FOG Awards: Readers’ Choice

The other day, I gave out some lousy awards for literature that didn’t even come with a prize to some mostly dead people. Congratulations, you win nothing!

Not surprisingly, my picks were rather contentious and not many of you agreed with most of them.  Because I am a duck swimming upstream like a salmon, my tastes don’t often match the rest of the world’s.

I knew your opinions would differ and that’s great! We here at FOG are very much in favor of differing opinions and expressing them, so I gave you an option to vote for your own choices.

The voting was really just a sneaky way to get more reading recommendations. I’m very ninja like that. I’m sneaky, but I’m also a benevolent fish who wishes to further the cause of reading for pleasure, so I’m going to share your picks.

Best Wordsmith

The Nominees…

Kurt Vonnegut
William Shakespeare
Joseph Conrad

Readers’ Choice…

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At least some of you agreed with me, so that’s nice. I’ll be honest here, I’ve never read any Salman Rushdie. I really should.

Best Science Fiction Author

The Nominees…

William Gibson
Ray Bradbury
Neal Stephenson

Readers’ Choice…

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I knew this would be a very controversial category. It pained me to leave some of my favorite authors off the list myself. Nice choices, readers!

Best Mystery Author

The Nominees…

Raymond Chandler
Dashiell Hammett
Elmore Leonard

Readers’ Choice…

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One of two categories where you agreed with my choice. Nicely done. I am surprised there wasn’t more Hammett love though.

Best Comedy Author

The Nominees…

Terry Pratchett
Douglas Adams
David Sedaris

Readers’ Choice…

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This was the category I was most looking forward to recommendations since I love me some funny. I’m not sure who Fo is or even if that’s a real thing, but I’ll have to track it down.

Best Poet

The Nominees…

William Shakespeare
Charles Bukowski
Maya Angelou

Readers’ Choice…

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The other category where you mostly agreed with me. Yay!

Best Non-Fiction Author

The Nominees…

Joan Didion
Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
Antony Beevor

Readers’ Choice…

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Solzhenitsyn is a solid choice and probably one I would have made myself had I been thinking with my mind, not my heart. The Gulag Achipelago is one of the best written, most thorough and heart-wrenching non-fiction series ever written. I adore Solzy and have a ton of his books. photo-9

I’m honestly surprised none of you mentioned Stephen Ambrose or Doris Kearns Goodwin since they almost made my list. I didn’t include them since they mostly write about American history.

Excellent choices, readers. You guys rock. It looks like I have some tracking down of excellent reading material to do. If you missed out on voting, recommendations are always welcome in the comments. Thanks to everyone who played along!