2006 Book Sense Book of the Year Award Winners Announced

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The winners of the 2006 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards -- recognizing those titles independent booksellers most enjoyed handsellingduring the past year -- as voted by the owners and staff of American Booksellers Association member bookstores are:

  • Adult Fiction: The Historian: A Novel by Elizabeth Kostova (Little, Brown)

  • Adult Nonfiction: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (William Morrow)

  • Children's Literature: Inkspell by Cornelia Funke (Chicken House/Scholastic)

  • Children's Illustrated: Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth (Scholastic Press)

The winners will be feted at ABA's annual Celebration of Bookselling at BookExpo America on Friday, May 19, in Washington, D.C. The gala event, open to all trade show attendees, is a highlight of the annual trade show.

"Independent booksellers have chosen to honor these handselling favorites from among a wide array of interesting, unique, and thought-provoking titles sold in their stores during the past year," said ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz. "We look forward to recognizing their authors and illustrators at this year's Celebration of Bookselling, and we invite all of the book industry in attendance at BEA to celebrate with us."

Four 2006 Book Sense Book of the Year Honor Books in each category were also chosen by ABA member booksellers. They are:

Adult Fiction: Kafka on the Shore: A Novel by Haruki Murakami (Knopf); The March: A Novel by E.L. Doctorow (Random House); Saturday: A Novel by Ian McEwan (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday); and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by Lisa See (Random House)

Adult Nonfiction: The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls (Scribner/S&S); The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece by Jonathan Harr (Random House); Marley & Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan (William Morrow/HarperCollins); and The Tender Bar: A Memoir by J.R. Moehringer (Hyperion)

Children's Literature: A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin (Scholastic); Eldest: Inheritance, Book 2 by Christopher Paolini (Knopf Books for Young Readers); Flush by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf Books for Young Readers); and The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Children's Illustrated: Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin; illustrated by Harry Bliss (Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins); Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert (Harcourt Children's Books); Leonardo, The Terrible Monster by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children); and Seen Art? By Jon Scieszka; illustrated by Lane Smith (Viking Juvenile/Penguin USA)

The Book Sense Book of the Year winners and honor books were selected by booksellers from titles most often nominated for the Book Sense Picks lists in 2005. Booksellers were also able to write in titles on the ballot. Only books published in 2005 were eligible.

Winners will receive a plaque, as well as a gift from Book Sense partner Levenger, Inc., a catalog and Internet seller of high-quality tools for reading and writing. The Celebration of Bookselling brings together independent booksellers, publishers, and the media to toast the spirit of independent bookselling in America.

Many of the honor book recipients will be among the dozens of authors being recognized at ABA's Book Sense Picks Author Luncheon on Friday, May 19, at BEA. The luncheon, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Convention Center, is only open to stores with Book Sense and requires an e-mail confirmation of reservation for admittance. Booksellers should send their luncheon reservations requests -- limited to two per store -- to [email protected]. Confirmations will be sent to registered booksellers by May 1. Questions about the luncheon should be addressed to Book Sense Marketing Director Mark Nichols at [email protected].

BookExpo America 2006 will be held at the Washington D.C. Convention Center from Thursday, May 18, through Sunday, May 21. The Celebration of Bookselling will be held on Friday, May 19, at 5:30 p.m. For complete show details, go to www.bookweb.org/aba/convention/.

Watch for profiles of the 2006 Book Sense Book of the Year winners in upcoming editions of Bookselling This Week. For past winners, go to www.bookweb.org/read/3433.

To help booksellers promote the 2006 winners, ABA is developing materials that will be made available either on BookWeb or through the Red Box mailings. Watch for announcements in BTW.