Remember last time, how I accidentally read 11 books instead of 10 to get to 20? This time around, we're only giving out awards for the last 9, so we'll be all evened up at #30. And, following my theory that everybody who gets a book published is a winner in some way or other, it's time to hand out some aWARds!
For review, the eligible books are
#22: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
#23: Coraline by Neil Gaiman
#24: Moonraker by Ian Fleming
#25: Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
#26: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
#27: Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
#28: Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
#29: Blood Feud by Adrian Dater
#30: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Hm...that's a lot of "guy books.".
And off we go!
The "This Would Even Creep Roald Dahl Out" Award goes to Neil Gaiman for Coraline. Because seriously, Corline would even creep Roald Dahl out. (And if you don't think Dahl could be suitably creepy...Giants that eat children! Children that turn into blueberries! Aliens that devour space hotel guests! Giant fruit that flattens adults! Witches!)
The "'Got Any Threes?' 'Go fish...for TORTURE!'" Award goes to Ian Fleming for Casino Royale. The book is focused almost entirely on the premise of the good guy trying to beat the bad guy and cards. Then, suddenly, you're faced with a realistic depiction of a type of torture that would make men everywhere positively cringe (and possibly cry).
The "This is a Trophy That Sits on the Podium That Was Built from the Wood That Came From the Tree That Grew on the Plain" Award goes to Verna Aardema for Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain. If you've read it, it makes perfect sense.
The "Oh Don't Worry, We're Saving the Most Disturbing for Last!" Awards goes to Gabriel Garcia Marquez for One Hundred Years of Solitude. Cuz a lot of bizarre and disturbing stuff happens in this book, but the gruesome fate that meets the youngest Buendia with about five pages left may just be the most disturbing image in the hundred years.
The "Gordie!" Award goes to Adrian Dater for Blood Feud. Avs and Red Wings. Old-time hockey, coach.
The "This Introduction is Almost Eerie" Award goes to Orson Scott Card for Ender's Game. Seriously. Card provided a bit of his biography in the introduction, and I found it so similar to mine that it's eerie. From a religious background, goes through college not really sure what he'll do, gets out of college and embarks on a career in theatre, but isn't that good of an actor, so he does what he can--notably, building sets and directing--and becomes a playwright. Learns his basics of scene and story structuring from playwriting and then realizes there's no money in playwriting, so he starts writing fiction. Now, if only the rest of our biographies can manage to play out in similar fashion...(well, except for the Mormon thing)
The "Surprisingly Cool, Even to This Not-So-Hip Kid" Award goes to Rob Sheffield for Love is a Mix Tape. I'll be honest, I was afraid we might have a High Fidelity flashback, where my complete ignorance of all things pop culture was going to make this book an annoying waste of my time. Not so. Well-written and introspective, Sheffield's honest examination of his romance and tragically short marriage really resonated with this young still-fairly-newlywed.
The "Just When You Thought He Couldn't Fit Any More Plot In There" Award goes to Michael Chabon for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. "Jews trying to escape Czechoslovakia during Nazi occupation? Budding comic book geniuses at the advent of the superhero book? Young love in 1940s New York City? Sexual identity crises? Check. Oh, you don't think I can fit a lengthy military stint in the Arctic in here? Just watch me, pal!"
The "Best Walking Off Alone Into the Sunset Moment" Award goes to Ian Fleming for Moonraker, for..well, for having an awesome walking off alone into the sunset moment. The book had very little to do with the moon, though, and even less to do with raking.
Finally, the top five from the Twenty Down Awards has expanded to the Top Seven! (I'll probably keep expanding it by two every ten books I read) So here are the current favorites on this reading project. Remember, these aren't necessarily the seven best (in fact, I know they're not), but just my faves:
#7 - Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
#6 - Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis
#5 - Blood Feud by Adrian Dater
#4 - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
#3 - Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
#2 - Ilium by Dan Simmons
#1 - The Stand, Complete and Uncut Edition by Stephen King
Thanks for reading!