Watch that ‘Sparrow’ fly: Indie Lit Award winners announced

After a few months of heavy behind-the-scenes action (but not that kind — goodness, me!), I’m pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Indie Lit Awards have been announced! I was thrilled to serve on the Fiction panel for the second year in a row and loved discussing the merits of our five shortlisted nominees with my lovely fellow panelists.

I know it’s cheesy, but I feel very fortunate to have stumbled across a bookish world where my obsession with the written word is something to really cherish. Where monikers like “geek” are embraced and novels sometimes feel more real to us than “real life.” The friends I’ve made through blogging aren’t “blogging friends” — they’re as much a part of my daily life as those in . . . well, in my daily life. And I feel very lucky to know and work with all of you, sharing in the books you both love and despise. Being on the Fiction panel has been a wonderful experience, and I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity!

That being said, there was a book everyone on the Fiction panel lovingly embraced: Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones, which was one of the most evocative, engrossing and stunning stories I’ve read in a long time. Like last year’s winner, Safe From The Sea by Peter Geye, I don’t know that I would have discovered this story on my own — and that’s what makes the Indie Lit Awards so much fun.

My full review of Silver Sparrow is coming soon, but suffice it to say that Jones’ characters are not easily forgotten — and this is the sort of story that drifts back to you days or months after finishing, like the haunting final line of a song.

2011 Indie Lit Award Winners

Winner: Little Princes by Conor Grennan
Runner-Up: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

Winner: Nina Here Nor There: My Journey Beyond Gender by Nick Krieger
Runner-Up: Huntress by Malinda Lo

Winner: Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
Runner-Up: Dance Lessons by Aine Greaney

Winner: A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
Runner-Up: Fun and Games by Duane Swierczynski

Winner: Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff
Runner-Up: Berlin 1961 by Frederick Kempe

Winner: Catalina by Laurie Soriano
Runner-Up: What Looks Like an Elephant by Edward Nudelman

Speculative Fiction
Winner: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Runner-Up: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Congratulations to the winners and all nominees, and thanks to the Indie Lit Awards team for another great year!

‘Penny Pinchers’ winners!

My giveaway for Sarah Strohmeyer’s new novel The Penny Pinchers Club, released July 2, is complete! I’m happy to share copies with three lucky entrants, chosen randomly by They are:

Sharon A

Ladies, I’ll be e-mailing you shortly to get your addresses! Thanks to everyone who entered, and don’t despair — I’ll be back with another giveaway shortly!