Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

A Diverse Man Booker Shortlist

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

The Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award and, oddly, one of the few awards that affects sales in the U.S., surpassing our own National Book Awards, has released the 2015 shortlist of six titles.

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In the second year that American authors were eligible for the award, five made the longlist of 13, causing says the Guardian to worry that fears the US would dominate had become “more well-founded.” For the shortlist, however, only two US author made the cut, Hanya Yanagihara, for A Little Life (currently the bookies’ favorite in the UK. where people actually bet on such things) and Anne Tyler for a A Spool Of Blue Thread. Two authors from the UK, and one each from Jamaica and Nigeria round out the list.

The BBC noted that this list is exceptionally diverse, “four of the six authors are non-white, beating 2013’s record of three” but what “unites the books is the grimness of their themes.” When the judges were asked about this, they agreed, with one adding that, while the themes may be grim, “there isn’t a single book that isn’t touched with humour.”

The Guardian commented that the “biggest surprise” was that American author Marilyn Robinson (Lila) was eliminated from the list.

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The full shortlist, with links to reviews, below. The winner will be announced on Oct 13.

Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings (Penguin/Riverhead; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample; Oct. 7, 2014), Jamaican, living in the US

Published last year in the US, this title appeared on many of the year’s best books lists.
Reviews — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times; Washington Post; Wall Street JournalNYT Sunday Book Review

Tom McCarthy, Satin Island (RH/Knopf; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample; Feb. 17, 2015), McCarthy was on a previous Booker Prize shortlist (for C), UK

US Reviews — NYT Sunday Book ReviewWashington PostL.A. Times

Chigozie Obioma, The Fishermen (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample; April 14, 2015), Nigeria

Reviews — NYT Sunday Book ReviewNPR review

Sunjeev Sahota, The Year of the Runaways (RH/Knopf; 9781101946107; Mar. 2016), UK

Forthcoming; no US consumer reviews yet. UK reviews, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent

Anne Tyler, A Spool of Blue Thread (RH/Knopf; Random House Audio; OverDrive Sample: Feb. 10, 2015), US

Reviews —NYT Sunday Book Review; Ron Charles, Washington PostLos Angeles Times; Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life (RH/Doubleday; OverDrive Sample; March 10, 2015), US

Reviews — Washington PostNYT Sunday Book ReviewLos Angeles TimesWall Street Journal; NPR review on Fresh Air.

Yanagihara was one of the few literary novelists to appear on a late night show this year (we’re hedging our bets here — she’s probably the ONLY one) .

NBA Young People’s Lit Longlist

Monday, September 14th, 2015


The first of the National Book Awards longlists was released today. The nominees for young people’s literature include a range of authors from debuts to multiple award winners. Most are novels, but also included are one nonfiction title and a graphic novel.

All the titles have been reviewed by the pre-pub media with most receiving multiple stars.

Each year the judging panel includes a librarian. Teri Lesesne fills that position this year. She teaches Library Science at Sam Houston State University, is the author of Reading Ladders:Leading Students from Where They Are to Where We’d Like Them to Be and blogs as “The Goddess of YA Literature.

Also on the panel are authors John Joseph Adams (two-time winner of the Hugo Award and series editor of Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy), Laura McNeal (her novel Dark Water was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Award), G. Neri (he won the 2011 Coretta Scott King Honor Award for his graphic novel Yummy), and Eliot Schrefer (two-time finalist for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature for Endangered and Threatened).

The five finalists will be announced on Oct. 14. The winner will be announced on Nov. 18.

Tomorrow, the longlist for Poetry will be announced, followed by Nonfiction on Wednesday, and the final list, for Fiction on Thursday

The 2015 National Book Award Young People’s Literature Longlist

Becky Albertalli, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)

Starred by Booklist, Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks, KirkusPublishers Weekly, it also got an A from Entertainment Weekly., saying, “Adults who read this coming-out/coming-of-age novel will probably wish it had been around when they were kids … Worthy of Fault in Our Stars-level obsession.”

Deliciously funny, recommend this to all those adults who have been filling the hold shelves with YA titles by Johh Green, Sarah Dessen, and David Levithan.

M.T. Anderson, Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad (Candlewick Press)

Starred by Booklist, KirkusSchool Library Journal 

This M.T. Anderson title has been on YA must-read piles ever since galleys were released. Already a NBA winner for Octavian Nothing, Anderson here turns his storytelling gifts to narrative non-fiction. Well researched with fascinating details that manage to not bog down the story. YA

Ali Benjamin, The Thing About Jellyfish (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Starred by BooklistKirkusPublishers Weekly, School Library Journal 

Seventh-grader Suzy is trying to cope with the sudden death of an old friend. Her shock and grief are palpable as she wades through overwhelming feelings and still navigate the uncertain, unkind world of Middle School. Ages 12 and up.

Rae Carson, Walk on Earth a Stranger (HarperCollins /Greenwillow),

Starred by Booklist and Publishers Weekly

The first in a new trilogy from the author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, sets the stage for an eminently readable historical/fantasy with sweeping narrative, unexpected plot twists and empathetic characters.

Gary Paulsen, This Side of WildMutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs (S&S)

Those who thought that Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers: Reflections on Being Raised by a Pack of Sled Dogs was Paulsen’s best book will be delighted that he brings his raconteur style back to the campfire.

Laura Ruby, Bone Gap (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)

Starred by BooklistKirkus , Publishers Weekly with the audio starred by Audio File

Laura Ruby is already well-known to YA and children’s librarians, but this is her break out book, a narrative tour-de-force that draws readers into a very different but familiar fantasy world.

Ilyasah Shabazz, with Kekla Magoon, X: A Novel (Candlewick Press)

Starred by Booklist, KirkusPublishers Weekly, School Library Journal and Horn Book. Reviewed in the New York Times.

With A Rock in the River an award-winning debut novel, Kekla Magoon provided an inside glimpse into the Civil Rights movement. Her historical fiction Fire in the Street reveals the lives of those who were Black Panthers. Teaming with Shabazz  Malcolm X’s daughter (Growing up Xthe authors look at how the young Malcolm Little became Malcolm X.

Steve Sheinkin, Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War (Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press)

Starred by BooklistHorn Book, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal

Sheinkin has won multiple awards for his compelling informational books including The Bomb and Port Chicago (both were finalists for this award). Here, he takes on the transformation of one man during one of the most turbulent times in United States History,  the war in Vietnam.

Neal Shusterman, Challenger Deep (HarperCollins)

Starred by Booklist, Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks, Horn Book, Kirkus ReviewsPublishers WeeklySchool Library Journal

Shusterman has a gift for tackling big issues through story (Unwind). Here he creates a compelling novel that explores a 14-year-old schizophrenic’s decent into terrifying illness.

Noelle Stevenson, Nimona (HarperTeen/HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Starred by KirkusPublishers Weekly and School Library Journal

This mash-up sets fairytale archetypes on their ears, featuring a bloodthirsty shape-shifter Nimona and her anti-hero boss. Founded as a web comic, the first three chapters are available on-line.

The Hugos: Cixin Liu Wins,
the Puppies Lose

Monday, August 24th, 2015

The 2015 Hugo Awards were presented Saturday in Spokane Washington during WorldCon, the annual World Science Fiction Convention.

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 10.00.39 AMThe Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Macmillan/Tor Books; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) won for Best Novel. An alien invasion story, it is the first English language translation of one of China’s top SF authors. It was reviewed on the NPR site last fall.

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 10.02.31 AMBest Graphic Story went to Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt (Marvel Comics; GraphicAudio). The series stars a teenage girl, Kamala Khan, the first Muslim lead character in the Marvel universe. Here is a link to the audio.

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 10.20.32 AMGuardians of the Galaxy, written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, directed by James Gunn (Marvel Studios, Moving Picture Company) won Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form while Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried” written by Graham Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions, Space/BBC America) won Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer went to Wesley Chu who has also won an Alex Award for The Lives of Tao (PRH/Angry Robot, 2013).

In response to accusations of ballot stuffing the nomination process, many voting members elected to select “No Award” rather than see the Hugo go to a title supported by the conservative group known as the “puppies” (see our overview of the controversy).

This occurred in the categories of Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Related Work, Best Editor, Short Form, and Best Editor, Long Form, each of which were “won” by No Award. Many of these categories were either overwhelmingly affected by the ballot stuffing or only included “puppy” nominees.

In their liveblogging of the event, io9 said: “voting ‘No Award’ is a very legitimate choice, that’s always been possible. And it’s a very legit response to a small, tiny group of people trying to exploit a loophole in the nomination process to impose their choices on the vast majority of fans. This is fandom rejecting abusive behavior, and also saying that they want science fiction to have an open mind and consider many viewpoints.”

Top Eisner

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Analyzng the Eisner Awards, announced earlier this month at Comic-Con, the  LA Times views them as reflecting a “creative swell in children’s comics,” with several titles winning in categories not defined by age.

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Caldecott honoree This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki (Macmillan/First Second; OverDrive Sample) won for best New Graphic Album (essentially the best graphic novel of the year) and Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen, and Shannon Watters (S&S/BOOM! Box; OverDrive Sample) won the Best New Series award while Raina Telgemeier’s middle-grade Sisters (Scholastic, a companion to her previous title, Smile) won in the Writer/Artist category. views the awards as making a leap beyond superheroes, noting that the Best Writer Awards have traditionally gone to “an author producing pamphlet comics—serial, monthly works—rather than graphic novels.” This year breaks precedence with the award going to The Shadow Hero (Macmillan/First Second) by Gene Luen Yang “a writer who has made his name in the graphic novel industry, where he wrote and illustrated the first ever graphic novel to be a finalist for the National Book Award [Boxers and Saints]—and the first ever graphic novel to win the Printz Award [American Born Chinese].” They also note the number of women writers winning awards this year, with titles addressing subjects never before covered in graphic novels indicates that “the depth and breadth of what comics are—and can become—are reaching ever new heights.” This change was noted earlier this year by the Wall Street Journal.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 11.54.12 AMThe award for the best nonfiction graphic work went to Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 2, by Ed Piskor (Norton/Fantagraphics).Volume one was published in 2013; volume three is coming in August.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 11.56.31 AMEmily Carroll’s Through the Woods (S&S/Margaret K. McElderry) won for Best Graphic Album-Reprint, giving those who do not yet own this beautifully creepy work all the more reason to buy it. Carroll also won the Eisner for Best Short Story.

2015 Man Booker Longlist Announced

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

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The Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award and, oddly, one of the few awards that affects sales in the U.S., surpassing our own National Book Awards, has released the 2015 longlist of thirteen titles.

This is only the second year that US authors have been eligible for the Prize. When the rules were changed, many feared the US would dominate the list, but that didn’t prove true in the first year, with only four titles by US authors on the longlist and the Prize going to Australian Richard Flanagan for The Narrow Road To The Deep North (RH/Knopf).

However, this year, says the Guardian, “those fears look more well-founded, with five US titles on the longlist of 13, and strong ones too.”

The shortlist of six books will be announced on September 15 and the winner on October 13.

Below is the longlist, with U.S. publishing information and links to U.S. consumer reviews.

Bill Clegg, Did You Ever Have a Family (S&S/Gallery; S&S Audio; Sept. 8, 2015), US

Forthcoming, so no consumer reviews yet, but it’s been popular  on GalleyChat and at BEA this year.

Anne Enright, The Green Road (Norton; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample; May 11, 2015), Ireland

Reviews — NYT Sunday Book Review; Washington Post

Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings (Penguin/Riverhead; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample; Oct. 7, 2014), Jamaican, living in the US

Published last year in the US, this title appeared on many of the year’s best books lists.
Reviews — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times;  Washington Post; Wall Street JournalNYT Sunday Book Review

Laila Lalami, The Moor’s Account (RH/Pantheon; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample; Sept 9. 2014), US, born in Morocco
Published last year in the US, this title appeared on many of the year’s best books lists.

Reviews — NYT Sunday Book Review; L.A. Times

Tom McCarthy, Satin Island (RH/Knopf; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample; Feb. 17, 2015), UK

Reviews — NYT Sunday Book ReviewWashington Post; L.A. Times

Chigozie Obioma, The Fishermen (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample; April 14, 2015), Nigeria

Reviews — NYT Sunday Book Review; NPR review

Andrew O’Hagan, The Illuminations (Macmillan/FSG; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample; March 24, 2015), UK

Reviews — NYT Sunday Book Review

Marilynne Robinson, Lila (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample; Oct. 7, 2014), US

Published last year in the US, this title appeared on the majority of of the year’s best books lists.
Reviews — David Ulin, Los Angeles TimesNYT Sunday Book ReviewWall Street Journal Ron Charles, Washington Post; Michiko Kakutani,  New York Times

Anuradha Roy, Sleeping on Jupiter (US publication has not been announced), UK, born in India

Sunjeev Sahota, The Year of the Runaways (RH/Knopf; 9781101946107; Mar. 2016), UK

Forthcoming, so no US consumer reviews yet

Anna Smaill, The Chimes (US publication has not been announced), New Zealand

Anne Tyler, A Spool of Blue Thread (RH/Knopf; Random House Audio; OverDrive Sample: Feb. 10, 2015), US

Reviews —NYT Sunday Book Review; Ron Charles, Washington PostLos Angeles Times; Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life (RH/Doubleday; OverDrive Sample; March 10, 2015), US

Reviews — Washington Post; NYT Sunday Book ReviewLos Angeles TimesWall Street Journal; NPR review on Fresh Air

RITA Awards Announced

Monday, July 27th, 2015

The Romance Writers of America Association announced the 2015 RITA winners.

As described by the association’s website, the awards are given “to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas” and are selected by a panel of judges.

The RITAs have multiple categories, a full list is available online. Below are the big four along with the Librarian of the Year pick.

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Contemporary (Long): Baby, It’s You by Jane Graves (Hachette/Forever; OverDrive Sample).

Historical (Long): Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran (S&S/Pocket; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Romantic Suspense: Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb (Penguin/ G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Paranormal: Evernight by Kristen Callihan (Hachette/Forever; OverDrive Sample).

Lisa Schimmer, a senior cataloger at NoveList, won the Cathie Linz Librarian of the Year Award.

Locus Award Winners, 2015

Monday, June 29th, 2015

The 2015 Locus Awards, for outstanding Science Fiction and Fantasy are:

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 12.28.53 PMAnn Leckie won best SF novel for Ancillary Sword (Hachette/Orbit; Hachette Audio and Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), the follow-up to Ancillary Justice which won the 2014 Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke awards.

Nominees in the category that had the bad luck of going up against that juggernaut are The Peripheral (Penguin/Putnam; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) by William Gibson, The Three-Body Problem (Macmillan/Tor; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample) by Cixin Liu, Lock In (Macmillan/Tor; Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample) by John Scalzi (which was a LibraryReads pick for August 2014), and all three books in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. The first in the set, Annihilation (Macmillan/FSG; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), just won the 2015 Nebula.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 12.34.00 PMKatherine Addison won best Fantasy novel for The Goblin Emperor (Macmillan/Tor; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample).

It topped an equally strong group of nominees that includes Steles of the Sky (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample) by Elizabeth Bear, City of Stairs (Hachette/Jo Fletcher Books; OverDrive Sample) by Robert Jackson Bennett, The Magician’s Land (Penguin/Viking; Penguin Audio; OverDrive Sample) by Lev Grossman (also a LibraryReads pick for August 2014), and The Mirror Empire (PRH/Angry Robot; OverDrive Sample) by Kameron Hurley.

The Locus Awards are decided by the readers of Locus Magazine. A full list of winners and nominees can be seen on the io9 site.

ALA’s Carnegie Medal Winners, 2015

Monday, June 29th, 2015

The winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were announced this weekend at the Annual ALA Meeting.

The medalist in fiction is the long-running best seller, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in literature, as well as finalist for the National Book Award, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (S&S/Scribner).

The winner is nonfiction also hit the NYT best seller list, for one week at #10, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio,  OverDrive Sample).

Audio sample:

The book was one of the NYT Book Review’s 100 Notable Books, described as, “An activist lawyer’s account of a man wrongfully convicted of murder reads like a call to action.”

Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, has been called by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “America’s young Nelson Mandela.” In a long blurb on the book’s cover, John Grisham says that Stevenson is  “… doing god’s work fighting for the poor, the oppressed, the voiceless, the vulnerable, the outcast and those with no hope. Just Mercy is his inspiring and powerful story.”

Stevenson appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air  and on the Daily Show last year.

Juan Felipe Herrera
First Latino U.S. Poet Laureate

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 12.00.33 PMJuan Felipe Herrera will become the nation’s next poet laureate this September. He is the first Latino poet to fill the post since it was created in 1937. Herrera was named California’s poet laureate in 2012 and served in that position through 2014.

As NPR reports, he is a child of California, hardly leaving the state in 66 years, “born to a family of migrant farm workers, he bounced from tent to trailer for much of his youth in Southern California, eventually going on to study at UCLA and Stanford. Years later, he stepped out of the state to attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, before — you guessed it — returning home to California.”

The Poetry Foundation, which has a profile of Herrera as well as three sample poems, says that he has been influenced by Allen Ginsberg and that his “poetry brims with simultaneity and exuberance.” The New York Times says his poetry “fuses wide-ranging experimentalism with reflections on Mexican-American identity.” They offer two additional selections of poems.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 12.00.11 PMScreen Shot 2015-06-10 at 11.59.25 AMHerrera has written dozens of books including poetry, short stories, and works for children and young adults. His most recent book is Senegal Taxi (University of Arizona Press; 2013). He is perhaps best known for 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971-2007 (City Lights; 2007) and Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (University of Arizona Press; 2008).

The following video Herrera reads from the latter at at the 2009 PEN Beyond Margins Celebration.

VanderMeer Wins Nebula

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 8.33.29 AMJeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation (Macmillan/FSG; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), the first title in his Southern Reach trilogy, has won the 2014 Nebula Award (presented in 2015) for best novel.

Along with Authority and Acceptance (books two and three), Annihilation tells the story of Area X, an isolated landscape cut off from human occupation which nature has taken back. Previous expeditions to the area have resulted in nightmare outcomes. Now a new expedition is under way.

When we wrote earlier about the series we quoted Sara Sklaroff’s review in The Washington Post which still stands as a good summary, “Annihilation is successfully creepy, an old-style gothic horror novel set in a not-too-distant future. The best bits turn your mind inside out.”

VanderMeer’s acceptance speech makes note of the Hugo controversy and the need for diverse reading.

This is the first time the very literary-leaning FSG has published a Nebula winning title.

Three other Nebulas are awarded for best novella, novelette, and short story (each based upon word count).

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 9.25.13 AMNancy Kress won the novella category for Yesterday’s Kin (Tachyon Publications; OverDrive Sample) while Ursula Vernon won best short story for “Jackalope Wives.”

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 9.26.10 AMAlaya Dawn Johnson won the Novelette category for A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i. She also won The Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy for Love Is the Drug (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books; Scholastic on Brilliance Audio; OverDrive Sample). The Andre Norton Award is one of several given alongside the Nebulas.

Another such award, The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, went to Guardians of the Galaxy, written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman.

Larry Niven, author of the 1970 Nebula winning Ringworld, won the Damon Knight Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement.

The Nebula Awards are presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and honor outstanding achievement in Science Fiction or Fantasy. Unlike the Hugo Awards, which are based upon membership votes including the votes of fans, only the author-members of the association vote upon the Nebulas. See a  full list of nominated titles here.

Women’s Prize for Fiction Winner

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 10.25.02 AMAli Smith’s How to Be Both (RH/Pantheon; OverDrive Sample) has won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The novel has garnered much attention. It won the Costa Novel Award and The Goldsmiths Prize and was a shortlist title for the Man Booker.

Comparing it to “what it felt like reading Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, all of the greats,” the award committee chair tells The Guardian, “this is not a good book, this is a great book, and people are going to be reading it long after I’m dead.”

The book was printed in two versions. One begins with the story of George, a young modern woman coping with the death of her mother who becomes enthralled by the paintings of the 15th century Renaissance artist Francesco del Costa. The other begins with the story of Francesco. Each edition contains both sections and were distributed in a random mix.

Reviews at the time of publication (Dec. 2014) were largely admiring if a bit nervous about its unusual structure.

Ron Charles wrote in The Washington Post: “Ali Smith’s playfully brilliant new novel makes me both excited and wary of recommending it. This gender-blending, genre-blurring story, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, bounces across centuries, tossing off profound reflections on art and grief, without getting tangled in its own postmodern wires. It’s the sort of death-defying storytelling acrobatics that don’t seem entirely possible — How did she get here from there? — but you’ve got to be willing to hang on.”

Janet Maslin told her readers in The New York Times: “Never judge a book by its structure. How to Be Both has a lot more allure than its overall rigor suggests, thanks to the obvious pleasure Ms. Smith takes in creating her peculiar parallels and exploring the questions they raise.”

Formerly known as the Orange Prize, the Baileys Award celebrates excellence in women’s writing from around the world. The shortlist included Rachel Cusk’s Outline, Laline Paull’s The Bees, Kamila Shamsie’s A God in Every Stone, Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread, and Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests.

The Best in Horror

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

The Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Achievement in horror and dark fantasy were announced at the World Horror Convention in Atlanta, Georgia last weekend.

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Steve Rasnic Tem won in the Novel category for Blood Kin (Solaris Books; OverDrive Sample) while Maria Alexander’s Mr. Wicker (Raw Dog Screaming Press) was selected as best First Novel. John Dixon took honors for best Young Adult Novel for Phoenix Island (S&S/Gallery Books; OverDrive Sample) and Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.03.09 AMJonathan Maberry won the Graphic Novel category for Bad Blood (Dark Horse Books; OverDrive Sample).

Jack Ketchum and Tanith Lee each received Lifetime Achievement Awards.

The full list of winners and nominees is available on the Horror Writers Association website.

Flanagan in U.S.

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

9780804171472_f2c70Winner of the 2014 Booker, Australian novelist Richard Flanagan is making his first appearances in the U.S. Yesterday’s interview on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, interviewed by guest host Indira Lakshmanan, caused The Narrow Road to the Deep North (RH/Knopf; RH/Vintage trade pbk; Blackstone Audio) to rise again on Amazon’s sales rankings (listen here, if for nothing else, to hear him read from the book, beginning around time stamp 7:15).

On Friday, he appears in conversation with Claire Messud at the PEN World Voices Festival.

Edgar Honors Go To King and Flynn Among Others

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.48.39 AMA relative newcomer to the hardboiled detective genre, Stephen King, wins the Edgar award for Best Novel with Mr. Mercedes (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The book, a cat-and-mouse game between an ex-detective and a killer who turns a car into a weapon, is the first in an expected trilogy. As we reported, the second book, Finders Keepers, comes out in early June.

This is King’s first individual Edgar Award. He was named a Grand Master in 2007 and was nominated for an Edgar in 2014 for Joyland, although The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood took the prize that year.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.51.34 AMGillian Flynn won the Best Short Story category with “What Do You Do?” published in Rogues (Penguin/Bantam Books; OverDrive Sample) which was a LibraryReads pick last June.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.52.26 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.53.31 AMAdditional Edgars, which are widely considered the premier awards for the mystery genre, were also awarded to Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman (W.W. Norton; OverDrive Sample) for Best First Novel (it was a LibraryReads pick last July) and The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani (Penguin; OverDrive Sample) for Best Paperback Original.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.55.10 AMScreen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.54.11 AMThe two top nonfiction picks went to Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William Mann (Harper; OverDrive Sample) for Best Fact Crime and to Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe by J.W. Ocker (W.W. Norton/Countryman Press) for Best Critical/Biographical.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.58.01 AMThe Mary Higgins Clark Award went to Jane Casey for The Stranger You Know (Macmillan/Minotaur Books; OverDrive Sample) and two new Grand Masters were named, Lois Duncan and James Ellroy.

A complete list of winners and nominees is available on the Edgar site.

Best Cookbooks of the Year

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 9.57.12 AMYucatán by David Sterling (University of Texas Press) is the 2015 James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year.

Sterling runs a Yucatán cooking school in Mexico and his book is an ode to the food he loves, a huge, 576 page encyclopedic tome, filled with photos and a richly detailed text. It weighs more than a five pound bag of flour and lists for $60. It won the award for best International Cookbook as well.

The James Beard Awards come on the heels of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Awards, which were announced late last month.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.03.37 AMTheir top pick is A New Napa Cuisine by Christopher Kostow (RH/Ten Speed Press; OverDrive Sample), the chef running The Restaurant at Meadowood, a three-Michelin-starred destination eatery in California. A mix of chef’s journey, regional spotlight, and artistic expression, it is a good example of the trend, as we reported last week, for cookbooks to be more than compilations of recipes.

Between the two awards there are five overlapping winners:

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.04.48 AMLiquid Intelligence by David Arnold (W.W. Norton) which won the James Beard Award for best Beverage book and the IACP Jane Grigson Award.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.05.18 AMButchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat and Pork by Adam Danforth (Workman/Storey Publishing; OverDrive Sample) which won the James Beard award for Reference and Scholarship and the IACP Beverage/Reference/Technical award.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.05.58 AMBar Tartine by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns (Chronicle; OverDrive Sample) which won the James Beard Cooking from a Professional Point of View award and the IACP award for best Chefs and Restaurants book.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.06.42 AMHeritage by Sean Brock (Workman/Artisan) which won the James Beard American Cooking award and the IACP Julia Child First Book award.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.07.49 AMAt Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin (Shambhala/Roost Books) which won the James Beard award for Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian cookbook and the IACP award for Health & Special Diet.

The full list of James Beard winners and IACP winners is available at each award’s website.