May 25, 2011 Many literary awards ceremonies are held in connection with BookExpo America, the annual trade show of the North American publishing industry, and this year Tennessee made a strong showing at both the Audies, which honors a variety of titles in audiobook format, and at the Children’s Book and Author Breakfast, hosted by the Women’s National Book Association, where this year’s Pannell Awards—one to a general bookstore and one to a children’s specialty store—are announced.
In audiobooks, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by former Memphis resident Rebecca Skloot, won the nonfiction award, and No Country for Old Men by Knoxville native Cormac McCarthy took home honors for best “Audiobook Adaptation.” Earlier, Publisher’s Weekly had called the recording a “mandatory listen for McCarthy fans.”
For Tennessee fans of physical books, however, the real prize went to the Pannell Award-winning Fairytales Bookstore & More in Nashville. In honoring Fairytales, WNBA jurors noted “its comprehensive approach to involving children in reading, from creative play and storytelling to music and visual arts.” In addition to offering daily after-school story hours (with book-inspired art projects accompanying the readings) for children, the store also provides parents an “adult resource center,” with free coffee, tea, and wi-fi. Store owner Tammy Derr told Publisher’s Weekly that she’s thrilled with the validation the Pannell Award represents: “It seems that my husband and I have never done anything the easy way. We opened the store during the worst recession in 40 years, and at a time when the book industry was going through some big challenges. But I believe if you’re creative and are a book lover, you’ll find ways to get people interested in what you’re doing.”
For more updates on Tennessee authors, please visit Chapter 16‘s News & Notes page, here.