Finalists for Inaugural Maine Readers' Choice Award Announced

June 3, 2013

Valerie Osborne
Northeastern Maine Library District Consultant
Maine State Library
(207) 947-8336 x 114

The Maine Readers’ Choice Award selection committee has announced the three finalists for the inaugural Maine Readers’ Choice Award. The Committee, which was comprised of 20 librarians, booksellers, literacy advocates, reviewers and writers, has selected the following from an initial field of more than 40 works of fiction:

• A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash (HarperCollins) • The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (Little, Brown) • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

The Maine Readers’ Choice Award was officially established in 2013 by the Maine State Library and the Maine Library Association with the aim of increasing awareness and reading of adult literary fiction. In order to be considered, books must be published in the United States in the previous year, appeal to a wide audience and be judged by the Committee to be notable works of exceptional quality.

Revised editions, updates of previously published works, series or trilogies were not eligible for consideration.

"Last year the Pulitzer Prize committee did not award a Fiction Prize,” says Valerie Osborne, Committee Chair and Consultant, Northeastern Maine Library District. “Members of the library community, booksellers, publishers, authors and avid readers were outraged with the indecisiveness of this prestigious group of judges. It was out of this frustration that the Maine Readers' Choice Award was born."

Recommendations for the Maine Readers’ Choice Awards’ initial long list of more than 40 works of fiction came from a variety of "best" books lists. In future years recommendations will come from library and bookseller communities throughout the state of Maine. That list was pared down through a blind voting process by members of the Committee.

"Our inaugural finalists perfectly express what we were looking for in an award winner," says Committee member Mamie Anthoine Ney, Consultant, Southern Maine Library District. "The Yellow Birds and A Land More Kind than Home are both debut novels that tell touching stories of young people deeply impacted by a war - either on foreign soil or in a rural backyard. Gone Girl is one of those psychological suspense novels that draws you in and leaves your reeling. These books will definitely not disappoint."

The selection of the first Maine Readers’ Choice Award winner is now in the hands of readers and fiction lovers throughout the state of Maine. Readers can vote online between September 1-15 at the award’s website - and at public libraries throughout the state.

The final award winner will be announced as part of the 2013 Bangor Book Festival—running October 4- 5, 2013 at venues throughout downtown Bangor. Further information regarding the time and location of the award will be made on the Maine Readers’ Choice Award and the Bangor Book Festival’s websites in the coming weeks.

For further information regarding the award and for all media inquiries please contact Valerie Osborne at Bangor Public Library (947-8336).