Monday, December 31, 2018

Robbie Awards 3

Technically, these are the Third Annual Robbie Awards for books I have read and reviewed since this time last year. Thanks to last year's seven-year retrospective ("Retro Robbie Awards"), this is unofficially the 10th year for which these awards have been presented. It's funny how fast this kind of anniversary sneaks up. Another challenge this year is the fact that, due to really limited online time, I'm way behind on writing my reviews; so, I'm going to have to wing it a bit.

So, to start, here are the books that (according to my records) I have read since the start of 2018:
  1. Long Live the Queen by Kate Locke
  2. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
  3. The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol
  4. Invasion by Luke Rhinehart
  5. The Darkest Road by Guy Gavriel Kay
  6. Canoes in Winter: Beneath the Surface by Bob Guelker
  7. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
  8. Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson
  9. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
  10. Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton
  11. Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
  12. The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck
  13. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
  14. Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  15. Bad Unicorn by Platte F. Clark
  16. Fluff Dragon by Platte F. Clark
  17. Good Ogre by Platte F. Clark
  18. The Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky
  19. Tumble and Blue by Cassie Beasley
  20. The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
  21. Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
  22. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
  23. The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
  24. Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin
  25. Smoke by Dan Vyleta
  26. The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
  27. The Gravedigger's Cottage by Chris Lynch
  28. Stronger by Jeff Bauman with Bret Witter
  29. Unsub by Meg Gardiner
  30. The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud
  31. The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
  32. The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud
  33. Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
  34. The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud
  35. Trollhunters by Guillermo del Toro & Daniel Kraus
  36. Time to Laugh: Funny Tales from Here and There ed. by Phyllis Fenner
  37. Scowler by Daniel Kraus
  38. The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud
  39. Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones by Brandon Sanderson
  40. Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay
  41. Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia by Brandon Sanderson
  42. Do the Movies Have a Future? by David Denby
  43. Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson
  44. Westmark by Lloyd Alexander
  45. The Kestrel by Lloyd Alexander
  46. Aliens in Disguise by Clete Barrett Smith
  47. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
  48. Magic Delivery by Clete Barrett Smith
  49. Cold Blooded by Lisa Jackson
  50. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
  51. Crime Scene by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman
  52. Temptation Bangs Forever: The Worst Church Signs You've Ever Seen by Robert Kroese and Joel Bezaire
  53. The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette
  54. Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
  55. Deep Freeze by John Sandford
  56. Legion by Brandon Sanderson
  57. The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham
  58. The King's Blood by Daniel Abraham
  59. The Power of Un by Nancy Etchemendy
  60. The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag
  61. It Takes One by Kate Kessler
  62. Two Can Play by Kate Kessler
  63. Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore
  64. Smek for President! by Adam Rex
  65. The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet
Well, I didn't make my Goodreads goal of 100 books this year. Apparently, suddenly having a lot of TV-on-DVD to binge on has been detrimental to my literary life. (It has also contributed to the curtailment of my creative writing.) Anyway, here are either the third or the tenth annual Robbie Awards!

Critics' Choice
I'm a critic, kind of. In my critical opinion, the best book on the above list, in terms of overall literary merit, is The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck.

People's Choice
I'm a person, too. My favorite book on the above list, for pure fun and popular appeal, is Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Kids' Choice
I'm a child inside. Of the books above aimed at younger readers, my favorite is Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling. Honorable mentions: Bad Unicorn, The Power of Un, Rain Reign and Magic Delivery.

Best Comeback
Of the golden oldies I discovered this year, I consider the goldenest (apart from The Moon Is Down) to be Westmark by Lloyd Alexander.

Best Newcomer
I didn't do any pre-publication reviews this year, but of the relatively recent publications I read this year, my favorite is The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette.

Best Documentary
I think the best nonfiction book I read this year is Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson. Honorable mention: Killers of the Flower Moon.

Best Audiobook
Of the books I read with my ears this year, my favorite is Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay, read by Kate Reading. Honorable mention: The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham, read by Pete Bradbury.

Best Foreign Adaptation
Strictly speaking, I didn't read anything translated from a foreign language. However, at least one book that I read seems to be a repackaging, probably with revisions to make it more digestible to an American audience, of multiple shorter books originally published in the U.K. So, I'll give this award to All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot.

Best Short Subject
I could give this, by default, to Temptation Bangs Forever, though I'm almost ashamed even to include it on this list. I could also give it to a book made up of short stories, but it doesn't quite feel right to slice it that way. So, alas, no award.

Best Art
In a new category recognizing illustration, graphic novel art and beautiful book covers, I'd like to recognize Smek for President! by Adam Rex for its intermittent but entertaining use of comic book-style panels within a novel that otherwise leaves the imagery up to the reader.

Best Adapted Material
Here's another new category, though I'm going to start by stretching the point a bit and award it to a book that was adapted into another medium rather than the other way around. The winner: Trollhunters by Guillermo del Toro & Daniel Kraus. I especially like the fact that although the original book and the subsequent TV series are so very different, neither suffers in the comparison; they are both, in my opinion, winners.

No comments: