As we approach the end of the year (my, how time flies) voting season is upon us. Soon, we’ll begin seeing “best______of the year” listicles from Buzzfeed pop up all over social media, and I have to be honest, I love reading those lists. I like to see if my favourites match up with other voters. I like to see who or what takes the top honour. And I really like voting – who doesn’t like giving their opinion?
Books are not exempt from this list – the Scotiabank Giller Prize, one of the most prestigious awards for Canadian writers, was just announced on November 10th. I am currently reading Close to Hugh, by Marina Endicott, one of the Giller Prize long-list selections, and it’s great! This year’s winner is Fifteen Dogs, by André Alexis. I’ll have to add that to my TBR pile!
And every year, Goodreads, the biggest online reading community, hosts the Goodreads Choice Awards. The opening round of voting ended on November 8th and the second round ended on November 13th. The verdict is in: readers love giving their opinions on their favourite books – now in the final round, over 2.7 million readers have cast their votes! There are some heavy hitters up for nomination this year in each category (there are 20 categories, ranging from mystery/thriller to cookbooks, so there is something for everyone – check them out below). Some of my favourites of the year are nominees, including Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, and An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I can’t wait to see which books make it through to the very end!
The final round of voting is open until Monday, November 23rd (when Episode 6 of the Literally, Katrina podcast comes out!) – cast your votes now!
Episode 5 is here! In today’s episode, I chat with lovely Winnipeg author and actor Anita Daher about her book Wonder Horse, out this past spring (it’s precious).
I also give a reader’s confession – have you ever stayed up all night to finish a book? I certainly have! But I’ll admit, it doesn’t happen often anymore – who has time to pull an all-nighter just to finish a book? A lot of us don’t have the luxury of time, and sleep is in high demand…but sometimes, a book is just so good that it warrants a late-night reading marathon. Just wait until you hear my confession!
Lastly, I tease you with an upcoming contest, coming your way just in time for the holidays (hard to imagine, considering we don’t have any snow – no complaining here!). Stay tuned for instructions on how to enter and what’s in store.
Big news in the literary world this week: Harper Lee, Pulitzer-winning author of To Kill a Mockingbird, is releasing a new book for the first time in more than 50 years! This is timely news because I’m totally re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird right now. Lee’s new book, Go Set a Watchman, is a sequel to the famous To Kill a Mockingbird, set in the same fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama and based on a grown-up Scout Finch, even though it was written before To Kill a Mockingbird.
In a USA Today article released yesterday, Lee is quoted as “explaining that she abandoned the Watchman manuscript decades ago, after her editor suggested she write a new book from the young heroine Scout’s perspective and to set it during her childhood. That became Mockingbird.”
While there has been a massive amount of suspicion about the timing of Watchman’s release (read up on the controversy here), I am personally really looking forward to reading this book when it comes out – and it looks like I’m not the only one. It’s already the #1 book on Amazon.com’s bestseller list and it isn’t set to come out until July 14, 2015. Pretty exciting stuff!
To Kill a Mockingbird is such a popular book that it inspired the title for Tim Federle’s Goodreads Award-winning cookbook Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist, the book I’m going to head out to buy tonight – the perfect way to spend a Friday night is mixing literary cocktails! Love the punny play on words right there.
Because I am still working my way through The Goldfinch, I thought I would tell you a little bit about the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards.
I found out about Goodreads from a friend of mine while we were traveling through South Africa a couple of years ago – he was surprised I had never heard of it because it is the online hub for readers to share reviews with one another and bond over favourite titles, and I really love books. So naturally, I should have known about this website! He encouraged me to get the app and join the community and, so far, it’s been a useful tool to keep track of what I’ve read, what I want to read next, and what is coming out soon.
Every year, Goodreads assembles a list of the most popular and bestselling books of the year and invites the community to vote for the best of the best per category. As of today, over 1,000,000 votes have been cast for the 2014 opening round – that’s pretty exciting! It’s encouraging to see so many readers engaged online.
I already cast my votes for this round of voting and I’m happy to see a few of my favourites from this year listed as nominees. I’ve also found a few new titles to pick up on my next bookstore run.
Check out this year’s nominees and cast your vote!