Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Nebula Nominees

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

The nominees have been announced for one of the most prestigious awards in genre fiction, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 51st Annual Nebula Awards.

The buzziest of the five nominees for Best Novel are All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (Macmillan/Tor; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample) and The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (Hachette/Orbit; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

9780765379955_d589bAll the Birds in the Sky was selected as a best book of the year by Amazon, Kirkus, The Washington Post, and Time, where it was #5 on their list of “Top 10 Novels” of 2016.

It got rave reviews generally as well. NPR wrote “With All the Birds in the Sky, Anders has given us a fresh set of literary signposts — and a new bundle of emotional metaphors — for the 21st century, replacing the so many of the tired old ones. Oh, and she’s gently overturned genre fiction along the way.”

Anders, until recently, was the founder and co-editor of the science fiction site She won the Hugo in 2012 for the novelette Six Months, Three Days.

9780316229265_b53adThe Obelisk Gate is the second novel in the Broken Earth series. We wrote about its reception earlier and Naomi Novik reviewed it for the NYT BR, praising its “intricate and extraordinary world-­building.”

Jemisin won the Hugo for the series launch, The Fifth Season, and she won the Locus award for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. She is a notable voice in the field, sharing her opinions on the genre and writing reviews for the NYT column “Otherwordly.”







Somewhat more under the radar but still making end of the year best lists is Borderline by Mishell Baker (S&S/Saga; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample), which was an Library Journal top pick for the year. said it is “dark and creeping and smart as a whip.

The final nominees are Everfair by Nisi Shawl (Macmillan/Tor; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample) and Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (S&S/Solaris; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

The website The Verge picked both as among their 2016 recommendations.

The Washington Post says of Everfair, it is “a beautifully written and thrillingly ambitious alternate history … It’s a tribute to Shawl’s powerful writing that her intricate, politically and racially charged imaginary world seems as believable — sometimes more believable — than the one we inhabit.”

In her NYT column, Jemisin says of Ninefox Gambit, “Readers willing to invest in a steep learning curve will be rewarded with a tight-woven, complicated but not convoluted, breathtakingly original space opera. And since this is only the first book of the Machineries of Empire trilogy, it’s the start of what looks to be a wild ride.”

As The Verge notes, the list highlights a welcome diversity, “three of the five nominees for Best Novel are authors of color, and four out of the five are women.

The winners will be announced during the annual Nebula Conference, which runs from May 18th-21st in Pittsburgh. The full list of nominees is online.

Oscar Bump

Monday, February 20th, 2017

lion  hidden-figures

Expected to be the most politically charged event in its history, the Academy Awards will be broadcast on Sunday. Two of the nominees are seen as particularly timely and the books they are based on have become best sellers.

Keying in to current events to promote their film Lion, the Weinstein Company placed an ad in Thursday’s L.A. Times, featuring one of the young stars and the words, “It took an extraordinary effort to get 8-year-old actor Sunny Pawar a visa so that he could come to America for the very first time, Next year, that might not be an option” and the exhortation to “Remember where you came from.”

The basis for that movie, A Long Way Home: A Memoir by Saroo Brierley (PRH/Berkley), retitled Lion for the tie-in, showed a sudden rise on Amazon’s sales rankings after the the ad’s appearance.

Considered a precursor to Sunday’s event, political commentary also ran through last month’s Screen Actors Guild awards ceremony. Taraji P. Henson, the star of the surprise best film winner, Hidden Figures, said in her acceptance speech, “There’s a reason why it was made now and not three years ago, not five years ago, not 10 years ago. The universe needed it now.”

The basis for that movie, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly  (HarperCollins/Morrow), has been in the top five on USA Today‘s bestseller list since the beginning of the year.

See our full list of tie-ins to the nominees here.

Carnegies Get Media Coverage

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

9780385542364_945219780553447439_4bc21The widely syndicated Associated Press just released a story on the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

On Sunday night, at the RUSA Book and Media Awards held during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, Colson Whitehead won the fiction prize for The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOTOverDrive Sample) and Matthew Desmond won the nonfiction prize for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Both books are also included on RUSA’s Notable Books List, announced Sunday night as well.

Cataloging his other accolades, including already winning the National Book Award and being a finalist for the $75,000 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, the AP calls the Carnegie was “a thank-you from the country’s libraries” to Whitehead.

Both winners paid tribute to libraries in return. Whitehead told the AP that “Libraries have propped me up” and Desmond said “Libraries are not just places where people go read a book, but places where an immigrant goes to take English lessons and where folks out of a job search for community … Libraries are on the front lines.”

Congressman Lewis Wins Four ALA Youth Media Awards

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

march  radiant  drank-moon

In a phenomenal piece of timing, the day after Congressman John Lewis gave a rousing speech to marchers in Atlanta, saying in an understatement, “I know something about marching,” he won four major ALA awards for his graphic novel series on that very subject, March, Book 3 (IDW/Top Shelf). It also happens that the awards were announced in Atlanta, very close to where he gave that speech, during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting. The book, the third and final in his graphic novel series, won the the Printz, the Sibert, the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction and the Coretta Scott King Author Awards.

The Caldecott Medal went to Javaka Steptoe’s book about artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, Radiant Child (Little, Brown), also winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and the Newbery to the epic fantasy, The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (Workman/Algonquin Young Readers).

Download our spreadsheet of the award-winning titles, with full ordering information, ALA Youth Media Awards, 2017.

Announcing the ALA Youth Media Awards, 2017

Monday, January 23rd, 2017


Medalists below, as they are announced.

UPDATE: Download our spreadsheet of the award-winning titles, with full ordering information, ALA Youth Media Awards, 2017

Link to the press release for the full list of Medalists and Honorees

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award: Radiant Child, Javaka Steptoe, (Little, Brown)

Coretta Scott King Author Award: March: Book 3, John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, (IDW/Top Shelf)

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award: The Sun Is Also a Star, Nicole Yoon, (PRH/Delacorte)

Margaret Edwards Award: Sarah Dessen

Odyssey Award: Anna and the Swallow Man, narrated by Allan Corduner, (PRH/Listening Library)

Morris Award: The Serpent King, Jeff Zentner, (PRH/Crown Books for Young Readers)

Excellence In Non-Fiction For YouthMarch: Book 3, John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, (IDW/Top Shelf)

Michael L. Printz AwardMarch: Book 3, John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, (IDW/Top Shelf)

Pura Belpre (Illustrator) Award: Lowriders to the Center of the Earth, illus. by Raul Gonzalez, written by Cathy Camper (Chronicle Books)

Pura Belpré (Author) Award: Juana & Lucas, written and illustrated by Juana Medina, (Candlewick)

Arbuthnot Lecture: Naomi Shihab Nye

Batcheldor AwardCry Heart But Never Break, written by Glenn Ringtved, illus. by Charlotte Pardi, Translated from the Danish by Robert Moulthrop, (Enchanted Lion)

Sibert AwardMarch: Book 3, John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, (IDW/Top Shelf)

Carnegie Medal: Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, produced by Ryan Swear

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award: Nikki Grimes

Geisel AwardWe Are Growing: A Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Book, written and illustrated by Laurie Keller, (Disney/Hyperion)

Caldecott MedalRadiant Child, Javaka Steptoe, (Little, Brown)

Newbery Medal: The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill, (Workman/Algonquin Young Readers)

Finalist For The 2017 PEN Awards

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

PEN America has announced their finalists for a wide range of awards.

9780812989786_0df0aFor the first time in its history (due to a new award category), a single book is a finalist for two PEN awards, Teju Cole’s Known and Strange Things (PRH/Random House; Recorded Books/Griot Audio; OverDrive Sample). It is a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, a new prize in 2017, and also a finalist in the Essay category.

The PEN/Jean Stein Book Award recognizes a “book of extraordinary originality and lasting influence judged by an anonymous panel without submissions.”

The other finalists are:

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Finalists for other PEN awards that have also been getting year-end best books attention include

Edgar Nominees Announced

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Today is the 208th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth, excellent timing for the announcement of the 2017 Edgar Nominees.

9781455561780_72e84The buzziest title among the five nominees for Best Novel is Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample).

It debuted at #2 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list and racked up impressive holds queues when first released. Written by the creator of the Fargo TV series on FX, it earned multiple starred reviews in advance of publication and made a number of end-of-year best lists.

Somewhat more under the radar,9780399169496_dec56 Jane Steele, by Lyndsay Faye (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; BOT; OverDrive Sample), also a Best Novel nominee, caught the attention of library staff, as a LibraryReads choice in March and a #libfaves2016 title. One librarian summed it up well:

JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye – excellent re-imagining of Jane Eyre if Jane killed off all the people who deserved it. — Jane Jorgenson@madpoptart

9781101903735_a6beaThe Best First Novel category includes Dodgers by Bill Beverly (PRH/Crown; BOT; OverDrive Sample), which made both Amazon and Booklist‘s end-of-year selections and was among the Carnegie Medal’s longlist titles. It was an Indie Next choice and a B&N Discover pick as well. The Bookreporter writes “Those who enjoy reading George Pelecanos and Cormac McCarthy, or viewing Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, will find much to love here.”

9780316267724_1a04aAnother first novel nominee that received strong critical attention this year, IQ by Joe Ide (Hachette/Mulholland Books; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), was on The New York Times best of the year list. Entertainment Weekly called it a “crackling page-turner” in their Fall Book Preview.

9781594205781_2dcf5Kate Summerscale, as the NYT notes, has found a “nifty literary specialty: resurrecting and reanimating, in detail as much forensic as it is novelistic, notorious true-life tales of the Victorian era.” Her latest, The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample) is a contender in the Best Fact Crime category. The Atlantic wrote that Summerscale “expertly probes the deep anxieties of a modernizing era. Even better, she brings rare biographical tenacity and sympathy to bear.”

9780871403131_8fe66The critically praised biography of the author of “The Lottery” is among the Best Critical/Biographical nominees. Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin (Norton/Liveright; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) is on multiple year-end best lists, including those by Booklist, Kirkus, NYTBR, Publishers Weekly, and The Washington Post.

The award winners will be named on April 27 in a ceremony to be held in NYC, a city that claims him as their own, as the NYT points out today (Boston, Richmond, and Baltimore will beg to differ). The dress code? The Mystery Writers of America says “Dress to Kill – Black Tie Preferred.”

The full list of nominees is now online.

Golden Globe Winners

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Adaptations took home several prizes from last night’s Golden Globe Awards, although the big winner was the original, La La Land.

Technically, Moonlight, which won for Best Picture, is an adaptation, since it is based on an unpublished school drama project titled In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney. 

9780735216686_c42dbFulfilling expectations, Viola Davis won as best supporting actress for her work in Fences. Denzel Washington, who starred and directed, was nominated as Best Actor, but did not win. Tie-in: Fences (Movie tie-in) by August Wilson (PRH/Plume).

9781478970637_a367bAaron Taylor-Johnson won as best supporting actor for Nocturnal Animals. The tie-in uses the original title of the novel, Tony and Susan, Austin Wright (Hachette/Grand Central Publishing; OverDrive Sample).

9780399594007_44c2dIn TV, The Night Manager produced three winners. Tom Hiddleston won for best actor. Olivia Colman and Hugh Laurie both won for supporting roles. Tie-in: The Night Manager (TV Tie-in Edition) by John le Carré (PRH/Ballantine Books; OverDrive Sample).

9780812988543_6d385The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story also did well. It won for best series, with Sarah Paulson, who played Marcia Clark, winning for best actress. The show is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s 1996 book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson. The tie-in edition (Random House; OverDrive Sample) came out last September.

Elle won Best Motion Picture in the Foreign Language with its star Isabelle Huppert winning for best actress, drama. The film is based on Oh… by Philippe Djian (Gallimard, 2012; not published in the US).

The Golden Globes

Friday, January 6th, 2017

The glitzy award season starts Sunday, Jan. 8 with the Golden Globes, which honors both film and TV and is known for being less formal than the Oscars, in no small part because drinks are available to the guests throughout the evening.

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There are many literary connections among the nominees, from Outlander and Game of Thrones to Fences and The Night Manager.

LitHub offers a run down of them all, along with the awards each is up for and a short summary.

Perhaps even more interesting is their list of snubs, which they call “frankly outrageous.” Titles that did not make the cut this year include The Handmaiden, Orange is the New Black, Love & Friendship, and Certain Women.

About The Handmaiden, LitHub says, “The movie is gorgeous, sensual, terrifying, and an utterly captivating experience—more captivating even than its source material. It’s a stunning achievement, and it should really get every award.”

Love & Friendship is defended with “A generally underrated (or at least under-discussed) film this year, but actually great. Whit Stillman! Kate Beckinsale! Chloë Sevigny! Jane Austen, except meaner than you remember! Well-acted, lively, and satisfyingly acerbic.”

LitHub also lists The Girl on the Train but says “Just kidding. Even Emily Blunt couldn’t save this movie.”

EW offers a full list of the nominees and where they can be viewed.

Dylan Celebrated

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

After weeks of seeming to snub his Nobel Prize, Bob Dylan won many over at Saturday night’s Nobel Banquet, without even attending. His letter of thanks, read by Azita Raji, the American ambassador to Sweden, was applauded by the NYT as “a warm, humble statement.” In it, he explains that his songs are,

“the vital center of almost everything I do … Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, ‘Are my songs literature?’ … So, I do thank the Swedish Academy, both for taking the time to consider that very question, and, ultimately, for providing such a wonderful answer.”

That answer was driven home by one of the Nobel Committee members who said at the event that Dylan is,

“a singer worthy of a place beside the Greek bards, beside Ovid, beside the Romantic visionaries, beside the kings and queens of the blues, beside the forgotten masters of brilliant standards. If people in the literary world groan one must remind them that the gods don’t write, they dance and they sing.”

Patti Smith, who, as The Rolling Stone reports, was invited to perform before the announcement of Dylan’s Nobel, chose to sing his 1962 protest song, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall.” She got tangled in the long and complicated lyrics, halting at one point to say “I’m sorry, I’m so nervous,” and received a round of applause. She recovered so well that she brought many in the audience to tears. 

And The Grammy Nominees Are …

Friday, December 9th, 2016

The Grammy Awards announced their finalists in the Best Spoken Word category this Tuesday. Spanning poetry, audiobooks, and storytelling, the category has a rich history of winners, including Jimmy Carter, Stephen Colbert, President Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Maya Angelou.

This year’s nominees are:

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy Schumer (Simon & Schuster Audio). Also nominated for Best Comedy Album.

In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox, Carol Burnett (RH Audio/BOT)

M Train, Patti Smith (RH Audio/BOT)

Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk, John Doe with Tom Desavia and various artists (RH Audio/BOT). Review from the L.A. Times.

Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, Elvis Costello (RH Audio/BOT)

The Missing Nobel Laureate

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

francis-h-c-crick-nobel-prize-medal-1This is Nobel Week, featuring press conferences with the winners, the official Nobel Lectures, and the awarding of the prizes at a banquet on Saturday night.

Many of the events will be streamed live on the Nobel page, but not the Lecture in Literature. The Nobel site states, “As Literature Laureate Bob Dylan will not be present during Nobel Week, the Nobel Lecture in Literature will not be held.”

He has, however, sent a thank you speech to be read at the Nobel banquet on Saturday, which begins at 4:30 pm Stockholm time (10:30 am, Eastern). It will be streamed live on the site.

In addition, Patti Smith will perform Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” during the banquet. RollingStone reports that Smith is “also taking part in the Nobel Week Dialogue event the day before on December 9th, where she’ll discuss the ‘importance of role models.'” They further report that not even the Nobel organizers know who will read Dylan’s “speech of thanks” at the gala.

Smith tells the magazine that Nobel organizers asked her to sing in September, before Dylan was named the Literature Laureate, “I had planned to perform one of my own songs with the orchestra … But after Bob Dylan was announced as the winner and he accepted it, It seemed appropriate to set my own song aside and choose one of his. I chose ‘A Hard Rain’ because it is one of his most beautiful songs. It combines his Rimbaudian mastery of language with a deep understanding of the causes of suffering and ultimately human resilience.”

The New Grand Masters

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

9781783298143_ff7679781250088635_4325fThe Mystery Writers of America have announced Max Allan Collins and Ellen Hart as the 2017 Grand Masters, an award that recognizes “the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality.” It is the highest honor the association bestows.

In the press release, Collins said, “To be in the company of Agatha Christie, Rex Stout and Mickey Spillane is both thrilling and humbling. This is an honor second to none in the art of mystery and suspense fiction.”

Hart said. “A writer’s stock-in-trade is imagination. I’ve always felt mine was pretty good, but never in a million years did I ever think winning the MWA Grand Master award was a possibility. I’m stunned, grateful, and profoundly honored.”

Collins has written over 100 novels. Some of the best known are his award-winning Nathan Heller historical series which begins with True Detective (Macmillan/St. Martins, 1983, reprinted 2011, Amazon/Thomas & Mercer), the graphic novel Road to Perdition (DC/Vertigo, 1998, reprinted 2011), and the Quarry books (now a Cinemax series). His newest novel is Quarry in the Black (Hard Case Crime, 2016).

Hart writes the Jane Lawless and Sophie Greenway series. There are 23 Lawless novels, many of them either Lambda Literary Award winners or finalists. Hallowed Murder (Seal Press, 1989) is the first and Fever in the Dark (Macmillan/Minotaur, forthcoming Jan 2017) is the newest. There are 8 Greenway novels. The first came out in 1994, This Little Piggy Went to Murder (PRH/Fawcett), and the last hit shelves in 2005, No Reservations Required (PRH/Fawcett).

Slate Book Club Reads UNDERGROUND

Sunday, November 27th, 2016


Slate critics Jamelle Bouie, Laura Miller, and Katy Waldman return with the newest Audio Book Club. They “discuss two novels that reimagine our racist past and present,” The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOTOverDrive Sample) and Underground Airlines by Ben Winters (Hachette/Mulholland Books; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The panel discuses each book on its own and then compares them in a wide ranging conversation that dips into the roots of hard-boiled genre fiction, the history of slavery, and segments of the history of the abolitionist movement.

Whitehead recently won the National Book Award for his novel, which is also on most of the year-end best of books of the year lists. PW picked Underground Airlines as one of the best Mystery/Thriller books of 2016.

The next discussion will be about the winner of the Nobel Prize, Bob Dylan, focusing on The Lyrics: 1961-2012 (S&S).

John Lewis On The MARCH

Friday, November 18th, 2016

9781603093958_0e365Winning the National Book Award has sent the March trilogy, by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf) zooming on Amazon, jumping from #1,321 to #17.

The individual volumes are all soaring up the sales ranks as well, each leapfrogging over a thousand other titles.

It has also resulted in a glowing NYT book review: “The three volumes of March … aren’t just a record of Lewis’s activism but one of its brilliant examples, designed to help new generations of readers visualize the possibilities of political engagement.”

The review continues, saying the comics are a:

“galvanizing account of [Lewis’s] coming-of-age in the movement, it’s a capsule lesson in courage of conscience, a story that inspires without moralizing or simplifying in hindsight … Emphasizing disruption, decentralization and cooperation over the mythic ascent of heroic leaders, this graphic novel’s presentation of civil rights is startlingly contemporary. Lewis may be one of the “great men” of the movement, but his memoir is humble and generous.”







Collectively the trilogy has received a number of groundbreaking honors:

March: Book One is a Coretta Scott King honor book, a Margaret A. Edwards honor book, an ALA Notable Children’s Book, and is the first graphic novel to win a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. It was also nominated for three Eisner awards.

March: Book Two won the Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work.

March: Book Three won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. This is the first time a graphic novel has been so honored (there have been graphic novel finalists. Raina Telgemeier’s Ghosts, Scholastic/GRAPHIX, was also a finalist this year).

For just a taste of the power of the comics, see our post on the Congressman’s recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.