Bookish Academy Awards
Updated: Oct 27, 2019
February is, besides Valentines day, also often seen as awards-month. One of the most famous examples of those is of course the Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars. Although I’m not the biggest movie-fan myself and often only know half of the nominees to be honest. However, when I saw a bookish-version of the Academy Awards circulating on booktube in the form of a tag a few years ago, it soon became on of my favorites. This year, I’ll be doing the Bookish Academy Awards for the second time. I believe this tag was originally created by Raegan at Peruse Project, but I’ve altered some of the questions slightly to fit my reading style a little better. A last year, I will be picking a winner from my list of books read in the previous year, so not necessarily the ones released in 2018. I will also not be including rereads. So without further delay: let’s get into the awards…
BEST ACTOR best male protagonist This was perhaps the easiest category to judge. I’m not the type of reader who gets a lot of “book-crushes”, however, this year I may have gotten one. He is one of the sweetest and wisest male characters I’ve ever come across in literature. Brain over brawn, and room for strength in sensitivity and volubility over traditional “masculine features”. His name:
Lazlo Strange Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor Artwork by Tara Spruit
BEST ACTRESS best female protagonist It was going to be difficult to top last year’s winner Inej from The Six of Crows duology. Yet this years winner comes very close, as far as determination, strength of character and character development is concerned. She had a little bit of a head start, as I already had a great interest in her as a character before even reading this novel, but she more than owned her spot:
Circe Circe by Madeline Miller
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR/ACTRESS favorite sidekick (male or female) Last year’s winner Zuzanna from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, won because of her strength, snark and sheer coolness level. Although this years winner is very different, they share quite some the same characteristics. This year’s winner:
Mr. Kindly, the Shadow Cat The Nevernight Chronicals by Jay Kristoff
BEST CINEMATOGRAPY best worldbuilding or favorite atmosphere There was heavy competition in this category this year. I had four nominees, only one of which could win. I still wanted to give the other two a little bit of the spotlight, be naming them as honorable mentions. Honorable mention nr. 1 and 2 have already won another category, and have therefore been passed over. Circe an Strange the Dreamer however both have incredible worldbuilding and atmosphere, including beautiful writing to bring it all to optimal fruition. Honorable mention nr. 2 also already has a place on this list later on, but still deserves a mention: The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Again; I’ll come back to this later.
With the honorable mentions out of the way: time for the winner.
The Gloaming – Kirsty Logan
The Gloaming takes place in the same world as Kirsty Logans previous novel The Gracekeepers, both of which I adored. Where The Gracekeepers is set mostly on the expansive sea that has flooded most of the world, The Gloaming takes place on one of the small islands. Thanks to Logans vivid descriptions of the environment and atmosphere, I could picture every detail, every plant, every rock and every wave of the incoming tides. Although it isn’t the largest world to build, the depth Logan put into it makes it very deserving of this nr.1 spot.
BEST SCREENPLAY best plot We can dance around it for hours, but since I’ve already mentioned it: best screenplay goes to my second-favorite book of the year for multiple reasons, one of them being the plot. If you’re a fan of fantasy, please pick it up if you haven’t already. This is one you cannot miss out on.
The Name of The Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
BEST ADAPTATION favorite book-to-movie adaptation I had the pleasure of watching one of the best films I’ve ever seen in 2018, so this was an easy choice. Not only a great film in it’s own right, but also a very unique take on an adaptation, this film is very different from the book, to the point where it’s more of an “interpretation” than an “adaptation”. Usually, this can be hit or miss, but in the case of this film, I adore both the book and the movie equally. This film is probably not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, nor is it advisable for the faint of heart. Nonetheless, as mentioned, it’s one of the most interesting movies I’ve ever seen, from the beautiful cinematography, great acting to the original spin on the source material. Best adaptation goes to:
Annihilation, directed by Alex Garland Based on the novel of the same name by Jeff Vandermeer
Fun fact: there was only one second contender I considered in this category. Interestingly enough, this was The Haunting of Hill House, which is also a Netflix Original series. This is not the end of the similarities though: both take the same approach of “interpreting” rather than following the exact script of the novel, both fall into the horror-genre with a psychological undertone and both were not shown in theaters but went directly to Netflix/DVD. All of which are qualities I hadn’t believed would be shared among my favorites if you’d told me a year ago…
BEST COSTUME DESIGN Favorite book cover Publishers have really been stepping up their game in the last few years, especially when it comes to their book covers, so there was heavy competition. For that reason, I’ve included two honorable mentions, as well as the winner:
BEST DOCUMENTARY best non-fiction Last year, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, a memoir by a neurosurgeon with cancer, won this category. This year, the winner is again a “cancer memoir”, but of a different variety. This book isn’t about one patient with cancer, but is the memoir of the disease itself, according to the subtitle. An incredible, hard hitting book about the past, present and future of cancer and its treatment, that is a must-read for everybody operating in the medical field, but also understandable for a people without too much prior knowledge of medical practices:
The Emperor of All Maladies - Siddhartha Mukherjee
BEST ARTISTIC FEATURE favorite poetry collection or poem Originally, I believe this prompt was “best graphic novel” but as I don’t read graphic novels at all, I changed it around a bit. I did read quite some poetry this year, both modern as well as classic poetry. Despite the large variety to pick from, I can’t help but come back to an old favorite as my winner. I’ve read almost all poems separately before, but I had never read the entire collection as a whole until 2018. The experience of reading it all together really added to my appreciation of an already loved collection, by an already loved author. Best poetry collection of the year goes to:
Ariel – Sylvia Plath
BEST DIRECTOR Author of the year She has three books out currently, and I read all three of them this year. All three of them were great, and managed a level of emotional connection from me that few others can. She has a fascination with the ocean, as do I, and a love of words and stories. She seems like a great person, and if I could meet an author of my choice in real life, she’d be on my shortlist. In my opinion, she is criminally underrated and should be famous among the literary greats of her time. This won’t be a surprise to anyone who’s been here over the past year:
BEST PICTURE Favorite standalone novel As number one and number two on my “best books of the year list” were technically part of a series, I had to look to number 3 for the winner in this category. Luckily, there were many amazing books last year, and my number 3 is still an all-time-favorite. I talked about it in my best books of the year list, so I won’t go into too many details here. Suffice to say: one of the biggest surprises, and one of my favorite books of all time. The last winner of today:
Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel
I’d love to hear from you what books you loved in 2018: leave a comment and mention what would have been your winner in any category of your choice. If you have a blog, Youtube-channel, Instagram or any other bookish-related feed and would like to do this tag: consider yourself tagged! Enjoy, and until next time: happy reading!