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2012 PEN Literary Awards Announced

Catherine the Great book coverThe PEN American Center, the U.S. branch of the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization, has chosen the winners of the 2012 PEN Literary Awards. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie won the Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography, and you can see the story brought to life by favorite book dramatist Barbara Rinella at MPPL on October 1.

Click here for category information and a complete list of winners. Highlights include

Robert W. Bingham Prize: Zazen by Vanessa Veselka

Achievement in American Fiction: E.L. Doctorow

Award for the Art of the Essay: Arguably by Christopher Hitchens

Literary Science Writing Award: The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Award for Literary Sports Writing: Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game by Dan Barry

Illustrated Children’s Book: Never Forgotten by Patricia C. McKissack

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on September 5, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Literary, Nonfiction

Rewarding Romance

The Black Hawk book coverBe still our hearts! The Romance Writers of America have named the most outstanding published romance novels of the year and honored them with the 2012 RITA Awards. No matter if your preferred hero wears a kilt, holds a Regency title, has ties to the supernatural, or appreciates homebaked goods, you’ll find a winner to enhance your dreams.

Best Historical Romance: The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne

Best Regency Historical Romance: A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare

Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements: How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal

Best First Book: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Best Paranormal Romance: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Best Romantic Suspense: New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb

Best Young Adult Romance: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on August 1, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Romance

Award-Winning Faith Fiction

Promises to Keep book cover

The 2012 Christy Awards, designed to honor and promote excellence in Christian fiction, newly announced top picks in a variety of genres. Click here for a complete of nominees, and choose one of the winners below to inspire your end-of-summer reading.

Contemporary Standalone: Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

Contemporary Series: The Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

Suspense: The Queen by Steven James

Historical: Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Historical Romance: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

First Novel: Words by Ginny Yttrup

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 25, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Historical Fiction, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Romance

Winners from ThrillerFest

Spiral book cover

The 2012 Thriller Awards were announced this week, and each winner is action-packed and adrenaline-fueled!

Best First Novel: Spiral by Robert McEuen 

Best Hardcover Novel: 11/22/63 by Stephen King 

Best Paperback Original Novel: The Last Minute by Jeff Abbott 

2012 ThrillerMaster: Jack Higgins 

True Thriller Award: Ann Rule

Silver Bullet Award: Richard North Patterson

Honors were bestowed on the final day of the seventh annual ThrillerFest, the annual conference of the International Thriller Writers, who also publish a monthly webzine The Big Thrill.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 18, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Once Reinvented, Eight Times Rewarded

Once: A New Musical CD cover

Remakes seem to be the norm of late, rather than the exception. To be successful, they need to bring something new to the story, and that is certainly the case with the Broadway production of Once: A New Musical. Staying true to the original, but playing with instrumentals and a cappella performances, the 2012 Tony Award winner for Best Musical (and in seven other categories, too!), enchants with beautiful stringwork and Steve Kazee’s especially soulful performance as The Guy. Since the actors also serve as the band, the collaborative effort rings with authenticity, and the international influences are enhanced. Fall slowly in love all over again with the original Broadway cast recording of Once: A New Musical.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 9, 2012 Categories: Awards, Music

Locus Awards Honor Readers’ Favorites

A Dance with Dragons book cover

The people have spoken! The 2012 Locus Awards, honoring winners of Locus: The Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Field’s annual readers’ poll, have been announced. Why not choose your summer reading from books selected by fans themselves? Click to see a complete list of winners and other finalists.

Fantasy Novel: A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

Science Fiction Novel: Embassytown by China Miéville

First Novel: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Young Adult BookThe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Novella: “Silently and Very Fast” by Catherynne M. Valente 

Novelette: “White Lines on a Green Field” by Catherynne M. Valente

Short Story: “The Case of Death and Honey” by Neil Gaiman

Anthology: The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Eighth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on June 20, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Celebrate June is Audiobook Month

Bossypants audiobook cover

Just in time to highlight great listens for summer reading, the winners of the 2012 Audie Awards have been announced! Honoring the year’s best recordings in a rich mix of categories, these awards are a perfect source of listening suggestions while traveling on vacation, basking in the sun, or making everyday routines more exciting. Try one of the most recent winners below or sample past Audiobooks of the Year. Need more incentive? Don’t forget that listening to an audiobook counts as reading in our Summer Reading Program!

Audiobook of the Year: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Solo Narration (Male): Simon Vance, narrator of The King’s Speech

Biography/Memoir: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Fantasy: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Humor: Shatner Rules by William Shatner with Chris Regan

Literary Fiction: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Multi-Voiced Performance: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Mystery: Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke

Narration by the Author: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Personal Development: Prime Time by Jane Fonda

Romance: New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb

Thriller/Suspense: The Nightmare Thief by Meg Gardiner

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on June 11, 2012 Categories: Audiobooks, Awards, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Humor, Literary, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance

New Stars in the Nebula

Among Others book coverThe Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced the winners of the 2012 Nebula Awards this weekend.  Expand your universe with one of these stellar honorees:

Best Novel: Among Others by Jo Walton

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy: The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman.  [Bonus: read an original interview with author Delia Sherman and MPPL!]

Best Novella: The Man Who Bridged the Mist by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Science Fiction, October/November 2011 – available to read online)

Best Short Story: “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2011 – available to read online)

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on May 23, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Edgar Award Winning Mysteries

Gone book cover

Follow the clues to discover the best mystery writing of the year.  The Mystery Writers of America recently named the winners of the 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, and it would be a crime for you to leave these cases unsolved:

Best Novel: Gone by Mo Hayder

Best First Novel: Bent Road by Lori Roy

Best Fact Crime: Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard

Best Critical Biographical: On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda

Best Young Adult: The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall

Best Juvenile: Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on May 9, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

LISTS: Orange Prize for Fiction

Spell of Winter book coverAs Women’s History Month draws to a close, be sure to check out the best in women’s contemporary writing. The Orange Prize for Fiction was created in 1996 to celebrate excellence, originality, and accessibility in women’s writing throughout the world.  Honorees include Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and On Beauty by Zadie Smith.

Click here to see a complete list of the winners of the Orange Prize for Fiction.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on March 30, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Lists