There's a possibility you may not be aware that back in September I was offered the opportunity to be involved with the Independent Literary Awards on their panel to judge the Literary Fiction nominations. How exciting, right? There is such a huge number of book bloggers, and it is only right that their opinions should have a unified voice. Wallace, at Unputdownables, is the one who came up with the idea to accomplish this through an annual award, and then proceeded to create the website and team of bloggers to help launch nomination process.
A brief note on how the award process works: any book blogger may nominate one book in each category. This list of nominations is called the Long List. The top 5 most-voted-for books would move on to the Short List. The panel would read all 5 books on the Short List, discuss, and decide which deserved the honor.
As the months passed, it was exciting to see the books start to add up on the nomination list. It made me realize that I'm not very good at reading new books, (something I'm working on changing,) because I hadn't heard of many of the books. Mid December came around, the nomination deadline passed, and there was a tie for the last two slots in the Literary Fiction Short List. We voted on the tied possibilities, (a couple o' times because the first vote created another tie,) and finally had the list of books to read and judge.
It was fabulous to read the top 5 books of 2010, based on book blogger's opinions. There was such a variety! Here are my reviews of the 5 in Literary Fiction:
- Room by Emma Donoghue
- Great House by Nicole Krauss
- C by Tom McCarthy
- Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
- Safe From the Sea by Peter Geye
The award went to Peter Geye for Safe From the Sea, published by Unbridled Books, and it was well deserved. This is a book that I would encourage anyone to pick up. It is a quiet book, in the sense that it is more about the characters and setting than a rip-roaring plot, but the plot isn't absent, and is written very well (evocative without being overly complicated). It was a pleasure to find out about this book, and I will definitely be hoping for more from Peter Geye in the future.
If you are interested in the others genres, here is my post about all the award winners. I had such a great time being involved in the awards, and hope to be involved with them in some capacity in future years. And I've begun reading newly published books already, getting ready for those nominations at the end of the year!
(There was even a small announcement about the Awards in the Minneapolis Star Tribune--check it out!)