Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Presenting...the Golden Hammock awards!

I started out poring over my book lists, trying to figure out which of the 200+ books I read this year could be sorted into tidy top-ten lists of this and that - graphic novels, YA, etc. And I realized I wasn't really having much fun. So instead of that not-fun activity, I present you with the following Golden Hammock awards. Obviously not to be taken too seriously (because I haven't really got any cute little golden hammocks to award. They're metaphorical. Although now that I think about it, I really wish I did have some!). And they are for books I read this year, no matter when they were published.

And so, with out further ado...the first annual Golden Hammock awards for 2008!

The Golden Hammock for the book that made me laugh out loud the longest and loudest (and giggle quietly to myself whenever I thought about certain particular scenes) goes to: The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (and also to the subsequent books in the trilogy, A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith.

The award for the best steampunk novel goes to Larklight by Philip Reeve (and its sequel, Starcross, was very enjoyable, too!).

The award for the newly discovered series I became most immediately addicted to goes to the YA series The Mortal Instruments (of which I've read only two so far, City of Bones and City of Ashes but I'm eagerly awaiting the third, which is soon to be published).

The award for sweetest love story goes to Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist because, well, it was just so sweet and funny.

The best ghost story award goes to Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. Obviously!

The award for the best audio book goes to Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, read by Rupert Degas. This is the best audio book I've had the pleasure of listening to, from the excellent interpretation of the story and characters, the music and sound effects to the interview with Skulduggery himself at the end of the book.

The award for the best book with mythological themes goes to Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. If I hadn't listened to Skulduggery Pleasant this year, I'd have awarded this one best audio book as well - it is definitely a close runner-up. Lenny Henry does a fabulous job of reading this wonderful book.

The best fantasy novel award goes to House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones - a pure pleasure from beginning to end by one of my very favorite writers.

The award for best coming-of-age story goes to Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley.

The award for best romantic relationship goes to Graceling by Kristen Cashore.

The best alternate history award goes to His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik.

The award for the best-received read-aloud with my children goes to Madeleine' L'Engle's Meet the Austins; however, Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld is a close runner-up.

The award for best boarding school story is a tie between Looking for Alaska by John Green and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E.Lockhart. They are both fabulous books!

The best southern Gothic award goes to Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest. I'm planning on reading more of her work this year.

The award for favorite newly discovered manga series goes to Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma.

The award for favorite new author goes to Justine Larbalestier, whose Magic or Madness trilogy is just wonderful, as is her charming book How to Ditch Your Fairy. I'm very much looking forward to her next effort!

The award for most enjoyable reread goes to Blood Price by Tanya Huff, and I'm looking forward to rereading that entire series this year.

The award for best anthology goes to Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni Kelner (review forthcoming). The award for best short story collection, however, goes to Waifs and Strays by Charles de Lint.

The award for best illustrations (excluding picture books, which I unfortunately rarely have the time to review) goes to Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell.

The award for favorite new kick-ass heroine goes to Jaz Parks in the first book of the series by Jennifer Rardin, Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

The award for best science fiction novel goes to Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde.

The award for funniest vampire novel goes to Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson.

And last, but not least, the award for most anxiously-awaited book in a series goes to My Bonny Light Horseman by L.A. Meyer. And yes, it was worth the wait.


  1. What a great idea! I enjoyed reading through your Golden Hammock awards. :-)

    I really want to read The Graveyard. I've heard such great things about it. And I don't read nearly enough ghost stories.

    I hope you have a wonderful 2009!

  2. Wow this is a terrific list of books! I just discovered the Mortal Instruments series too, City Of Bones really impressed me, cannot wait to read the rest!

  3. What a fantastic theme for awards! You got me so hooked on the The Mortal Instruments that I had to snare my sister into it, too. I really liked DRAGONHAVEN, too.

    Oh, and by the way. 200+??? Wow. That's downright impressive. My hat's off to you. Can't wait to see what you discover this year!

  4. Literary Feline - thanks! I think you'll enjoy The Graveyard Book - although it is not at all a traditional ghost story. That's what's so fun about it. I'll be looking forward to hearing what you think when you get to it!

    Joanne - I am very excited about the third book coming out. I'm glad you are enjoying the series too!

    Fuzzycricket - That's great about Mortal Instruments and that you've hooked your sister, too! I sent my friend Margo (of Bookworm Barista) the first two in the series for Christmas, and I hope she'll hurry up and read them because I'm excited to hear what she thinks.

  5. Love the awards :D And not only because you picked so many excellent books.

  6. Thanks, Nymeth! Can you tell I had fun? :-)

  7. What a fun book list! I really must track Her Majesty's Dragon down...I have been meaning to for ages.

  8. Thanks, Ladytink!

    Charlotte - Oh, I really loved that book - I hope you get the chance to read it soon!

  9. How fun!! So many of the books you have listed are on my TBR list! Sheesh. You guys are such enablers!!

  10. Stephanie - I live to enable your reading habit. :-)


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