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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Knauss Awards for Excellence in Publishing: My Best Books of 2011

My reading is pretty erratic and eclectic, dictated not so much by my own preferences as what books I win and what comes across my desk at Fireship. (Got a Spanish topic? Send it across my desk at Açedrex!) But this year I've been impressed enough with my tiny random sampling of the enormous number of books being published that I decided to single out the best ones here.

Best Book I Edited. This category isn't meant to disparage the other fine books I edited this year. When Astreya came "over the transom," as the new Fireship boss likes to say, it was kismet. I'm convinced I became an editor at Fireship just so I could work with this author. It's a trilogy, and we're trying to get the installments out within a month of each other, so the involvement has been much more intense than with any other. Add to that the fact that I was just finishing the editing of Book I when the founder passed away and you'll get some idea of the powerful emotions I can't separate from Astreya. I'm glad I got to go through all that with a book that so tickled my fancy and an author who's a genuine human being. Original review

Best Non-Fiction. Hands-down winner is The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure. This book arrived in the mail and I devoured it in two days. It's an adventure I wish I'd thought of having myself, engagingly written and informative. Absolutely wonderful. Original review

Best Fiction. This is was the most difficult category to narrow down. In the end, it came to which book had a Spanish theme, an epic feel, struggles against the Nazis, and nascent feminism. In spite of its large size, I devoured The Time In Between almost as quickly as I did The Wilder Life, so it's the winner. The hardback is so beautifully designed, I almost need to add a design category here. But I'll refrain. Original review

So, that's all, folks! Happy holidays one and all! See you in the new year!