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Creative Categories (and Finalists) for Indies Choice Book Awards Announced

Read more from G&A: The Contest Blog

A blog from: Poets & Writers Magazine

Posted by Prize Reporter on 3.19.09

If you think the typical contest categories are getting a little stale—it's a rare award that is given for anything other than "the best" in a specific genre or age group or level of career—you might want to consider the American Booksellers Association's inaugural Indies Choice Book Awards. The finalists in seven inventive categories, including Best Conversation Starter (Nonfiction) and Most Engaging Author, were recently announced, and owners and staff of ABA member bookstores are currently voting for the winners, who will be announced at BookExpo America in May.

Perhaps it's due in part to the award program's focus on titles that indie booksellers most enjoy selling that frees them up to be a little more playful with the categories—or maybe it's that there isn't a huge cash prize waiting for the winners at the awards ceremony—but the fine folks at ABA and the members who selected the finalists (Carla Jimenez of Inkwood Books in Tampa, Florida; Mitch Kaplan of Books & Books in South Florida and the Cayman Islands, Arsen Kashkashian of Boulder Book Store in Colorado, Valerie Koehler of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Collette Morgan of Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, Matt Norcross of McLean & Eakin Booksellers in Petosky, Michigan, and jury chair Cathy Langer of Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver) deserve a nod. 

Here are five of the seven categories (for the two picture book divisions, visit the ABA Web site) and the finalists:

Best Indie Buzz Book (Fiction)
City of Thieves by David Benioff (Viking)
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane (Morrow)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Dial)
Netherland by Joseph O'Neill (Pantheon)
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (Viking)
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (Knopf)

Best Conversation Starter (Nonfiction)
American Buffalo by Steven Rinella (Spiegel & Grau)
The Forever War by Dexter Filkins (Knopf)
Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg (Other Press)
A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz (Holt)
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami (Knopf)
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell (Riverhead)

Best Author Discovery (Debut)
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (Grand Central)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Knopf)
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (Algonquin)
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (Ecco)
The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merrill Block (Random House)
White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Free Press)

Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book (Fiction)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Tor)
My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger (Dial)
Savvy by Ingrid Law (Dial)

Most Engaging Author (for "the author who is an in-store star with a strong sense of the importance of indie booksellers to their local communities")
Sherman Alexie
Michael Chabon
Ann Patchett
Jon Scieszka
David Sedaris
Terry Tempest Williams

 

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