And the Award Goes to …

Claire Mather and Sharon Scanlan

There are many literary awards given annually. The Pulitzer Prize is probably the most well-known book award, and it is awarded for a total of 22 categories, including literature, nonfiction, journalism, magazines, and musical composition. It was founded in 1917 by Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University. The SaddleBrooke One library has a Pulitzer Prize section with 45 books!

One of this year’s fiction winners is Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver. She is the author of many best sellers and is a former Tucson resident where she received her master’s degree at the University of Arizona. Her first books were based in Eastern Arizona and Tucson. Books in our collections are Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, Small Wonder, Unsheltered, and High Tide in Tucson.

The other fiction winner this year was Trust, by Herman Diaz. Both books are available in the SaddleBrooke libraries. The winner for biography was G-Man, by Beverly Gage, a biography of J. Edgar Hoover, which is available at the DesertView Library.

The Booker Prize (formerly the Man Booker Prize) is given to the best novel written in English and published in England or Ireland. It was founded in the United Kingdom in 1969. The late Hilary Mantel has won the award twice, and we have both of her winners, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, at the DesertView Library. Other recent winners available at our libraries are Shuggie Bain, by Douglas Stuart (2020), and two that were short-listed: Testaments, by Margaret Atwood (2019), and Oh William, by Elizabeth Strout (2022).

The Edgar Awards, named after Edgar Allen Poe, are awarded for mysteries by the Mystery Writers of America. Awards are given for fiction, nonfiction, and television. Grand Masters named in 2023 were Joanna Fluke and Michael Connolly. The 2022 winner for best novel was Five Decembers, by James Kestral, which is available at the DesertView Library. There are many categories, as well as winners, honoring late authors such as Ellery Queen, Sue Grafton, and Mary Higgins Clark.

The Spur Awards are given by the Western Writers of America. The 2022 winner for Best Western Historical Novel was Ridgeline, by Michael Punke, and the Best Contemporary Novel was Dark Sky, by C.J. Box. Both books are available in our libraries. Leo W. Banks, a local Tucson author, was a speaker at our 2019 Author’s Luncheon. He won two 2018 Spur Awards for his first novel, Double Wide, available at our libraries.

The Southwest Books of the Year are selected each year about Southwest subjects or those that are set in the Southwest. 2022 winners in our libraries are Five Wounds, by Kirsten Valdez Quade, Forgotten Botanist, by Wynne L. Brown, Dinosaurs, by Lydia Millet, and Blood Tiger and Canyonlands Carnage, by Scott Graham.

The National Book Award is given annually by the National Book Foundation, and the judges are authors. The 2022 winner was The Rabbit Hutch, by Tess Gunty, available at the DesertView Library.

There are many other awards given each year for different genres, but the most famous of all is the Nobel Prize, which is awarded to an author for his or her body of work.

The Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries (FSL) provides the funding to purchase new books, DVDs, and audiobooks for the SaddleBrooke community libraries. If you are not a member of FSL, learn more at their website