Alex P. Keaton. Mike Flaherty. Marty McFly. You may enjoy a wave of nostalgia thinking of actor Michael J. Fox’s best-known roles, but he has much more to offer. In Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, Fox writes about the choices, challenges, and philosophies that have been a part of his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease. He doesn’t sugarcoat his trials, but this is no pity party. With both charm and passion, Fox narrates a recording that would go on to win a 2010 Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album. Not only is this a moving tribute to a remarkable individual, it is a challenge to all of us to recognize the gifts of everyday life.
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The winners of the 2010 Audie Awards have been announced, and the honor of Audiobook of the Year was bestowed on Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales. This audio recording benefits children in South Africa who have been orphaned or impacted by HIV and AIDS and features an all-star cast of twenty-two performers. Charlize Theron, Don Cheadle, Hugh Jackman, and Scarlett Johansson lend their talents, but our favorites are Helen Mirren, Sophie Okenedo, and the delectable Alan Rickman! This must have been the year for multi-voiced productions, because The Help by Kathryn Stockett deservedly won both in the Fiction category and for Distinguished Achievement in Production. Click here for a full list of nominees and winners, and make your choices for some great summer listening.
“If traditional mysteries are your cup of tea” is the tag-line for Malice Domestic, which honors exceptional whodunits that contain no explicit sex, excessive gore, or gratuitous violence. The newest AGATHA AWARD winners include Louise Penny’s A Brutal Telling for Best Novel and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley for Best First Novel.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America are just as proud to announce the winners of the 2010 NEBULA AWARDS. Best Novel honors were given to The Wind-Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. The Women of Nell Gwynne’s by Kage Baker was named Best Novella, and the film District 9 was the winner of the Ray Bradbury Award.
The winners of the 2010 Edgar Awards were just announced, and thrills and chills fill these top picks from the Mystery Writers of America.
Best Novel: The Last Child by John Hart
Best First Novel: In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff
Best Critical/Biographical: The Lineup: The World’s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives, edited by Otto Penzler
Best Fact Crime: Columbine by Dave Cullen
Best Young Adult: Reality Check by Peter Abrahams
Best Juvenile: Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn
Mary Higgins Clark Award: Awakening by S.J. Bolton
Congratulations to Sherman Alexie‘s War Dances, the newly announced winner of the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award! In making the announcement, the judges drew attention to “the caring, eye-opening beauty of this rollicking, bittersweet gem of a book.” War Dances is a collection of inventive stories that skillfully explore the themes of love, betrayal, family relationships, race, and class. Also honored were finalists The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories by Lorraine M. López, A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore, and Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead. The PEN/Faulkner Foundation was named for William Faulkner, who used his Nobel Prize funds to create a fund for young authors.
If you were held spellbound by the documentary film Man on Wire, you’ll already have a connection to the 2009 National Book Award winner for fiction. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann is the story of a diverse group of New Yorkers who are touched by Philippe Petit’s highwire dance between the Twin Towers in 1974. In the nonfiction category, T.J. Stiles won for The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Other finalists:
Also making news are the 100 Notable Books of 2009, an annual tradition of The New York Times. Take a look, and let us know which ones are deserving and which titles were overlooked!
What a week for literature! Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, a meaty novel set during the reign of Henry VIII, has just been named the winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize for 2009. When the king decides he wants a divorce so he might marry Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell becomes one of his most influential advisors. Not just for history buffs, Wolf Hall will celebrate its U.S. release on October 13.
Also announced was the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature. Herta Müller “who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed,” writes of the oppression of dictatorship and the life of the political exile. The Land of Green Plums and The Appointment are two titles available in English translation.
Inspiring a dollop of déjà vu, last night’s 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards honored repeat winners in several key categories, including Outstanding Drama Mad Men and Outstanding Comedy 30 Rock. The surprises were reserved for richly earned nods in the supporting categories: Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies), Cherry Jones (24), and scene-stealer Michael Emerson (Lost). Outstanding Made for Television Movie Grey Gardens and Outstanding Miniseries Little Dorrit collected several awards each, though they did make room for the sublime Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Saddam). Host Neil Patrick Harris even treated viewers to an interruption by Dr. Horrible, star of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which itself won a Creative Arts Emmy in the Outstanding Special Class Live-Action Short-Form category. Find a complete list of winners here.
The Hugo Awards were created to honor the best science fiction and fantasy works of the previous year. Named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of Amazing Stories, the Hugo has been honoring sci-fi and fantasy writers since 1955.
Here are 2009’s literary standouts:
Best Novel: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Best Semiprozine: Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer and Stephen H. Segal
How about some emotional satisfaction? Are you in the mood for an optimistic ending? Do you long for a little more passion in your life? The Romance Writers of America have revealed the 2009 RITA Award winners. If you need a little bit of inspiration on what to read next, check out some of this year’s victors:
Check out the full list of winners here.