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Hugo Awards Announced

Emperors Soul book cover

The 2013 Hugo Awards, the leading honor in the field of science fiction and fantasy, were announced earlier this month. Which worlds will you explore?

Best Novel: Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi

Best Novella: The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson

Best Graphic Story: Saga, Volume One by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: The Avengers, written and directed by Joss Whedon

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Game of Thrones, “Blackwater”, written by George R.R. Martin, directed by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Best Professional Artist: John Picacio (check out the Elric series!)

By Readers' Advisor on September 25, 2013 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Humor, Movies and TV

Masters of the PEN

Behind the Beautiful Forevers book coverThe PEN American Center, the U.S. branch of the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization, has announced the winners of the 2013 PEN Literary Awards. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo, one of the most decorated books of 2012, added yet another well-deserved accolade in the John Kenneth Gailbraith Award for Nonfiction.  Additional highlights include

Literary Science Writing Award: Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow

Award for Literary Sports Writing: Like Any Normal Day: A Story of Devotion by Mark Kram, Jr.

Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing: Frank Deford

Award for Biography: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

Open Book Award: Gun Dealers’ Daughter by Gina Apostol

Translation Prize: The Island of Second Sight by Albert Vigoleis Thelen, translated from the German by Donald O. White

By Readers' Advisor on August 28, 2013 Categories: Awards, Books, Historical Fiction, Literary, Nonfiction

Be Swept Off Your Feet

Way Back Home book cover

Winners of the 2013 RITA Awards, celebrating the best in romance, have been announced.  Which love story will you choose?

Contemporary Single Title RomanceThe Way Back Home by Barbara Freethy

Historical RomanceA Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

Romantic Suspense:   Scorched by Laura Griffin

Best First Book and Novel with Strong Romantic ElementsThe Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

By Readers' Advisor on July 31, 2013 Categories: Awards, Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Romance

New Broadway Soundtracks

Kinky Boots CD coverCan’t wait for buzzed-about Broadway shows to make their way to the Midwest? Ease that longing with the best new cast recordings of the Great White Way. Kinky Boots won six 2013 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Leading Role (the fabulous Billy Porter), and Best Original Score for composer/lyricist /pop icon Cyndi Lauper. Honors for Best Musical Revival went to Pippin, reimagined with a circus theme and featuring the spellbinding performance of Best Actress in a Leading Role Patina Miller. If jukebox hits are more your flavor, you can’t miss the energetic medleys of Motown: The Musical. Though the stage may be only in your mind, the theater experience will inspire a personal standing ovation.

By Readers' Advisor on July 22, 2013 Categories: Awards, Music

Looking for a Thrill?

Spilled Blood book cover

The winners of the 2013 Thriller Awards were announced this week, and readers who enjoy a pulse-pounding pace will want to experience the excitement for themselves!

Best Hardcover NovelSpilled Blood by Brian Freeman

Best Paperback Original Lake Country by Sean Doolittle

Best First NovelThe 500 by Matthew Quirk

Best Young Adult NovelFalse Memory by Dan Krokos

By Readers' Advisor on July 17, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Awards, Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Best Audiobooks of the Year

Age of Miracles audiobook coverCelebrate June is Audiobook Month by turning a ready ear to the brand new winners of the 2013 Audie Awards. Whether on a sunny walk, a cross-country road trip, or even a daily commute, you will find the journey to be all the better in the company of an expert story. Audiobook listeners can also earn chances for prizes in MPPL’s summer reading program, Have Book, Will Travel, so why not start with one of these?

Science Fiction: The Age of Miracles (Walker) – read by Emily Rankin
Literary Fiction: Bring Up the Bodies (Mantel) – read by Simon Vance
Mystery: The Beautiful Mystery (Penny) – read by Ralph Cosham
Romance: The Witness (Roberts) – read by Julia Whelan
Solo Narration – Female: Katherine Kellgren for The Boy in the Suitcase (Kaaberbøl and Friis)
Solo Narration – Male: Edoardo Ballerini for Beautiful Ruins (Walter)
Teens: The Fault in Our Stars (Green) – read by Kate Rudd
Children’s Title for Ages 8-12: Same Sun Here – written and read by Silas House and Neela Vaswani
Children’s Titles for Ages Up to 8: The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case (McCall Smith) – read by Adjoa Andoh

By Readers' Advisor on June 1, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Awards, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Literary, Romance

Fantastical Winners

2312 book cover

When you are ready to expand your horizons, why not start with stories that are celebrated by other authors? The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America have announced the winners of the Nebula Awards, and it is an earth-shaking year for the imagination:

Best Novel:  2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
Finalists:  Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed, Ironskin by Tina Connolly, The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin, The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
Best Novella:  After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress
Best Novellette:  “Close Encounters” by Andy Duncan, soon to appear in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection
Best Short Story:  “Immersion” by Aliette de Bodard, available online via Clarkesworld
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation:  Beasts of the Southern Wild, directed by Benh Zeitlin

By Readers' Advisor on May 22, 2013 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Movies and TV

More Award-Winning Mysteries: The Agathas

Beautiful Mystery book coverWho knew May was so mysterious? Quick on the heels of the Edgars, Malice Domestic has announced the 2013 winners of the Agatha Awards, which honor traditional-style mysteries with no explicit sex, gore, or gratuitous violence. Louise Penny took home her fifth Best Novel Award in six years (!!) for the aptly titled The Beautiful Mystery. Catriona McPherson’s Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for Murder won for Best Historical Novel. Need a dash of intrigue right away? You can read the winner for Best Short Story, “Mischief in Mesopotamia” by Dana Cameron, right here. Clue yourself in to puzzles Dame Agatha Christie would approve.

By Readers' Advisor on May 8, 2013 Categories: Awards, Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Edgar Allan Poe Awards for Best Mysteries

Live by Night book cover

You don’t need a tell-tale heart to lead the way to good mysteries. This week the Mystery Writers of America crowned winners of the 2013 Edgar Awards, and the raven’s call includes intrigue in a variety of styles. Check these out:

Best Novel: Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
Best First Novel by an American Author: The Expats by Chris Pavone
Best Paperback Original: The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
Best Fact Crime: Midnight in Peking by Paul French
Best Critical/Biographical: The Scientific Sherlock Holmes by James O’Brien
Best Short Story: “The Unremarkable Heart” by Karen Slaughter (in Mystery Writers of America presents Vengeance)
Best Juvenile: The Quick Fix by Jack D. Ferraiolo
Best Young Adult: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Best Television Episode Teleplay: “A Scandal in Belgravia,” Sherlock, teleplay by Stephen Moffat
Robert L. Fish Memorial Award: “When They Are Done With Us” by Patricia Smith (in Staten Island Noir)
Mary Higgins Clark Award: The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan

By Readers' Advisor on May 3, 2013 Categories: Awards, Books, Movies and TV, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Orphan Master's Son book coverThe U.S. book world uttered a collective sigh of relief when the 2013 Pulitzer committee actually named a Fiction winner.  Still reeling from the unpopular decision to withhold the 2012 Prize, readers have even more reason to celebrate The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, the worthy recipient of this year’s honor.  Lauded as “an exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart,” The Orphan Master’s Son was selected over fellow finalists What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander and The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.  The Prize is given annually to a work of distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.

By Readers' Advisor on April 24, 2013 Categories: Awards, Books, Literary