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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 11:13 am
And Now for Something Completely Different
Posted by: Keir Graff

In England, you have a handful of tweedy types who meet in secrecy to choose the winner of the Man Booker Prize. In America, you have average Joes and Jolines who vote on the internet. Ladies and gentlemen, the Quills Book of the Year is…drum roll, please…Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings, by Tyler Perry.

Not that the Quills are the U.S. equivalent of the Booker, but they both happened to be announced yesterday. (The two-year-old award is sponsored by Reed Business Information, publisher of our competitors Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and School Library Journal…grrr). From their mission statement:

The Quill Awards pair a populist sensibility with Hollywood-style glitz and have become the first literary prizes to reflect the tastes of the group that matters most in publishing–readers.

According to the press release, the glitterati-studded extravaganza included Suzanne Somers as a presenter. Now that’s a literary award ceremony!

Anyway, notable winners included:

Book of the Year: Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life, by Tyler Perry (Riverhead)
Debut Author of the Year: Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, by Julie Powell (Little, Brown)
Children’s Illustrated Book: If You Give a Pig a Party, by Laura Joffe Numeroff; illustrated by Felicia Bond (Laura Geringer/HarperCollins)
Young Adult/Teen: Eldest, by Christopher Paolini (Random)
General Fiction: A Dirty Job, by Christopher Moore (Morrow)
Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: Twelve Sharp, by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin’s)
Biography/Memoir: Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, by John Grogan (Morrow)

There are about 20 categories, so click here to see the entire list.

After all the recent articles discussing the poor sales of books written by bloggers, it’s interesting to see Julie and Julia turn up with an award. It gives me hope for the book proposal I’m currently circulating, The Exciting, True-Life Story of a Guy Who Sits in Front of a Computer All Day.



3 Responses to “And Now for Something Completely Different”
  1. Likely Stories » Blog Archive » National Book Critics Circle Announces Award Nominees Says:

    [...] It’s a strong list of books, of course, but one of the fun parts of the NBCC picks is that there are always a couple of surprises. And if the choices tend toward the highbrow, well, these are book critics, after all. If you want populism, there’s always the Quills. [...]

  2. Likely Stories » Blog Archive » Unquillable Says:

    [...] Hooray! The Quills will be returning for a third year, reports Publishers Weekly (”Revamped Quills Set for October 22“). There will be some changes, however. First, instead of letting anyone with an Internet connection cast a vote, 6,000 booksellers and librarians will do the honors. Second, the books they’ll be voting on (5 books times 19 categories), PW reports, will be selected by…PW. To be considered for the Quills, books must have been published between July 1, 2006, and June 30, 2007. This year, the nomination process will feature a Quills/PW Selection Committee headed by PW editor-in-chief Sara Nelson. The committee will choose titles from books that have appeared as PW starred reviews or on the magazine’s bestsellers lists. [...]

  3. Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online » Blog Archive » Quill Awards, R.I.P. Says:

    [...] I’m sure going to miss all that populist glitz and Hollywood-style sensibility. [...]

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