Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Salon: Checking in on Indie Lit Awards

Happy Sunday! It's a lovely weekend here in Des Moines, and Mr. Nomadreader and I are looking forward to enjoying the (mostly) beautiful weather and the Des Moines Arts Festival today. Tuesday I'll have a full recap of the festival.

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.
If this year plays out like last year, the best is certainly yet to come. Now tell me, what fall release do you think is most likely to make this year's Indie Lit shortlist for Fiction?

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  1. I guess timing is very crucial for a book so far as awards are concerned. Most often it is the very recently released ones that I often see in award lists. Those released months ago will be there, but not in as many numbers. I've noticed this even for movie awards. Maybe public memory is way too short?

  2. I am really excited about State of Wonder after having read your glowing review, and want to get the chance to read it. To that end, I am buying my copy this weekend, and hope to start it soon. It sounds like it's probably going to be on your favorites list for this year!

  3. I'll read two which are already on Melody's the list: 13, Rue Therese and West of Here.

    I think The Tiger's Wife, The Weird Sisters and The London Train and likely to be short-listed, just from reading the reviews so far.

  4. I just read what you read now and the quality of my reading has increased exponentially. (!!!) LOL

    Also jonesing for State of Wonder...of course. Pulled Run off my shelf yesterday to hold me over until I can get it from the 'brary.


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