Like many a good English student, I love assigned reading. I know it’s strange and often gets an eye roll from friends, but the lifelong learner in me enjoys being introduced to books I have to read. Mandatory.
I’m sort of a flippant reader. Since I started write meg! and began reviewing books in a more organized fashion, I think nothing of casting aside stories that just aren’t working for me. I generally give it the 50- or 100-page test: if it hasn’t gripped me by that point, to the donation pile it goes.
I know this isn’t always the best method — and that, if I’d just stick with them, some books would yield fabulous results. Sometimes a book just doesn’t click with me . . . and not because it’s a terrible book. It could be my mood, my emotional state, my general level of boredom. Anything, really.
That’s what makes being a panelist in the Indie Lit Awards so much fun: my reading is all picked out for me. In these blogger-sponsored and blogger-run honors, I’m introduced to a myriad of new-to-me authors as a fiction panelist. While serving last year, I discovered Peter Geye’s Safe From The Sea (reviewed a year ago today!) — and that turned out to be one of the best books I read in 2011. Would I have discovered it without the Indie Lit Awards? Maybe. But I doubt it.
Nominations closed in December, and we have our short list:
2011 Fiction Nominees
• Dance Lessons by Aine Greaney (Syracuse University Press)
• Cross Currents by John Shors (Penguin Group: NAL Trade)
• The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Knopf/Doubleday Publishing Group)
• Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)
• The Last Time I Saw Paris by Lynn Sheene (Penguin Group)
Check out the nominees in other categories, too, like biography/memoir, GLBTQ, poetry and more. Feel free to read along as we gobble up these stories, begin lengthy discussions and announce our winners in mid-March.
Any early favorites here? Anything you’re excited to read yourself?
9 thoughts on “Indie Lit Awards: What I’m reading now”
Of course I have some of these on my shelves, but I haven’t read them. Sometimes I wonder what I do all day! Ha! There are some great books on these nomination lists this year.
I just love the Indie Lit Awards. I have some of the books already on my stacks and those get priority for a bit, along with the current Tournament of Books contenders. 🙂
So are you reading all of the short-listed books now? Or did you help create the short list? I’ve heard only incredible things about The Night Circus. Hopefully someday soon I’ll get around to reading it!
The nominees were actually pulled from the general public’s submissions last fall — the top five most-nominated comprise the short list. Now I get the fun of just reading them all! 🙂 I’m really looking forward to The Night Circus — I’ve heard great things about it, too. Of course, that occasionally sets me up for disappointment, but . . .
What makes me happy is when I’ve already read assigned reading before it’s been assigned. It makes the inner nerd in me very satisfied with himself.
It’s good to hear I’m not the only one that starts books and doesn’t finish them if they don’t suck me in! Sometimes I feel like a quitter, but there’s so many books I want to read i don’t want to waste my time!
Night Circus is on my to read list, I’ve heard great things!
I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about The Night Circus, so I’ll probably end up reading that at some point…I haven’t heard of the others so I’m looking forward to hearing about them from you.
I’m a very moody reader too, and I confess to feeling very little guilt in closing a book that hasn’t grabbed me by the first few chapters. There are just so many good books out there, if something doesn’t click with me, I want to get to the next one because, you know, that next one might be the one I can add to my list of books that made me swoon, and if so, I certainly don’t want to put off meeting it any longer than necessary.
I’m really looking forward to reading the Night Circus!
I was happy to see Dance Lessons make the short list – it was among my top books for 2011. As a panelist for memoir, I am looking forward to digging into that list.
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