1. This week was a busy one in terms of book award announcements! The longlist was revealed for one of Canada’s largest non-fiction prizes, the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. Some highlights include: A Season in Hell: My 130 Days in the Sahara with Al Qaeda by Robert Fowler, and Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile by Taras Grescoe. The longlist consists of ten jury-selected titles, and the winner will receive $40,000! For now we’re crossing our fingers for both of our nominated authors – congratulations!
Two other longlists were announced this week for Children’s books! The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are two of the most prestigious prizes in writing and illustrating for children. They are awarded by children’s librarians; the Carnegie Medal for books, and the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration. Two of our favorites were nominated this year: for the Carnegie Medal, Kenneth Oppel and his tale of a teenage Victor Frankenstein, This Dark Endeavour; and for the Kate Greenaway Medal, Oliver Jeffers – who’s made it to the shortlist four times but hasn’t (yet) won the Medal – a whopping three nominations for his amazing illustrations in The Hueys in The New Jumper, Stuck and This Moose Belongs to Me. This is your year, Oliver!
Finally, we are thrilled to congratulate celebrity chef and author David Rocco, whose gorgeous cookbook Made in Italy just won the Regional/Cultural Cookbook award at Taste Canada, The Food Writing Awards! Taste Canada celebrates the best of Canadian culinary publishing, and David Rocco is certainly one of the best – viva Italia!
2. In 2010, Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda became a runaway Canadian hit. It was a #1 Globe and Mail bestseller and was named the #1 Bestselling Book of 2010 in Canada! More than that, it’s a story that has resonated with so many people. On Tuesday, HarperCollins Canada hosted a luncheon at the Park Hyatt in downtown Toronto to celebrate Shilpi and the amazing success of Secret Daughter. It was a beautiful event; Shilpi was presented with a framed cover of Secret Daughter to commemorate 500,000 copies in print (a very rare thing in Canadian publishing). There was also a touching video tribute that featured people who have been affected by the book. In all, it was a fitting fête for a wonderful author and her brilliant debut novel.
3. Is it already that time of year; the time of “Best-Of” lists? I guess so, because both Indigo and Publishers Weekly have released their picks for the Best Books of 2012, just in time for the holidays (well, holiday shopping season, that is)! Indigo’s list of 25 includes Sutton by J.R. Moehringer, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, The Power of Why by Amanda Lang, and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. Publishers Weekly’s top-ten list features Man Booker Prize-winning Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, and National Book Award nominee The Round House by Louise Erdrich. Was your favorite book included on these lists?
4. With the end of 2012 upon us, Goodreads is holding their annual Choice Awards! The Choice Awards are the only major book awards decided by readers like us! To quote bookriot.com, “It’s like the People’s Choice Awards, but without any Beiber.” Click on over to Goodreads and vote for your favorites, and check out our favourites here!
5. National Post’s book blog, The Afterword, is hosting the coolest contest. It’s called the “Ideal Canadian Bookshelf”. The idea came from an artist named Jane Mount, who does really awesome paintings of bookshelves and is publishing her own book called My Ideal Bookshelf. The National Post has asked its readers to vote for the books they think deserve to be on Canada’s ideal bookshelf. You can submit five books – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s books – that you think deserve a spot on the shelf. At the end of the contest, Mount is going to paint the winners as our “National Bookshelf”. So cool! Send your suggestions to email@example.com .
Have a great weekend, and happy reading!
Follow me on twitter at @KelseyMarshall3