Book Awards

Book Awards

The movie, music and TV industries have the Academy Awards, the Grammys, and the Emmys. The book industry has its own set of awards.

The Pulitzer Prize (pronounced Pull-it-sir) winning books were announced recently. According to their website, the Pulitzer is awarded "[f]or distinguished fiction published in book form during the year by an American author, preferably dealing with American life."

The Gering Library does not yet have a copy of this year's fiction winner: "The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family" by Joshua Cohen. We do have many past winners on the shelf, including "The Night Watchman" by Louise Erdrich, "The Nickel Boys" by Colson Whitehead, "The Overstory" by Richard Powers, and "Less" by Andrew Sean Greer. In fact, we have most of the winners from the past 20 years. The Pulitzer sounds like a highbrow prize, but I suspect if you are a reader, you have read a Pulitzer at some point. My favorite Pulitzer winning book is "Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtry.

The John Newbery Medal is awarded by the American Library Association to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. This award has been around for 101 years. "The Last Cuentista" by Donna Barba Higuera won this year's Newbery. The Gering Library has most of the recent winners and many past winners as well. Newbery winners are scattered throughout the children's and teen sections.

Another children's medal is the Randolph Caldecott, awarded to the illustrator of a children's book. This year's winner is "Watercress" illustrated by Jason Chin and written by Andrea Wang. The Caldecott winners are all together on a shelf.

The Mystery Writers of America present the Edgars, named for Edgar Allan Poe. There are several categories of Edgars. Awards are given for children's and teen mysteries as well as paperback, best novel and best first novel among other awards. Some of this year's winners include "Last Call" by Elon Green, "Five Decembers" by James Kestrel, and "Deer Season" by Erin Flanagan. Most of these are available on Overdrive as downloadable or audio books. We have several books that were short-listed for the 2022 fiction award on the shelf. Past Edgar winners have included C.J. Box, William Kent Krueger, Stephen King, Walter Mosley and Dennis Lehane.

The Romance Writers award several prizes. Their main award has been controversial, so it was recently rebranded as the Vivian Award. There are several awards, based on book length and sub-genre. The Gering Library has three winners available on Overdrive. The Historical Romance Long winner was "Ten Things I Hate About the Duke" by Loretta Chase. The Mainstream Fiction winner was "An Everyday Hero" by Laura Trentham. The Mid Length Speculative Romance winner was "Betwixt" by Darynda Jones.

The Hugo Award for works of Science Fiction and Fantasy is awarded in December. Some of their many categories include books, graphic novels and video games.  Many of this and last year's nominees are available on Overdrive, and nominee Andy Weir's "Project Hail Mary" is on the shelf.

The book industry has some odd awards as well, such as The Diagram Prize For the Oddest Title of the Year. Some of their earlier prizes went to "Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice",  "How Tea Cosies Changed the World", and "The Joy of Chickens", none of which are available in the Gering Library.  If you would like to read them, I might be able to find them on Interlibrary Loan.

I also found the Bad Sex in Fiction Award, but it has not been awarded since 2019. I did not find any of the recent winners in our collection, but we do have a book that was short-listed, "City of Girls" by Elizabeth Gilbert and the 2010 winner: "Ed King" by David Guterson.

The Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest is more of a writer's award than a book award. Bulwer Lytton is famous for first having written, "It was a dark and stormy night..." Some of their categories include Purple Prose and Vile Puns. If you want to chuckle at some of the entries, you can find them online at