Announcing the Kathy Book Awards...

December 12, 2014

Photo courtesy Mocanu Bogdan

Oh, you’ve never heard of the Kathys? That’s because I just invented them. I was planning to do a “10 Favorite Reads of 2014” post, when I realized I had nearly twice that many favorites chosen after a quick pass through the list of books I read this year.  These awards are completely personal and subjective, with the main requirement being that I read and loved each book listed in 2014, regardless of when it was published. Sadly, the authors receive nothing but my undying thanks and admiration, and the likelihood that I will recommend and buy their books in future, even if they, the authors, are dead. (I admit this is a fairly questionable honor.) So without further ado, I give you the Kathy Book Awards:

Fiction: Life After Life, Kate Atkinson. 
Runner up: Kind of Cruel, Sophie Hannah. I was surprised and pleased to find this is one in a series.

This was the hardest category from which to choose a winner. I read a number of really outstanding novels this year. Other favorites included: Old Filth, What Alice Forgot, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and The Little Stranger.

Vintage mystery: The House on the Roof, Mignon G. Eberhart. Great story, and a terrier named Blitz.
Runner up: The Brading Collection, Patricia Wentworth. I figured out whodunit!

Classic: All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque. Surprisingly, All Quiet beat out a horse classic for the honor. The book affected me deeply, and I wrote about it here.
Runner up: My Friend Flicka, Mary O’Hara.

Non-fiction: Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Georgina Howell. Remarkable woman, sometimes called the “female Lawrence of Arabia.”
Runner up: What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets, Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio. Portraits of 80 people from 30 countries with the food they typically eat in one day. Aren’t you curious about how the diet of a Japanese sumo wrestler or a Masai herdswoman compares to your own?

Books on writing: Still Writing, Dani Shapiro. Longer on inspiration than on craft, this book was just what I needed to reignite my love for writing. A favorite among favorites.
Runner up: Around the Writer’s Block, Rosanne Bane. Using brain science to fight resistance—lots of great and practical information.

Reread: How I Got to Be Perfect, Jean Kerr. I adore Jean Kerr’s writing, and a post about her is in the works for the future.
Runner up: It’s Not That I’m Bitter…, Gina Barreca. Read this if you want to laugh out loud.

What were your favorite reads this year? Please share your own version of the Kathys!

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  1. Dear Kathy - this is such a wonderful idea to keep track and rate the books. I am going to check out your list - may have to add some of these to my must read next year list! I just finished the "
    Secret Hour" by Luanne Rice. It was good and the end kept you on edge. Take care and and have a delightful day.

  2. Debbie--I'm a bit nerdy about reading--I keep a list of what I read every year, and sometimes write notes about the books. I hope you find some good reads on my list. Have a great weekend!

  3. I always enjoy reading about what you are reading. I've requested My Friend Flicka from PBS for next year's classics challenge. I wondered what I was going to read for a children's book, and that sound perfect. My son just told me about Life After Life and I have it on my Kindle; I plan to read it soon. I'm going to check out several others on your list.

  4. Cheryl--I love to hear about what others are reading, so I always hope my readers don't mind when I share. I think you'll like Flicka (my copy belonged to a friend or I'd lend it to you). You'll have to let me know what you think of Life After Life and any others you read.