Bookish Academy Awards

This is a tag I saw on Booktube and, well, if there isn’t anything I love more than making lists of things, I’ll have to find it. It was created by Bookadoodles and I learned about it from a PeruseProject video, although I’ve edited the categories quite a lot to suit me.

You also get a commentator! Because what are the Oscars without over-analysis.

So, welcome, welcome to my first annual Book Oscars! The books that were eligible for the categories are not the books that came out last year, but the books I read last year. There will be nominees, and then… drumroll…. there will be a winner! So let’s dive in.

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Best Cover Art or Photography (Best Makeup and Hairstyling)

The nominees are…

Benjamin Carré, The Republic of Thieves; Will Staehle, A Darker Shade of Magic; Scott Grimando, Windwitch; Wojtek Fus, Ahsoka; John Rocco, The Ship of the Dead

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And the Oscar goes to… Will Staehle for A Darker Shade of Magic

I think we all saw this one coming. While there has definitely been some impressive cover art this year, none has stood out so much as the Shades of Magic series covers. Also, Leo has been staring at these for fun in her spare time.

Best Cover Design (Best Costume Design)

The nominees are…

Robin Bilardello, Another Brooklyn; Maggie Edkins/Sammy Yuen, Strange the Dreamer; Will Staehle, A Darker Shade of Magic; Natalie C. Sousa/Erin Duda, The Language of Thorns; Rodrigo Corral, Turtles All the Way Down; Unusual Corporation, The City of Brass

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And the Oscar goes to… Robin Bilardello for Another Brooklyn

There are a lot of really great covers here, perhaps with more story significance than Another Brooklyn, but Robin Bilardello did a really good job of capturing the feel of the book. I think the way the light almost gilds everything in the photo of the kids playing really evoked the other-worldliness of recollection that’s so central to the story. I’m still kind of surprised that Will Staehle didn’t win this one, though. I cannot gush enough about the Shades of Magic covers.

Best Non-Fiction (Best Documentary Feature)

The nominees are…

Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton; Pierre Berton, The National Dream; Benton Rain Patterson, With the Heart of a King; Paul Kriwaczek, Babylon

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And the Oscar goes to… Ron Chernow for Alexander Hamilton.

There really weren’t a lot of non-fiction books read this year, so Ron Chernow was the clear winner. While there’s definitely an element of riding the tail end of the Hamilton craze in this win, I don’t think that’s all going on. Chernow is a truly great author and managed to make a doorstopper of a history book quite moving at times.

Best Middle Volume in a Series (Best Sound Editing)

The nominees are…

Michael Grant, Silver Stars; Kiersten White, Now I Rise; Rick Riordan, The Dark Prophecy; V.E. Schwab, A Gathering of Shadows; Scott Lynch, Red Seas Under Red Skies

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And the Oscar goes to… Now I Rise by Kiersten White.

This category was really anyone’s to win, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if any of these books had walked away with the Oscar. Still, I think the fact that A Conjuring of Light is the easy favourite to win Best Finale, I’m not surprised that the Academy voters chose to honour something else, and the exploration of the atrocities done by both sides in wartime, especially in a religious war, in Now I Rise made it an excellent choice.

Best Series Finale (Best Sound Mixing)

The nominees are…

Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Wings and Ruin; Victoria Schwab, Our Dark Duet; V.E. Schwab, A Conjuring of Light; Rick Riordan, The Ship of the Dead

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And the Oscar goes to… V.E. Schwab for A Conjuring of Light.

The pool is small here, and it was V.E./Victoria Schwab’s to win. While all of these are capable finales, we’ve seen Rick Riordan finales before and The Ship of the Dead didn’t set itself apart enough, and A Court of Wings and Ruin couldn’t quite reach the heights of A Court of Mist and Fury. Our Dark Duet was certainly a strong last chapter, but I think it’s the complexity of A Conjuring of Light that really gave it the edge, as well as the fact that the Academy voters probably wanted to acknowledge a series that they devoured this year.

Best First Book in a Series (Best Film Editing)

The nominees are…

S.J. Kincaid, The Diabolic; Stephanie Garber, Caraval; V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic; Scott Lynch, The Lies of Locke Lamora; Ellie Marney, Every Breath

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And the Oscar goes to… Scott Lynch for The Lies of Locke Lamora

Early in the year it really looked like Every Breath, the Australian Sherlock reimagining, was the clear winner in this category, but the discovery of The Lies of Locke Lamora by the Academy voters completely cemented it as the winner, which is a shame because the Every series is an amazing series that doesn’t get enough hype, but Lies was a one-of-a-kind book, and definitely deserves its win.

Best Standalone (Best Film Editing)

The nominees are…

Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give; Mackenzi Lee, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue; John Green, Turtles All the Way Down; Richard Wagamese, Medicine Walk; Timothy Findley, The Wars

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And the Oscar goes to… Angie Thomas for The Hate U Give

This could have really gone any way, with strong nominees from all genres and addressing many important issues, but The Hate U Give was one of the biggest (and most important) books of last year. I think this is just the beginning for THUG tonight.

Best Debut Author (Best Visual Effects)

The nominees are…

Stephanie Garber; Sandhya Menon; Angie Thomas; Tricia Levenseller

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And the Oscar goes to… Angie Thomas

And there you go. Like I said, THUG is just getting started.

Best Cartography (Best Production Design)

The nominees are…

Maxime Plasse, Windwitch; Jeffrey L. Ward, A Clash of Kings; David Curtis, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (not pictured); Uncredited, The Language of Thorns; Virginia Norey, The City of Brass (not pictured)

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And the Oscar goes to… Jeffrey L. Ward for A Clash of Kings

I think this one is just about how intricate the maps are. There’s a lot of detail in that A Clash of Kings map that you simply don’t see anywhere else, although I think The Language of Thorns could have won if this was the first time we were seeing that map.

Best Foreign-Language Book (Best Foreign-Language Film)

The nominee is…

Jean Anouilh, Antigone

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And the Oscar goes to… Jean Anouilh for Antigone.

The Academon read one book that wasn’t in English last year. It won by default.

Best Illustrations (Best Animated Short Film/Feature Film)

The nominees are…

Georges Jeanty/Andy Owens/Dave Stuart, No Future for You; Georges Jeanty/Andy Owens/Michelle Madsen, Wolves at the Gate; Karl Moline/Andy Owens/Michelle Madsen, Time of Your Life; Georges Jeanty/Cliff Richards/Andy Owens/Michelle Madsen, Predators and Prey; Sara Kipin, The Language of Thorns

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And the Oscar goes to… Sara Kipin for The Language of Thorns

Well, it really felt like the Buffy comics were going to come out on top, no matter what. But Sara Kipin’s art was amazing.

Best Short Story (Best Short Film)

The nominees are…

Leigh Bardugo, Ayama and the Thorn Wood; Leigh Bardugo, The Too-Clever Fox; Leigh Bardugo, The Witch of Duva; Leigh Bardugo, Little Knife; Leigh Bardugo, The Soldier Prince (not pictured); Leigh Bardugo, When Water Sang Fire (not pictured)

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And the Oscar goes to… Leigh Bardugo for When Water Sang Fire

Well, there was no way that Leigh Bardugo wasn’t winning that category, simply because the Academy is terrible at reading short stories. But When Water Sang Fire was truly a one of a kind story, although I would have been happy with Amaya and the Thorn Wood winning.

Best Cinematography (Best Prose)

The nominees are…

Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn; Laini Taylor, Strange the Dreamer; Leigh Bardugo, The Language of Thorns; Richard Wagamese, Medicine Walk; Timothy Findley, The Wars

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And the Oscar goes to… Richard Wagamese for Medicine Walk

I really thought that Laini Taylor was going to win this. Her prose is magical. But it’s very interesting to see Medicine Walk win, because Richard Wagamese, while an excellent writer, did not have the sort of flowery prose one usually sees in this category. It was blunt and sparse, beautifully so, in a way that really compliments the story it’s telling.

Best Author (Best Director)

The nominees are…

Angie Thomas, Victoria/V.E. Schwab, Scott Lynch, Richard Wagamese, Laini Taylor

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And the Oscar goes to… Victoria/V.E. Schwab

The Hate U Give does not continue its sweep here, and I think it is simply because the Academy read so many books by Victoria/V.E. Schwab this year. The Best Author award isn’t for a specific book, it’s for what the Academy has read of theirs in the year, and there certainly were a lot of very good Victoria/V.E. Schwab books read.

Best Book (Best Picture)

The nominees are…

The Hate U Give, A Darker Shade of Magic, The Lies of Locke Lamora, The Language of Thorns, Medicine Walk

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And the Oscar goes to… The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

And we’re back to The Hate U Give, which deserves every bit of the love it is getting tonight. It’s timely, it’s excellently written, it’s engaging. There are so many elements that just come together for this book, and it’s definitely the Best Book.

 

What were your favourite books of the year? Do you have any other comments to give on the winners?

 

 

 

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