With thanks to our team for putting together our most excellent list of nominees for the best (and not so best) of the book world in 2018, and to our Patreon patrons for their votes, we now present to you the winners of the 2019 Bookmarked Awesome Awards!
Publishing’s Biggest “WTF” Moment
As always, there is drama in the world of books, and 2018 featured several WTF moments. But the one that stood out most to our votes was the controversy surrounding Jack Gantos, Dave McKean, and Abrams Book’s intention to publish a children’s picture book called Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library. Here’s what we had to say about it:
“The community has been calling out everything from the book’s sudden demographic change (note it was initially to be released under Abrams Kids) to the authors’ insistence that readers need to read the book before judging it. This latter argument has sparked outrage especially among authors and readers of color. These authors routinely face inaccurate accusations about their books due to their focus on marginalized identities and the injustices of a racist society. Meanwhile, readers of color have a Pandora’s box choice when it comes to books by white authors. Either they read a book and are harmed by its racist stereotypes, or they don’t read the book and are considered intolerant for (often accurately) judging a book by its cover. And yet a large segment of the publishing industry, from executives to writers, do not view these hardships faced by people of color in the industry as a problem.”
Best Book with More than Three Speaking Queer Characters
One queer character is great, but when there are more than two queer characters who get to have complex, relatable, exciting relationships and storylines, we think it’s pretty special. That’s why we voters love The Ladies Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee so darn much!
Best Book Cover
Despite Tomi Adeyemi believing that others were trying to crimp her style, we do think the cover of her novel, Children of Blood and Bone is fantastic.
Best Book with a Map in It
There’s something wondrous about illustrated literary maps and our voters know it. Two books take this category, with Tamora Pierce’s return to the Tortallan universe with Tempests and Slaughter sharing the throne with The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.
Best Book Adapted Into Film
There is a tie for second place in this category, with all but one book taking the runner up spot. The book adaptation that voters loved the most was Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, which stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac.
Best Book That Was Better than Its Film Adaptation
Not all screen adaptations work out as well as in the previous category. A Wrinkle in Time had its moments for representation and empowerment, and goodness it was stunning, but as far as adaptations go, Madeleine L’Engle’s book is still the better option.
Hero/Heroine/Non-Binary Savior You Want As Your New Best Friend
We appreciate our heroes saving the world, but the one savior we just want to hang out with and watch all of the shows and play video games and draw fanart of and and and … we love you, Murderbot, okay? You’re the best! And so is Martha Wells for giving us The Murderbot Diaries.
Best Author to Follow on Social Media
Whether it’s about giving writing vice, standing up for what’s right, sharing their mundane moments, or gushing over the things they love, the two authors voters think you should be following on social media are:
Best #OwnVoices YA Novel
While reading all the books in this category is highly recommended, the book that our voters feel is most deserving of praise is The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton, where beauty is a commodity controlled by the elite in the opulent world of Orléans, and Camellia Beauregard must decide where she stands in the coming revolution.
That’s it for this year’s Bookmarked Awesome Awards! If you haven’t already read some of the books listed on here, why not make them a part of your Bookmarked Reading Challenge? If you have read them and loved them—read them again!