2015 Book Awards
Book of the Year: The Red Moth by Sam Eastland.
Runner-up, Historical Mystery: Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell.
Best Non-fiction Book: The Immortal Game: a history of chess by David Shenk.
Runner-up, Non-Fiction: Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang.
Honorable Mention, Non-Fiction: China’s Second Continent by Howard W. French.
2014 Book Awards
Book of the Year: What we see when we read by Peter Mendelsund.
Runner-up, Non-Fiction. The Antidote: happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking by Oliver Burkeman.
Non-fiction, Honorable Mention: The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny by Peter McGraw.
Best Education Book. World Peace and other 4th grade achievements by John Hunter.
Best Autobiography, Best Sports Book. Slow Getting Up: a story of NFL survival from the bottom of the pile by Nate Jackson.
Best Historical Mystery. The Devil’s Workshop by Alex Grecian.
Runner-up, Historical Mystery. The Missing Italian Girl by Barbara Corrado Pope.
Historical Mystery, Honorable Mention: 47 Sorrows by Janet Kellough and An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris.
2013 Book Awards
Book of the Year: Fifteen-thirty by Helen Wills.
Best Non-fiction: The Half-life of Facts by Samuel Arbesman.
Non-fiction Runner-up: The Power of Habit: why we do what we do in life and business by Charles Duhigg.
Best Historical Mystery: Circle of Shadows by Imogen Robertson.
Historical Mystery Runner-up: The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann.
Historical Mystery, Honorable Mention: Strangled in Paris by Claude Izner.
2012 Book Awards
Book of the Year: A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage.
Non-fiction runner-up: The Lifespan of a Fact by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal.
Best Biography: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert Massie.
Best Children’s/Adult Comic Book: Darth Vader and son by Jeffrey Brown.
Best Sports Book: Flip Flop Fly Ball by Craig Robinson.
Best Historical Mystery (foreign setting): The Darkening Field by William Ryan.
2011 Book Awards
Best Historical Mystery (foreign setting) The Blood Royal by Barbara Cleverly.
Book of the Year: The Big Roads by Earl Swift.
Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach.
Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg.
Best Young Adult Mystery: The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman.
Best Young Adult Humor: Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World.
2010 Book Awards
Best Book of the Year. Mr. Lincoln’s High-Tech War: how the North used the telegraph, railroads, surveillance balloons, ironclads, high-powered weapons, and more to win the Civil War – Thomas B. Allen & Roger Allen. Published by National Geographic for young adults, it provides detail without jargon. I found it most interesting given the ongoing conflicts overseas and advancements in drones, communications and medical devices.
Best Lighthearted Mystery. George Baxt’s Hollywood-based mystery, The William Powell and Myrna Loy Murder Case. The playful banter of the Thin Man movie series is accurately captured in this light-hearted, yet deadly title about how a celebrity madam’s decision to publish her memoirs leads to multiple murders.
Best Historical Mystery (foreign setting) Parisian Prodigal – Alan Gordon.
Runner-up – A Murderous Procession – Ariana Franklin. Medieval forensic scientist Adelia Aguilar joins English Princess Joanna on her trip to Sicily for her royal wedding in 1176. A former adversary hides within the traveling party and causes havoc with his vengeful plans. Franklin superbly describes the prevailing attitudes about women, religious and cultural tolerance.
Best Historical Mystery (U.S. setting) City of Dragons – Kelli Stanley. As she did with ancient Rome in “Nox Dormienda,” Stanley vividly captures the atmosphere of her setting, 1940 San Francisco, and presents a complicated heroine in PI Miranda Corbie, who seems to subsist on cigarettes and bourbon.
Best Finance/Economics Book Age of Turbulence – Alan Greenspan.
Best Entertainment Book Prisoner of Trebekistan – Bob Harris.
2009 Book Awards
The Essays of Warren Buffett – A collection of Buffett’s shareholder letters from the 1970s into the early 1990s, arranged by subject. Excellent reading for interested investors.
Dead Man in Naples – Michael Pearce. The latest in this series is particularly intricate.
Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa – R.A. Scotti. A fascinating look at those responsible for the theft of the painting in 1911 and its eventual recovery.
Love, Mom: Poignant, Goofy, Brilliant Messages from Home – Doree Shafrir. An amusing collection of anecdotes about mother/daughter relationships and modern digital communications.
Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life – Steve Martin. I read several entertainment biographies this year and this was the best with a great look at how Martin created his style of comedy and the tremendous amount of hard work that goes into becoming successful in this profession.
2008 Book Awards
The Serpent’s Tale – Ariana Franklin.Mystery featuring a medieval female forensic scientist.
Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand – Fred Vargas.Another tale about this contemporary Columbo-esque Parisian detective.
The Black Hand – Will Thomas.Barker and Llewelyn take on the mafia in 1880s London.
I wish I’d been there, book 2.Twenty historians present their views on the major events in European history.
The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch.Life lessons from the famous Carnegie Mellon professor.
Around the world in 80 Rounds – David Wood.Traveling the world with just a laptop and a set of clubs.
Get out or die – Jane Finnis.Another mystery set in Roman-occupied Britain with a female innkeeper lead.
The Sandbox.American soldiers and their familys’ real-life tales from Iraq, Afghanistan and the homefront.
2007 Book Awards
The Tipping Point: how little things can make a big difference – Malcolm Gladwell.His ideas about viral growth and how they apply to economics were quite interesting.I’m sort of a maven, but definitely not a connector or a salesman.I especially liked his theory on the magic number one hundred fifty.This book was a Christmas 2006 gift and I am especially thankful to J&J for it.
Nefertiti: The book of the dead – Nick Drake.The Egyptian queen goes missing and must be found before chaos overcomes the land.Very suspenseful with lots of twists.
The Tenderness of Wolves – Stef Penney.
Schulz and Peanuts: a biography – David Michaelis.
2006 Book Awards
Have mercy on us all – Fred Vargas.Interesting mystery set in contemporary Paris with multi-faceted characters and good plot involving rebirth of the plague.
Why most things fail: evolution, extinction & economics – Paul Ormerod.A look at how conventional economic theory fails to explain that biological extinction patterns can also apply to social systems.
The playmakers : amazing origins of timeless toys – Tim Walsh. A history of the 20th century U.S. toy industry.Lots of trivia about classic toys and games.
Manhunt : the twelve day chase for Lincoln’s killer – James L. Swanson.Fascinating and easy-to-read narrative description of the hunt for Booth.
2005 Book Awards
he’s just not that into you – greg behrendt and liz tuccillo
Matchbook: the diary of a modern-day matchmaker – Samantha Daniels
Both of these are dating/relationship books aimed primarily at women.Very entertaining, funny reads with good information for both genders.
Best historical mystery – Dead man in Trieste – Michael Pearce.Also, I liked two new authors, Sally Spencer writing as Alan Rustage and Boris Akunin, both of whom write with settings in early 20th century Russia.
2004 Book Awards
Prison Diary – Jeffrey Archer
Best historical mystery, new author – Conspiracy of Paper – David Liss
The Last Samurai: the life and battles of Saigo Takamori – Mark Ravina
The Wise Inheritor – Ann Perry
Everything you never wanted your kids to know about sex (but were afraid they’d ask) – Justin Richardson, Mark A. Schuster
Best historical mystery – Lucrezia Borgia and the Mother of Poisons – Roberta Gellis
2003 Book Awards
Best Overall Book – Absolutely American : four years at West Point / David Lipsky.An incredibly interesting look at the lives of a select group of West Point cadets, administrators and graduates beginning in 1998 during a time of relative peace and ending in the summer of 2002.
Best Sports Book – Facing Ali : the opposition weighs in / Stephen Brunt. Fifteen biographical chapters with interviews about fighters who faced Ali in the ring.Very interesting perspectives.
Best Sports Business Book – Moneyball : the art of winning an unfair game / by Michael Lewis.Examines management methods of Billy Beane, GM of Oakland A’s.To read about a contrasting management style, read A Baseball winter : the off-season life of the summer game/ Terry Pluto (1986).
Best new historical mystery writer – Caroline Roe.Remedy for treason / Caroline Roe.Set in 14th century Spain.Principal character is Isaac of Girona, blind, Jewish, physician.
Best contemporary setting mystery book – A grave denied / Dana Stabenow.Set in Alaska.Principal character is female P.I. Kate Shugak.Helps to have read previous books in this series, but not vital.