When I first began this blog, lo these many hours ago, Life As We Knew It was nominated for six awards. But on Saturday, Google was kind enough to inform me that a seventh had been added, the Quill Book Award, in their Young Adult/Teen category.
The Quill Award is, as Winnie The Pooh would put it, A Very Big Award. You can tell because the award ceremony is black tie and shown on TV. Further proof is that among this year's nominees, although fortunately not in the Young Adult/Teen category, are Al Gore and Nora Roberts (my mother's dream ticket).
The five books nominated in the YA/Teen department are American Born Chinese, The Green Glass Sea, Incantation, Life As We Knew It, and Sold. A pretty darn classy list.
Since I haven't read all of those pretty darn classy books, I decided to evaluate LAWKI's chances of winning by means other than literary merit. I went with three highly objective criteria.
1. Number of Amazon Reviews:
At 28 reviews, Life As We Knew It has the most. Of course Review #26 only gave LAWKI one star, but we're talking quantity, not quality.
2. Length Of Book
Weighing in at 352 pages, Life As We Knew It is far and away the longest of the five books. Why it's twice as long as Incantation, suggesting (although perhaps it's not for me to do so) that LAWKI is twice as important a book.
If you have any doubts about that particular method, then consider that War And Peace at 1472 pages is 23 times longer than The Dream Life Of Balso Snell (a mere 64 pages) and practically every important literary critic around regards it as being exactly 23 times more important.
I don't make this stuff up, you know.
Okay, last but far from least:
3.The Misery and Suffering Quotient
Listed in order of misery and suffering:
American Born Chinese (racial prejudice)
Sold (sexual slavery)
Incantation (the Spanish Inquisition)
The Green Glass Sea (World War Two)
Life As We Knew It (tsunamis and earthquakes and volcanos and epidemics leading the the end of civilization as we know it)
Ha! I Win!!
Here are some other great things about The Quill Book Award. The award itself is big and impressive looking and can be used as a doorstop. Also they announce the winners in September, but don't have the Televised Awards Ceremony until October, giving the winners (I don't think any of the losers are invited) a full month to lose fifty pounds and buy a new dress (both of which Al Gore could stand to do).
And finally, the Quill Awards specifically say they're rewarding "entertaining and enlightening" books. I think this is a wonderful phrase, and have decided to put it on my tombstone (although not, I hope, in the immediate future). It will replace the current epitaph of "Nice If Unexceptional" which came from a review of one of my books (thank goodness, I've long since forgotten which). I even like it more than the sentimental favorite, "Could Do Better If Tried Harder."
I promise I'll try harder next time (although I make no guarantees about doing better).