Sunday, January 30, 2011

The 2010 Leafy Awards!

I have bad news for you, people. In their 4th year now, the annual Leafy Awards, resident bull crap awards at Leafing Through Life, are getting a little high and mighty, a little full of themselves even. They suppose that after four years of existence, they can just show up fashionably late, or whenever the heck they feel like. They told me they were thinking of just waiting until February to show their pampered little faces. Fear not, however, I am yanking them down from off of their high horse and forcing them to present themselves now, a mere almost-month after the new year came to pass.

If you haven't been through this with me in one of these past years, you should know that the Leafy Awards, of course, are my way of recapping my reading year in extraordinarily good (and occasionally bad) books. All those many years ago when I started this tradition, I was dead tired of ye olde "Top 10" list and mostly unable to pick just 10, so I cooked up a slew of bogus categories to spotlight any book I very well wanted to. And so it has continued to this very day, with new and different bogus categories to go with all those old and samey categories that have appeared before. No charts, no graphs, no stats, just pure unadulterated texty rambly tangential goodness!

Without further ado or explanation...I present to you the cream of my very small crop....the 2010 Leafy Awards!

The "Can You Believe I Read This (AGAIN)?" Award goes to....

Hamlet by William Shakespeare! (Turns out I forgot to lock the door when when I shut it on Shakespeare after the last page of my AP English exam in high school. Sneaky bastard bard snuck back in....and I liked it!)

The Book I Got SO Into I Almost Believed Its Events Were Actually Happening award goes to...

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (How many times can you say that you looked up from a book and were actually disoriented because oh actually you aren't, you know, living through the apocalypse after all? You're just reading a book and making a true statement of that quote in your blog header.)

The Content to Crying in 25 Pages or Less award:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman (20 pages it took this book to have me in tears. That has to be a record or something, right?)

The Total Tears award for most pages spent crying (and liking it) goes to...

City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell (All without a single cheap emotional ploy! Brava! And I just loved this book. Loved it. < /gushing >)

Winner of the cheesy "I Laughed, I Cried, I Loved it Award!"):

Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger (Because, I did, you know, laugh and cry and love it. And a book has to be pretty darn good for me to consider the use of this cheesy sentence. Plus, this book made my dad cry. When does that even happen?)

The thoroughly uncontested Cruelest Cliffhanger award belongs to...

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Resulting in a panicked last minute scramble to add the other two books in the Chaos Walking series to my Christmas list. Fear not, I was not too late, and they were under my Christmas tree! I must know if anything good ever happens to these poor kids...)

The Unforgotten Award:

Complications by Atul Gawande (for being that book from the very beginning of the year that you would totally forget if you hadn't loved it enough to carry that warm fuzzy feeling of book love with you all through the year. Also takes the cake in the Important but Enjoyable Book of the Year category)

The Glorious Bookish Nostalgia Award is a tie between...

Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein (for reminding me of my love for the horror/thriller/mystery reading that defined my high school reading self. Despite how much I really did enjoy this book, it is also the unfortunate winner of the Blogger Fatigue award for wearing out its welcome in the book blogosphere within a month of its re-release.)


Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman (for reminding me of my inner middle school reader who loved reading those creepy Fear Street stories by R.L. Stine deep into the night while skulking in the doorless entry to my room reading by the hall light because I was supposed to have been sleeping. The sound of the door at the bottom of the stairs always gave me enough time to sneak back to bed without being caught. Ahh, the good days.)

Winner of The Book Evangelist's Book of the Year award is...

The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers by Thomas Mullen (Have I recommended this book to you yet? If not, maybe you should check and see if you have a pulse? I pushed this book in my review, in person both far and wide to my family and people I met at BEA, and then I pulled it out again to foist it upon people during BBAW. Despite my best efforts, though, it still takes this year's top honors in the Criminally Underappreciated category.)

Honorable Mentions because I can't think of appropriately quirky categories:

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman (The I Secretly Love Books About Prison Award? Um, no. Book That Made Me Love Prisoners award? Ugh, definitely no, but it, uh, did. Honorable mention. Yeah.)

The Gendarme by Mark T. Mustian (Best Elderly Narrator award? Ehhhh. Best Book About a Historical Event That Giant Swathes of People Still Aren't Talking About award? Snappy, really rolls of the tongue. Best Book about Genoci...ah hell, Honorable mention!)

The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter (Because Book I Didn't Realize Was Brilliant Until I Reviewed It 2 Months After the Fact seems like the worst of backhanded compliments - Honorable mention!)


  1. Love the award categories - very clever!

    I actually have only read one of these books (Financial Lives) so I have lots to add to my TBR.

  2. Oh my, if any book could beat The Knife of Never Letting Go out for the total tears award, I'm not sure my faint little heart could take it! I don't think I stopped crying for the entire last third of the book. In other words, maybe I should just pass on City of Tranquil Light. :P

    You know, I wish the Leafy Awards came around more than once a year! :D

  3. I'd like to meet the person who doesn't keep their pantry stocked with water and food, and who didn't make plans for what they would do in an apocalypse after reading Life as We Knew It. Amazing book.

    Last Days of Summer is another amazing book. When my son read it he was shocked at the ending- he not being as familiar with world war two foreshadowing.

    Must check out your honorable mentions, they look good.

    Great awards! If ever there was a case for 'better late than never'!

  4. I love the Leafy Awards. I think you should do them quarterly. :)

  5. fuckyeahleafyawards!!!!! I love the Leafy Awards :D And this years was no let down.

    Oh dear, I'm afraid all of us punish ourselves with reading Shakespeare without a teacher telling us to :/ It just happens.

    YES...Life as We Knew It...I read it 2? 3? years ago...and still look at the moon sometimes and wonder if it's just a bit closer :O

    Must. Get. City of Tranquil Light NOW! I love to cry reading books. Sad fact.

    And yes yes yes for Raven Stole the Moon...god I loved that book but it really was over done with the publicity tours :/

  6. Colleen - Thanks! Hope you read some of these excellent books, too. =)

    Debi - City of Tranquil Light has good, cathartic tears. The Knife of Never Letting Go has...rageful "Patrick Ness you are a mean, mean man" tears. Actually, it didn't make me cry all that much except for the thing with the something and the dying...and that's not too spoilery, is it? You must know what I mean, though! ;-) Seriously, there comes a point past which I just become depressed without crying and TKONLG had me past the point!

    raidergirl - Last Days of Summer was definitely heavy on the foreshadowing, and I totally knew what would happen, and I totally cried a lot anyway.

    Trisha - Thanks! *does a quick calculation* Considering I read about 10 books in a quarter, those quarterly Leafy's would be pretty short and sweet! LOL

    Chris - I was so bummed when everybody went so sour on Raven Stole the Moon. I *really* liked it and everybody was all like, "I'm over it," and they hadn't even read it! Do read City of Tranquil Light - I loved it so much!

  7. I love your award categories!

    I just finished all three of the Chaos Walking books and loved them, too. I'll have to read your review about Knife.

    And I guess one of the good things about being absent from the book blogging world much of last year is that I missed out on the plethora of posts about Raven Stole the Moon. Since I loved The Art of Racing in the Rain (gee, I seem to be loving things a lot in this comment), I'll have to put this one on the wishlist!