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Mostly lists and information about award books and other interesting lists of books, color coded as follows:

RED–Read since ~2000
PINK–Read before that
BLUE–To Be Read and Added to Goodreads

NOTE: Listings may not be complete and sources aren't always quoted but I'm working on that.

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Book Montage

Catherine 's to-read book montage

The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia
The Vanishing of Katharina Linden
Only You Can Save Mankind
Nice and Mean
Cruisers Book 1
The City of Ember
Crispin: The End of Time
Lost Goat Lane
Amelia Rules! Volume 1: The Whole World's Crazy
How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life
As Simple as It Seems
Wolf Brother
The Ogre of Oglefort
The Pickle King

Catherine 's favorite books »

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Samuel Johnson Prize (1999-2010)

The BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2010 Longlist, Finalists noted, winner to be honored on July 1 in London.

The Music Instinct by Philip Ball
Alex’s Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos --Finalist
Whole Earth Discipline by Stewart Brand
Making Haste from Babylon by Nick Bunker
Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India by William Dalrymple
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick --Winner!
Country Driving by Peter Hessler
The Secret Lives of Buildings by Edward Hollis
Blood Knots by Luke Jennings --Finalist
Family Britain 1951 – 1957 by David Kynaston
On Roads by Joe Moran
When Skateboards will be Free by Said Sayrafiezadeh
Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to save Wall Street by Andrew Ross Sorkin --Finalist
Burying the Bones by Hilary Spurling
The Woman Who Shot Mussolini by Frances Stoner Saunders
A Gambling Man by Jenny Uglow --Finalist
Dreams in a Time of War by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
The Magnetic North by Sara Wheeler
Catching Fire: How Cooking made us Human by Richard Wrangham --Finalist

07/01/09: Leviathan, or The Whale by Philip Hoare won the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Chair of the judges Jacob Weisberg observed: "What made Leviathan stand out in a shortlist of wonderful reads was Philip Hoare’s lifelong passion for his subject and his skill in making his readers share it. His prose is dream-like and rises to the condition of literature."

Posted on: Thursday, May 14, 2009

Michael Holroyd’s first major biography in fifteen years on longlist up against Alain de Botton and Richard Holmes

The judges for the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize announced the longlist today, 14 May. Michael Holroyd’s first biography in fifteen years, A Strange Eventful History: The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and Their Remarkable Familes, is a compelling family saga of two great theatrical families, which showcases the passions and triumphs of the Victorian stages to the artistic endeavours and sexual adventures of the modern age.

Formerly The BBC FOUR Samuel Johnson Prize, the change in name reflects the BBC’s commitment to broadcasting coverage of the Prize on BBC TWO’s The Culture Show.

From a record number of entries, 166 in total, the 19 titles on the longlist range widely in interest and continue the prize’s reputation for highlighting diverse and thought-provoking books.

The list includes a dramatic history of Quantum theory; an honest memoir of a woman craving silence; an urgent and riveting account of bureaucrats, brothels and AIDS on the frontline of sex and drugs; and the story of the Wittgenstein family, one of the richest, most talented and most eccentric in European history.

Jacob Weisberg, one of America’s leading political journalists and commentators and chair of the judges, comments:

"The list released today is the fruit of a collective reading spree that I think I can say we've all enjoyed tremendously. All those included are distinguished, well-wrought books. Each has passionate advocates on our committee. I know how difficult it is going to be for us to whittle down to the short list over the next month."

Weisberg is joined on the panel by Dr Mark Lythgoeat University College London and Director of the Cheltenham Science Festival; Tim Marlow, writer, broadcaster and art historian and director of exhibitions at White Cube; Munira Mirza, Director of Policy, Arts, Culture and the Creative Industries at the Mayor of London’s office; and Sarah Sands, Deputy Editor at the London Evening Standard., neuroscientist

The BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non Fiction Longlist 2009

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed
Soul of the Age: A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare by Jonathan Bate
Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town by Mary Beard
A Fork in the Road by Andre Brink
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain De Botton
Science: A Four Thousand Year History by Patricia Fara
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
Leviathan by Philip Hoare -- WINNER!
The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes
A Strange Eventful History: The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and their Remarkable Families by Michael Holroyd
Darwin's Island: The Galapagos in the Garden of England by Steve Jones
Quantum : Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality by Manjit Kumar
The Man Who Invented History: Travels with Herodotus by Justin Marozzi
Hester: the Remarkable Life of Dr. Johnson's 'Dear Mistress' by Ian McIntyre
A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland
Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History by Adam Nicolson
The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS by Elizabeth Pisani
The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War by Alexander Waugh

The shortlist will be announced in late May. The judges will announce the winner of the prize at an awards event at King’s Place, London on 30 June. The prize is worth £20,000 to the winner.

BBC TWO will televise the awards ceremony on a Culture Show special at 11.20pm on 30 June.

Former Winners

1999 Stalingrad by Antony Beevor (Penguin)
The shortlist was:
* Ian Kershaw, Hitler
* Ann Wroe, Pilate
* John Diamond, C: Because Cowards Get Cancer Too
* Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Darker Reflections
* David Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations

2000 Berlioz: Servitude and Greatness by David Cairns (The Penguin Press)
The shortlist was:
* Tony Hawks, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis
* Brenda Maddox, Yeats's Ghosts
* Matt Ridley, Genome
* William Shawcross, Deliver Us From Evil
* Francis Wheen, Karl Marx

2001 The Third Reich: A New History by Michael Burleigh (Macmillan)
The shortlist was:
* Richard Fortey, Trilobite! Eyewitness to Evolution
* Catherine Merridale, Night of Stone
* Graham Robb, Rimbaud
* Simon Sebag Montefiore, Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin
* Robert Skidelsky, John Maynard Keynes

2002 Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 by Margaret Macmillan (John Murray)
The shortlist was:
* Eamon Duffy, The Voices of Morebath
* William Fiennes, The Snow Geese
* Richard Hamblyn, The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies
* Roy Jenkins, Churchill: a Biography
* Brendan Simms, Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia

2003 Pushkin: A biography by T.J. Binyon (HarperCollins)
The shortlist was:
* Orlando Figes, Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia
* Aminatta Forna, The Devil that Danced on the Water: A Daughter's Memoir of her Father, her Family, her Country and a Continent
* Olivia Judson, Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation
* Claire Tomalin, Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
* Edgar Vincent, Nelson: Love and Fame

2004 Stasiland by Anna Funder (Granta)
The shortlist was:
* Anne Applebaum Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps
* Jonathan Bate John Clare: A Biography
* Bill Bryson A Short History of Nearly Everything
* Aidan Hartley The Zanzibar Chest: A Memoir of Love and War
* Tom Holland Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic

2005 Like a Fiery Elephant by Jonathan Coe (Picador)
The shortlist was:
* Alexander Masters Stuart: A Life Backwards
* Suketu Mehta Maximum City
* Orhan Pamuk Istanbul
* Hilary Spurling Matisse the Master
* Sarah Wise The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave-Robbery in 1830s London

2006 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro (Faber & Faber)
The shortlist was:
* Alan Bennett Untold Stories
* Jerry Brotton The Sale of the Late King's Goods
* Carmen Callil Bad Faith
* Tony Judt Post War
* Tom Reiss The Orientalist

2007 Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran (Bloomsbury)
The other books on the 2007 shortlist were:
* Ian Buruma: Murder in Amsterdam
* Peter Hennessey: Having it so Good: Britain in the Fifties
* Georgina Howell: Daughter of the Desert
* Dominic Streatfeild: Brainwash
* Adrian Tinniswood: The Verneys

2008 The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale (Bloomsbury)
Other books on the 2008 shortlist were:
* Tim Butcher: Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart
* Mark Cocker: Crow Country
* Orlando Figes: The Whisperers
* Patrick French: The World Is What It Is: The Authorised Biography of VS Naipaul
* Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise

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