Bookmark and Share

The CBC Bookies winners revealed!

Thumbnail image for 2011 Bookie Awards

Thousands of readers across the country gathered at CBC Book Club to vote for their favourites in the inaugural CBC Book Club Awards, and to guess which title in each category might take home the coveted Bookie Beaver. They then waited with baited breath as we tallied the votes.

Well, the wait is over.

After the jump is the list of winners in the 16 Bookies categories. From Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Book to Best New Writer, 16 lucky authors get to claim a Bookie Beaver and bragging rights for a whole year.

Check out the complete list of winners after the jump!

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Book

DarwinsBastards.jpgThe Bookie goes to... Darwin's Bastards edited by Zsuzsi Gartner

With stories from Pasha Malla, William Gibson and Heather O'Neill, it's no wonder that this astounding collection took home the Bookie for Best Science Fiction or Fantasy. The collection, curated by Zsuzsi Gartner, covers everything from contemporary social satire to dark dystopian predictions. Predicting the future has never been so weird, wonderful and eclectic.






Best Thriller, Mystery or Horror Book

Revenge of the Lobster loverThe Bookie goes to... Revenge of the Lobster Lover by Hilary MacLeod

When a small fishing village sees an antique collector and his chef partner get mixed up with a lobster liberator and a website writer, what follows is a wholly original madcap mystery. Hilary MacLeod's tale is so original, voters bestowed it with the Bookie for Best Thriller, Mystery or Horror Book.

Let's raise our claws to that! 






 Best Romance Book

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson The Bookie goes to... Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson


The English countryside, a retired general and a quiet shopkeeper come together in this magical tale of unexpected romance. Major Ernest Pettigrew's relationship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, a Pakistani shopkeeper, and their fight to defy stereotypes will warm your heart. Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali, take a bow: you not only won your battle, you're taking home the Bookie for Best Romance Book. 






Best Young Adult Book

Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen The Bookie goes to... Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen


We have a sneaking suspicion that the award-winning actor in this book's title helped its campaign. However, Susin Nielsen's heart-warming tale about a family navigating the challenges of their new life in Los Angeles gives readers of all ages a protagonist to root for and a reason to laugh out loud. Violet's mom may (er, or may not, we won't spoil it for you!) score a Hollywood hunk, but the whole family can love the fame and recognition that comes with winning the Bookie for Best Young Adult Book.




Best Poetry Collection

Indexical Elegies by Jon Paul Fiorentino The Bookie goes to... Indexical Elegies by Jon Paul Fiorentino

Many of us experience anxiety. But Jon Paul Fiorentino channeled this universal feeling into intelligent, passioniate poetry. Poetry so good it earned the Bookie for Best Poetry Collection! Here's hoping Jon Paul Fiorentino feels a little less anxious now. Maybe his next collection can be about joy...The joy of owning a golden Bookie Beaver! 







Best Short Story Collection

Greedy Little Eyes by Billie Livingston The Bookie goes to... Greedy Little Eyes by Billie Livingston


Billie Livingston's Greedy Little Eyes should no longer feel greedy for attention! This insightful collection exploring the concepts of normalcy and isolation defeated two Giller-nominated heavyweights to win the Bookie for Best Short Story Collection. What will Billie have her eyes on next?







Best Comic or Graphic Novel

Tangles by Sarah Leavitt The Bookie goes to...  Tangles by Sarah Leavitt


Sarah Leavitt's powerful memoir about the struggles her family faced as her mother battled Alzheimer's is eye-opening and painfully honest. The sensitve subject matter and vivid pictures showcase the best the graphic novel format has to offer, earning its author the Bookie for Best Comic or Graphic Novel in the process!





Best Non-Fiction Book

One Bird's Choice by Iain Reid The Bookie goes to...  One Bird's Choice by Iain Reid


Iain Reid's charming tale of returning to his parents farm at the ripe age of 27 won your hearts. Whether you were charmed by his parents, the farm, Iain's storytelling or Iain himself, the answer is clear: One Bird's Choice is taking home the Bookie for Best Non-Fiction Book. Do you think Iain's parents will put it on their mantel?







Best Character

Motorcycles and SweetgrassThe Bookie goes to... Nanabush from Motorcycles and Sweetgrass by Drew Hayden Taylor


The mysterious and mystical Nanabush must have cast a spell on voters across the country, as his come-from-behind victory is quite a feat. But we should have put more faith in this mischief-making, shape-shifting charmer. Congratulations, Nanabush, enjoy your Bookie for Best Character. Be sure to share with your creator, Drew Hayden Taylor. 






Best Relationship

L (and things come apart) by Ian Orti The Bookie goes to... Henry and L from L (and things come apart) by Ian Orti

Not much happens between Henry and L. And yet, everything happens. Their relationship changes the apartment she lives in, Henry's cafe, the surrounding city, and both their lives forever. No wonder it captured the hearts of readers everywhere.The only question that remains is where Henry and L should display their Bookie for Best Relationship.







Best Scene

Room by Emma Donoghue The Bookie goes to... Jack's escape in Room by Emma Donoghue


Jack's escape from Room comes at a pivotal point in Emma Donoguhe's stunning novel, Room. Five-year-old Jack shows brains and bravery in his clever escape and this fast-paced scene changes the landscape of Jack's world forever, introducing him to how vast — and confusing — Outside can be.






Best Book Cover

Kiss the Joy as it Flies by Sheree Fitch The Bookie goes to... Kiss the Joy as it Flies by Sheree Fitch


Kiss the Joy as It Flies was originally published in 2008, but this gorgeous and colorful re-design captures Sheree Fitch's humour and whimsy in this tale about how it is never too late to discover yourself or open yourself up to joy.







Best Overall Book

The Tiger by John Vaillant  The Bookie goes to... The Tiger by John Vaillant


John Vaillant turned a random factoid about a man-eating tiger in Russia into the year's most enthralling narrative. Russia comes to life as a haunting, mysterious and beautiful country, and the tenuous relationship between man and nature is this tale's riveting focal point. Congratulations, John Vaillant. You now have a Bookie for Best Overall Book to go alongside your BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction!






Best Opening Line

Room by Emma Donoghue The Bookie goes to... Room by Emma Donoghue


One of the most remarkable feats of Emma Donoghue's Room is how original, authentic and believable Jack's voice is. It's no easy feat to write in a child's voice and captivate adults for pages on end. And Donoghue does that from the very first line:

"Today I'm five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I'm changed to five, abracadabra. Before that I was three, then two, then one, then zero. 'Was I minus numbers?' 'Hmm?' Ma does a big stretch. 'Up in Heaven. Was I minus one, minus two, minus three - ?' "




Best Book-based Movie

The King's Speech The Bookie goes to... The King's Speech


With 12 Oscar nominations under its belt, its easy to say that The King's Speech is a gripping movie. But the fact it has a companion book? Why, that makes the story of King George VI's struggle with his speech even more compelling for its literary-minded fans! Our Bookie Beaver will look mighty handsome next to the Oscar(s) this cast and crew are sure to take home on Sunday night.






Best New Writer

Sarah SeleckyThe Bookie goes to... Sarah Selecky

Sarah Selecky was one of four new writers to capture this country's hearts when she was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her short story collection, This Cake is for the Party. While she didn't take home the Giller, she established herself as one of Canada's most promising new writers. Chatelaine said she "could easily be the next Alice Munro." Voters agreed, and awarded her the Bookie for Best New Writer.





Congratulations to all the Bookies winners! Let us know if you agree with the choices on Twitter, Facebook and in the comments below. And if you have suggestions for categories next year, let us know! We'd love to hear how the CBC Book Club Awards can be even bigger and better next year.


On Saturday, we will reveal which lucky readers won The King's Speech prize packs and who scored a Sony Reader!

Looking for your next great read? Singer/songwriter Jimmy Rankin has a suggestion.

Eleanor Wachtel's exploration of Spanish writers comes to an end. Listen to the entire five-part series.

Michael Bhardwaj and the Cookbook Club tackle the cuisine of Southeast Asia with Hot Sour Salty Sweet. Is it worth slaving over the stove for?