Committee Announces Nominees for 2014 Maine Readers’ Choice Award

February 13, 2014

Maine Readers' Choice Award

Maine Readers' Choice Award Nominees

  • Benediction by Kent Haruf
  • Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
  • Tenth of December by George Saunders
  • The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
  • The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna
  • The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls
  • TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
  • Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda

Organizers for the Maine Readers’ Choice Award have announced the ten book titles under consideration for this year’s award. The list includes: Benediction by Kent Haruf; Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger; Tenth of December by George Saunders; The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley; The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt; The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker; The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna; The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls; TransAtlantic by Colum McCann; and Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda.

"The books we're considering as finalists for this year's award range from fantasy to realism. They share a compelling readability. We'll have books we are proud to recommend to everyone from this list," said Debbie Taylor, member of the Maine Readers’ Choice Award Committee and book buyer for Sherman's Book Stores.

The Maine Readers’ Choice Award was established by the Maine State Library and the Maine Library Association to recognize the best in adult fiction published in the United States the previous year. To be considered for the Maine Readers’ Choice Award, books must be fiction published in the United States during the previous year. The titles must be well written, appealing to a wide audience, with a compelling story that keeps the reader interested.

Book nominations come from the library and booksellers’ communities across the state of Maine. The panel received 141 title recommendations over the past year.

With the list now narrowed to 10, the Readers’ Choice Award Committee will read each of the titles under consideration and will reconvene in May to narrow the list to three finalists.

The citizens of Maine get to choose the winner when the three titles selected as finalists are advanced to libraries and bookstores for a readers’ choice vote in September. Maine readers can vote online at the award’s website and at public libraries and bookstores throughout the state. The 2014 Maine Readers’ Choice Award winner will be announced in October.

The aim of this award is to increase awareness and reading of literary fiction. The Maine Readers’ Choice Award honors books that exhibit exceptional writing and a compelling story that encourages reading and conversation among individuals and in Maine’s communities.

The Maine Readers’ Choice Award Committee is comprised of librarians, authors, and book lovers. The group meets several times in the course of the year to narrow in on the finalists. The process involves a lot of reading, conversation, and occasional contention.

“We had furious differences and soul-matching similarities and arrived at our two finalists after much delightful discussion,” said Monica Wood, committee member and author of We Were the Kennedys. “I don’t love all the books on this list—in fact, I loathe one of them; but I love how eclectic it is, reflecting the wide variety of readers’ tastes. Long live the book!”

The 2013 winner of the MRCA was Wiley Cash for his debut novel A Land More Kind Than Home.

"The range of stories has been great, making it difficult to narrow the list down,” said Mamie Anthoine Nye, committee member and director of Auburn Public Library. “The book discussions have been lively – akin to being in a very unique book club. It’s been a privilege to work with librarians, booksellers, and reading advocates to encourage Mainers to read and discuss great books.”

To see the long list of 141 titles considered by the Maine Readers’ Choice Award Committee or learn more about the award process, visit the Maine Readers’ Choice Award website at: http://www.mainereaderschoiceaward.org .

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