With the Oscars this week, I got to thinking on the personality of different awards. The book world has a multitude of its own awards, each reflecting their own biases and preferences. They can be useful for finding titles you might have missed or recognizing your favorites. But their usefulness depends so much on how well they match your tastes.
These are my favorite literary awards.
My favorite literary award is the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award. It’s nominated by a panel, voted on by industry professionals, and presented each year at the San Diego Comic Con. It’s my favorite because it’s results match up closely with my own preferences. Looking back over previous winners, I see a ton of favorites, and as I’ve gotten back into comics in recent years I’ve used it’s nomination lists to help me catch up with more recent trends. I don’t follow every category, but I pay attention to New, Continuing, and Limited Series Awards.
See my posts on Eisner winners & nominees
YALSA awards and book lists
I love several of the annual lists and awards put out by YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association). They cover books for ages 12-18, so some of their nominees are too young for me, but I watch the older side of their lists. The Alex award is for adult titles that appeal to teens. The Morris award is for debut YA works. The Printz award is for YA literary excellence. I also use the lists for Top 10 Graphic Novels for Teens.
See my posts on YALSA honorees
Hugo & Nebula Awards
The Hugo and Nebula awards are fantasy and science fiction genre awards, given out by two different groups. There is often, but not always, overlap. Hugo tends toward hard sci-fi, Nebula tends slightly more Earth-based sci-fi. Both seem to choose science fiction over fantasy. Also, neither of them separate new and sequel works, so the nominees are always full of series titles. Neither match my preferences well, but I read descriptions and find a few titles.
Caldecott & Goodreads Choice Awards
The only other awards I pay attention to are the Caldecott award for picture books, and the Goodreads Choice award. I love the Goodreads Choice awards because they’re determined by readers. Even when I don’t agree with the winners, they’re helpful to judge trends and find good reads outside of my normal genre preferences. (And of course, vote for my own favorites!) I don’t review picture books on my blog, I do read several. I make a point to read the Caldecott honorees and finalists in the Goodreads Choice picture book category every year.
What are your favorite literary awards?