After reading State of Wonder, the third book I've given six stars out of five to, I got to thinking about the Indie Lit Awards (I'm thrilled to be a voting member for Fiction this year). Could anything possibly beat State of Wonder? Of course, last year Room was on the shortlist (I also gave Room six stars) and didn't win. It's a lovely reminder how subjective and personal reading can be. When I shared my review of State of Wonder on Facebook, one of my bookish friends (whose taste usually runs quite similar to mine) said she struggled to finish it. I'm confident State of Wonder will be nominated (nominations begin in September!), but I'm already eager to see what else will be.
2011 has been a fantastic reading year for me. Perhaps I'm getting better at identifying my favorite authors or prioritizing books I enjoy. Regardless, there's an excitement to my reading, and, traditionally, the "best books" come out in the fall. Now that 2011 is (almost) half over, is the best still yet to come? Can State of Wonder be trumped?
I decided to look at the shortlist for last year's Indie Lit Awards and see when each book was published. This very unscientific survey will yield no actual insight into this year's awards, of course, but it's a nice tradition to start. Years of data might yield some clues and trends. If there's a way to color-code a spreadsheet for the Indie Lit Awards, this librarian will find it! U.S. publication dates are used.
- C by Tom McCarthy - September 7, 2010
- Great House by Nicole Krauss - October 12, 2010
- Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson - March 2, 2010
- Room by Emma Donoghue - September 13, 2010
- Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye - September 28, 2010 (the winner!)
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