Book ReviewIf They Gave Oscars to Books, Here Are The 2019 Nominees - The Ready Writers

February 27, 2019by readywriters

Of course, the Real Book Oscars are given out at the National Book Awards ceremony; so consider these the Fake Book Oscars—they’re extra fun because you don’t even have to dress up [Ed. note: dressing up IS fun].

In putting this list together, Literary Hub figured out what each of the Academy Awards categories would look like if applied to the literary world—so Best Picture = Best Novel, etc.—and then we nominated a bunch of books and people for each. Congratulations, all.

The only question is: what should the statues look like? Little golden Maya Angelous? Globular Hemingways? Teetering book towers? Our nominations for the imaginary 2019 Academy Awards for Books are below—and since, just like the real Academy Awards, all these categories are based on taste and leave off a lot of fine contenders, feel free to nominate any and all of your missing favorites in the comments.

Best Novel (Best Picture)

Lisa Halliday, Asymmetry Tayari Jones, An American Marriage
Rebecca Makkai, The Great Believers
Madeline Miller, Circe
Ottessa Moshfegh, My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Sigrid Nunez, The Friend
Tommy Orange, There There
Olga Tokarczuk; tr. Jennifer Croft, Flights

Literary Citizen (Actor in a Leading Role)

A. N. Devers, founder of The Second Shelf
Benjamin Dreyer, Random House Copy Chief and Our Grammar Captain
Moira Donegan, writer and creator of the Shitty Men in Media list
Ronan Farrow, author of The War on Peace (who also took down Les Moonves and Eric Schneiderman)
Penina Roth, curator of the Franklin Park Reading Series
Clint Smith, poet and activist whose work focuses on mass incarceration, education and inequality
Esmé Weijun Wang, writer, mental health advocate, and kind person on Twitter
Chuck Wendig, writer and voice of Twitter reason
adrienne maree brown, women’s rights and pleasure activist, author of Emergent Strategy and Pleasure Activism

Best Debut (Actor in a Supporting Role)

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Friday Black
Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
Lisa Halliday, Asymmetry
Daisy Johnson, Everything Under
R.O. Kwon, The Incendiaries
Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries
Andrew Martin, Early Work
James A. McLaughlin, Bearskin
Tommy Orange, There There
Dan Sheehan, Restless Souls
Nico Walker, Cherry

Best YA Novel (Animated Feature Film)

Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X
Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Blood and Bone
Jay Coles, Tyler Johnson Was Here
Justina Ireland, Dread Nation
Ashley Woodfolk, The Beauty That Remains

Best Setting (Cinematography)

Tara Isabella Burton, Social Creature (New York City, but not the New York City you live in)
Laura van den Berg, The Third Hotel (Surrealist Havana)
Samantha Harvey, The Western Wind (medieval Oakham, England)
Ahmed Saadawi, tr. Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad (wartime Iraq)
Chandler Klang Smith, The Sky is Yours (Empire Island . . . which is pretty much a destroyed, speculative NYC with dragons)

Best Book Jacket Design (Costume Design)

Rodrigo Corral, for Severance
John Gall, for The Hole
Darren Haggar, for My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Janet Hansen, for Cherry
Na Kim, for Evening in Paradise
Peter Mendelsund, for Calypso
Rachel Willey, for The Pisces

Best Work of Nonfiction (Documentary—Feature)

Sohaila Abdulali, What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape
Carol Anderson, One Person, No Vote
David Blight, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Small Fry
John Carreyrou, Bad Blood
Nicole Chung, All You Can Ever Know
Kiese Laymon, Heavy
Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries
Michelle McNamara, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
Susan Orlean, The Library Book
Rebecca Traister, Good and Mad
Tara Westover, Educated

Best Essay Collection (Documentary—Short Subject)

Alice Bolin, Dead Girls
Alexander Chee, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
Lorrie Moore, See What Can Be Done
David Sedaris, Calypso
Zadie Smith, Feel Free

Best Work of Experimental Literature (Film Editing)

Emma Glass, Peach
Olivia Laing, Crudo
Harry Mathews, The Solitary Twin
Anna Moschovakis, Eleanor, Or, The Rejection of the Progress of Love

Best Book in Translation (Foreign Language Film)

Sayaka Murata, tr. Ginny Tapley Takemori, Convenience Store Woman
Hanne Ørstavik, tr. Martin Aitken, Love
Domenico Starnone, tr. Jhumpa Lahiri, Trick
Yoko Tawada, tr. Margaret Mitsutani, The Emissary
Olga Tokarczuk; tr. Jennifer Croft, Flights
Gabriela Wiener; tr. Jennifer Adcock and Lucy Greaves, Sexographies

Coolest Publicity Squad (Production Design)

Shreve Williams
University of Texas Press

Best Picture Book (Short Film—Animated)

Sophie Blackall, Hello Lighthouse
Grace Byers, ill. Keturah A. Bobo, I Am Enough
Marianna Coppo, Petra
Taro Gomi, The Crocodile and the Dentist
Grace Lin, A Big Mooncake for Little Star
Jessica Love, Julián is a Mermaid
Sergio Ruzzier, Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories
Jacqueline Woodson, ill. Rafael López, The Day You Begin

Best Short Story Collection (Short Film—Live Action)

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Friday Black
Ramona Ausubel, Awayland
Lucia Berlin, Evening in Paradise
Jamel Brinkley, A Lucky Man
Helen DeWitt, Some Trick
Deborah Eisenberg, Your Duck Is My Duck
Lauren Groff, Florida
Denis Johnson, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden
N.K. Jemisin, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?

Best Graphic Novel or Work of Graphic Nonfiction (Visual Effects)

Yvan Alagbe; tr. Donald Nicholson-Smith, Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures
Ed Brubaker, ill. Sean Phillips, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies
Nick Drnaso, Sabrina
Nora Krug, Belonging
Jason Lutes, Berlin
Pamela Ribon, My Boyfriend Is A Bear
Tillie Walden, On a Sunbeam

Best Work of SF/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction (Makeup and Hairstyling)

Robert Jackson Bennett, Foundryside
Sue Burke, Semiosis
R.F. Kuang, The Poppy War
Ling Ma, Severance
Bethany C. Morrow, MEM
Naomi Novik, Spinning Silver
Jordy Rosenberg, Confessions of the Fox
Peng Shepherd, The Book of M
Chandler Klang Smith, The Sky is Yours
Tade Thompson, Rosewater
Ahmed Saadawi, tr. Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad

Best Book of Poetry (Sound Editing and Sound Mixing)

Fatimah Asghar, If They Come For Us
Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets For My Past and Future Assassin
Ada Limón, The Carrying
Diana Khoi Nguyen, Ghost Of
José Olivarez, Citizen Illegal
Justin Phillip Reed, Indecency
Tracy K. Smith, Wade in the Water
Jenny Xie, Eye Level

Source: Literary Hub

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One of the reasons we became interior designers in the first place was because we love collecting and then putting it all together. But when you’re designing your own house, the hardest thing is to finish it, as you’re always adding your next favourite thing, and finally there’s no space left.

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