe Mazur), Audible Inc.
• The Witness by Nora Roberts (narrated by Julia Whelan), Brilliance
• Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt (narrated by Ashford MacNab), Hachette Audio
• The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley (narrated by Angela Dawe), Tantor Media
• Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks (narrated by Kristen Potter), Tantor Media
• Hush Money by Chuck Greaves (narrated by Dan Butler), AudioGo
• The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas by Chris Ewan (narrated by Simon Vance), AudioGo
• And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman (narrated by Linda Emond), Macmillan Audio
• The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny (narrated by Ralph Cosham), Macmillan Audio
• The Nightmare by Lars Kepler (narrated by Mark Bramhall), Macmillan Audio
See the full list here (PDF link). What do you think of the finalists? Which audio books of the last year were your favorites, and are there any that you feel were snubbed? What books are you listening to right now?
In our office we discuss and anticipate the announcement of the Newbery, Caldecott and Printz Awards with passion and glee—and let's just say that this morning there was a fair bit of squealing when the ALA named this year's recipients.
Perhaps most of all, we are thrilled that Jon Klassen was awarded the Caldecott Award for This Is Not My Hat, the story of a big fish in pursuit of a tiny thief. For the October 2012 issue of BookPage, Klassen hand-illustrated a Q&A for us. We loved the result (and of course we loved the book itself!):
We are also tickled that Katherine Applegate won the Newbery Award for The One and Only Ivan, which we reviewed in January 2012. Reviewer Keven Delecki praised this "brave, moving story" about the animals who live at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall.
The Printz Award went to In Darkness by Nick Lake, which BookPage reviewer Kimberly Giarrantano described as "an incredible novel." It's a harrowing and compelling story about a teen boy in the aftermath of the 2010 Haitian earthquake.
For more on these award-winning books—and other fantastic picks for young readers—subscribe to Children's Corner, our bimonthly e-newsletter. The next edition goes out Wednesday and will feature some very special interviews. (Hint, hint.)
And without further ado, here is a (partial) list of the 2013 Youth Media Award winners. Find the full list here, and click the links below to read coverage in BookPage.
2013 NEWBERY AWARD
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins)
2013 CALDECOTT AWARD
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen (Candlewick)
2013 PRINTZ AWARD
In Darkness by Nick Lake (Bloomsbury)
For even more recommendations for fantastic children's and teen books, see our list of the Best Children's Books for 2012.
The National Book Awards were given out tonight at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Louise Erdrich was the winner of a tight fiction race, beating out Junot Díaz and Dave Eggers (as well as newcomers Ben Fountain and Kevin Powers) for the $10,000 award. Read on for the full list of winners.
Louise Erdrich, The Round House (BookPage interview)
Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers (BookPage review)
Young People's Literature
William Alexander, Goblin Secrets
David Ferry, Bewilderment
Distinguished Contribution to American Letters
It seems like just yesterday that we finished last year's literary awards season—and here it is, upon us again!
This morning, the National Book Award Finalists were announced on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Whereas last year the list of Fiction Finalists included a highly-acclaimed (but under-appreciated by the general public) short story writer, a debut author and two up-and-coming novelists, this year's list is filled with authors who have more name recognition—most notably Louise Erdrich, who has written more than 20 books, and Junot Díaz, who already has a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur "Genius" grant under his belt.
I'm especially pleased to report that the list of Finalists includes authors from our September and October cover stories!
The finalists are listed below. The winners will be announced in a ceremony in New York City on November 14.
• Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her (Read an interview about the novel.)
• Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King
• Louise Erdrich, The Round House (Read an interview about the novel.)
• Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (Read a Q&A about the novel.)
• Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds (Read a review of the novel.)
• David Ferry, Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations
• Cynthia Huntington, Heavenly Bodies
• Tim Seibles, Fast Animal
• Alan Shapiro, Night of the Republic
• Susan Wheeler, Meme
YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE:
William Alexander, Goblin Secrets
Carrie Arcos, Out of Reach
Patricia McCormick, Never Fall Down (Read a review of the novel.)
Eliot Schrefer, Endangered
Steve Sheinkin, Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
Which authors do you think should take home the big prize on November 14?
Seems like only yesterday that we were announcing last year's Man Booker Prize shortlist . . . but this year's longlist is out. The list of 12 books competing for the title of best novel written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland and published in the United Kingdom contains a few surprises:
The Yips by Nicola Barker
The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman
Philida by André Brink
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
Skios by Michael Frayn (read our review)
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (read our review)
The Lighthouse by Alison Moore
Umbrella by Will Self
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
Communion Town by Sam Thompson
Half of these have yet to be published in the US—the Will Self & Ned Bauman titles aren't scheduled until 2013!—and four are debut novels. Notable Brits with 2012 releases, like Zadie Smith & Ian McEwan, didn't make the cut, and Hilary Mantel is the only returning winner. The big question is, will she take it for two consecutive books (in the same series, no less)? Or will the prize go to one of the newcomers?
We'll find out on October 16, when the committee announces their decision. Any of these on your TBR?
Anne Enright's novel The Forgotten Waltz is the first winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, while Robert K. Massie's biography Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman captured the nonfiction prize. Both awards were announced Sunday night at the American Library Association's annual convention in Anaheim.
The selection committee was lead by Nancy Pearl, the former librarian and author of Book Lust who is one of the nation's best known champions of books and reading. Pearl and a committee of three librarians and three staffers of ALA's Booklist magazine were charged with selecting the best fiction and nonfiction published in the U.S. last year.
Shortly before the announcement of the award winners, we asked Pearl to tell us more about the new Carnegie Medal and what she thinks its place will be in the "reading ecosystem."
After reading so many books during the selection process, how would you characterize the current state of American literature, particularly in fiction, where the Pulitzer board declined to give an award this year?
I know that I speak for my fellow judges when I say that based on the reading we did American literature, both fiction and nonfiction, is alive and well. Frankly, that’s what drove us all nearly crazy as we read through the 40 titles on our longlist. Because there were so many excellent books published in 2011, narrowing the list to three finalists was hard, and selecting a final winner was even more difficult.
Why was the Carnegie Medal established? How do you think it fits in—or stands out from—the existing awards for fiction and nonfiction?
For those of us in the library and publishing worlds who work with adult literature, an award like the Carnegie Medal has been a long time coming. I think we’ve all looked with frankly envious eyes at the success of the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, for example, and wished for something on that scale honoring adult books. I’m thrilled that our wish has come true.
The Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established with one goal in mind: to celebrate the best of the best in literature for adult readers. It’s just lovely, too, that the first annual awarding of the Carnegie Medals is the 100th anniversary of the founding of Carnegie Corporation. Andrew Carnegie’s role in building libraries across the world cannot be exaggerated, and I think he’d be very happy to know that these awards are a collaboration between the American Library Association and the foundation that bears his name.
I believe that the Carnegie Medals add a fourth to the troika (the Pulitzer, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award) of literary awards. All four awards honor outstanding fiction and nonfiction for adults. The major difference between the Carnegie Medals and the other awards is the unique composition of our panel of judges: we have four librarians (two from academic libraries and two (including me) from public libraries, and three editors from ALA’s Booklist, a magazine that plays a central role in helping librarians decide what books to purchase for their libraries. Together—and let me say that this was a terrific committee to be part of—we bring to the task of choosing the finalists and the winners many decades worth of experience. Members of the judging panel are all library professionals who work closely with adult readers, and the list of finalists and eventual winners reflect our expert judgment and insight.
Why is this medal important?
The library—be it academic or public—plays a central role in the reading ecosystem. The Carnegies highlight the important role librarians play in opening up the world of books to both new readers and avid book lovers alike. And the Carnegies will serve as a guide to adults looking for quality reading material.
Finally, we can’t pass up an opportunity to ask what you are reading strictly for personal pleasure this summer.
I have many books next to my nightstand that are going to be part of my summer reading. (I would be too nervous to pile them on my nightstand because I’m afraid they’ll tip over on top of me should Seattle have another earthquake!) So right now I’m reading and thoroughly enjoying G. Willow Wilson’s Alif the Unseen, which is fascinating on so many levels. The next four books down, which I’ll read in no particular order, just whichever fits my mood, are Dave Eggers’ A Hologram for the King (I’m a huge fan); Margaret Maron’s One Coffee With (I’m so glad that Oconee Spirit Press just reissued this long out of print title); Fountain of Age, a collection of stories by Nancy Kress (I really enjoyed her novel Beggars in Spain); and China Mieville’s Railsea (I loved Un Lun Don, and this is another novel for kids). But the judges and I are getting books published in 2012 to consider for next year’s Carnegies, so I will be fitting in those as well. Lots of good reading to look forward to.