Sunday, January 6, 2013

The 2012 Leafy Awards!

Would you believe I totally blew off the Leafy Awards last year?  This time honored tradition!  This thoughtful analysis (ha!)!  I know, I have shame over the whole thing, but I just didn't get around to it and didn't get around to it until all the sudden it felt too late, like it would be forced, and there's nothing I hate more than sounding forced. 

Happily, it's not a problem this year.  Reading everybody else's end of year "best" lists inspired me to great heights, so I've returned from delinquent bloggerdom with the "feature" I like best.  There are no fancy pictures, no orchestras, no speeches (unless you count my own), and really no sense, rhyme, or reason.  Nonetheless, I bring you the cream of this year's very small crop (let's not talk about that) of reading!

The "If I Believed in Guilty Pleasure Reads, This Would Be One" award:

Oh My Stars by Lorna Landvik - Because, you know, it's possible to notice every cheesy flaw a book has and love it anyway.

The "If every non-fiction book was this good, I'd probably read more non-fiction" award:

No Biking In the House Without a Helmet by Melissa Fay Greene - Because I can count on one hand how many non-fiction books I read this year, and on two fingers the ones that I actually enjoyed.  This one I enjoyed more than most of the fiction, it's full of laughs and profundity, too!

The Best Selection Award

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale - Because sometimes you join Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon, but are too lazy to even collect a pool of possible contenders for reading on that day.  Then, maybe you wake up on the appointed day frantic with your lack of a plan and flee to to pick something from the, oh, thousand books you have available/listed in your LibraryThing library.  And of all the books it could possibly pick (hello, War and Peace is in there somewhere...yikes!), it produces the perfect page-turning excellent middle grade/YA choice your bookshelf has to offer., Leafing Through Life salutes you, and you too, Shannon Hale!

The Kissy, Smoochy Award for the Best Love Scene (Seriously, Megan?  Love scenes?  I thought you hated those!):

The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman (And you gave the award to a book about, like, a middle-aged historical midwife?  Surely, you've come unhinged at last!) - But seriously, I'm not into physical love scenes.  They're hard to pull off in a way that is convincing and meaningful (not to mention not cheesy), but I was struck by the one in this book, so much so that I almost wrote about it in my reviews, then chickened out. So, here's to Patricia Harman who made me loved love scenes, if only for a moment.

The Oops Award for the Best Book I Read by Mistake:

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck - ...who is not Robert Newton Peck of A Day No Pigs Would Die fame, but can write a really great book despite that unexpected fact.

The "I Tried the Blog Tour, and I Won" for Unexpected Excellence:

Glass Boys by Nicole Lundrigan - Okay, so I'm not really into the whole book blog tour thing, though I should be.  I need a little more structure in my blogging.  I accepted this one for review, received it, and started reading it, all the time very worried that I would not like it, a fear the first few chapters did nothing to cure.  Much to my shock, Glass Boys became the year's surprise hit and very likely my favorite read of the year.  Here's to taking chances once in a while!

The "Where Have You Been All My Life? Oh, on my shelf?  All this time?" award for Authorial Awesomeness:

Broken Harbor by Tana French - I loved this book, and I'm told it's not even as good as her other books that have been sitting unloved on my bookshelf for, you know, ever. 

And, of course, this year's Dystopian Delight/Amazing Apocalypse (and there always is one, even if I forget to mention it):

White Horse by Alex Adams - A dark story, a fast pace, a Stephen King-esque flavor, and a fierce (formerly ordinary) heroine.  Yes, please.  And don't forget there are two more books to come, and the world didn't end this December, so there's a chance I could still get to enjoy them!

The Review Made Me Love You Award (Who said second thoughts were always bad?):

We Sinners by Hanna Pylvainen - It was okay when I read it.  When I started digging into the review, all the things I had only noticed in passing suddenly became that much more profound. 

The Self Award for...Myself:

"An award for me??  Oh, you shouldn't have!  But, what is it?"
It's the "You Stood The Stand" award!

That's right, Megan, you win the award!  Sure, it may have taken you all summer to slurp up those 1100+ pages, but you did it, braving every sniffle and cough that made you think the killer flu had really come and finishing that book you'd meant to finish since high school.  Hurrah!

And that's another year of Leafy Awards in the bag, with only a little more talking to myself than is socially acceptable.  Hope last year was a great year in reading for you, and that this year is even better!


  1. Now I want to read No Biking in the House Without a Helmet.

  2. Great roundup! I haven't gotten around to wrapping up 2012 and planning for 2013 yet ...

  3. Glad you brought the awards back--you have one of the most fun to read year-end recaps I've seen!

  4. LOL - Great list. I loved NO BIKING IN THE HOUSE too. It's a great book about adoption, parenting, families, etc. I also love Tana French. I really, really need to read WHITE HORSE -- it totally sounds like my kind of thing.

    Happy New Year!

  5. Okay. I'm loving this post! I also like how could have picked any book but ended up picking the perfect one. No Biking in the House sounds like such a winner.

  6. My favorite awards! I always love this annual tradition of yours. I did miss it last year, but sometimes we can't help but take a break.

    I especially like your comment about Lorna Landvik's book--that is so true! It doesn't matter how flawed a book is sometimes, we love it anyway.

    Must read The Midwife of Hope River now. I got to see what love scene stole your heart (I'm not a fan of them either).

  7. Yes! Ditto what Literary Feline said--MY FAVORITE AWARDS!!!! EVER!!!!

  8. Hahaha - Lorna Landvik is the best guilty pleasure EVER!