For my first year as a book blogger, I read a total of 52 books. One of my favorite bloggers, 50ayear, does an annual awards for memorable reads. I thought it would be fun to do one of my own. Without further ado, here are the categories and winners……
Best Translated Book
Winner: The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
This little French classic is one of my all-time favorite reads. Beautifully illustrated, this story never fails to make me cry.
(Honorable Mention: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami)
Best Short Story Collection
Winner: Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
One of the best fantasy writers out there, this collection of short stories was nothing short of fantastic. Read it just for his tribute to the great Ray Bradbury. There’s even a Doctor Who short story!
(Honorable Mention: The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye: Five Fairy Stories by A.S. Byatt)
Best Book Adapted For Film
Winner: The Martian by Andy Weir
This book was one of last year’s beach reads, and I’m really glad. Weir wrote a great novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Although I’ve not watched the movie yet, I hear it is quite good.
Most Disturbing Read
Winner: The Collector by John Fowles
I have always believed that true horror is at its best when it involves ordinary people in realistic situations. For example, I think Misery as one of the best of Stephen King’s “horror” novels. While The Collector by John Fowles is not considered a work of horror fiction, it is an extremely frightening work that is one of the best first novels by a writer I’ve ever encountered. Considered a classic, I selected this from my 1001 books list. Although the plot has been recycled countless times (in novels such as the one listed above, television, and movies), I found this to be a compelling read due to the strong writing and the interesting philosophical questions it raises. Make no mistake, this is not a “feel good” book. I was left feeling quite emotionally drained long after finishing it.
(Honorable Mention: The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan)
Best Nonfiction Book
Winner: A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz
This is a must read for Austen fans. It was great to get a male perspective into her works and how we can still learn a thing or two from Lady Jane.
Honorable Mention: So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson
Best Illustrated Book
Winner: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
The illustrations in this book are nothing short of beautiful! I love this tale of the porcelain rabbit as he learns the true meaning of life.
Honorable Mention: Blankets by Craig Thompson
Winner: Pat Conroy
I’m really glad my friend Barry recommended Beach Music. It is a beautifully written story with equal doses of humor and tragedy. This is one of my top reads for 2016, and I will definitely revisit this author again. I was sad to learn that 2016 also marked the year of his passing. Your tales will live on.
(Honorable Mention: Jeanette Winterson)
Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Kazuo Ishiguro
It was tough deciding between Ishiguro and my honorable mention. However, I feel I made the right choice considering this is the writer that penned my all-time favorite novel Never Let Me Go. It was such an honor to meet him and get my copy autographed!
(Honorable Mention: Haruki Murakami)
Best Book Reread of 2016
Winner: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it’s just too much. The current’s too strong. They’ve got to let go, drift apart. That’s how it is with us. It’s a shame, Kath, because we’ve loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can’t stay together forever.”-Never Let Me Go
Best Original Read of 2016
Winner: Beach Music by Pat Conroy
“No story is a straight line. The geometry of a human life is too imperfect and complex, too distorted by the laughter of time and the bewildering intricacies of fate to admit the straight line into its system of laws.”-Beach Music
As you can see, 2016 was a great year of reading. This year is already shaping up to be even better! Bring it on 2017!