The 2019 Atlantic Book Awards Shortlist

Carol Bruneau and Nicola Davison, two of the shortlisted authors.

I like book awards that are relevant; based on what the informed book reader enjoys. I say informed, because a lot of people may purchase a book based on what a celebrity or another semi-famous personality or media site says, but I think the best people to suggest books are your local librarian, independent book store owners and employees (I love it when a store has “staff picks”) and independent book review sites like The Miramichi Reader, for instance. 🙂

That is why I was happy to see The Atlantic Book Awards Society announce the shortlist for the thirteen different book prizes that make up the 2019 Atlantic Book Awards today (May 2). Several of the books on the list have been reviewed here at The Miramichi Reader, and you’ll find links below to their respective reviews. Some of the books in the ABA awards have already won an award here in 2018 or are on the current longlist for 2019, and I note that fact along with the link. Some links to reviews will take you to the Consumed by Ink book review blog. Naomi often reviews books that I haven’t read and vice-versa. Often we review the same books! I have also included links to reviews on the I’ve Read This book review site, another excellent resource for CanLit reviews.

Local Publishers Highlighted

Twenty-three of the thirty-nine nominations are for books published by Atlantic publishers. Nova Scotia’s Nimbus Publishing/Vagrant Press leads with twelve shortlisted titles, while Pottersfield Publishing (also from NS) has four. Other regional publishers include Fernwood Publishing/Roseway (NS), Boularderie Island Press and Breton Books (Cape Breton), Boulder Books (NL) and Gaspereau Press (NS).

2019 Atlantic Book Awards Shortlist

Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction

  • Some Days Run Long by Bill Conall (Boularderie Island Press)
  • Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore (House of Anansi Press)
  • Tiger, Tiger by Johanna Skibsrud (Hamish Hamilton)

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature

  • Short for Chameleon by Vicki Grant (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Finding Grace by Daphne Greer (Nimbus Publishing)
  • Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association Best Atlantic-Published Book Award Sponsored by Friesens Corporation

  • Viola Desmond:  Her Life and Times by Graham Reynolds and Wanda Robson (Roseway Publishing)
  • Saltwater Mittens from the Island of Newfoundland:  More than 20 heritage designs to knit by Christine LeGrow & Shirley A. Scott (Boulder Books)
  • Hope Blooms:  Plant a Seed, Harvest a Dream by Mamadou Wade and the youth of Hope Blooms (Nimbus Publishing)

Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, Sponsored by Marquis Book Printing

Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing

  • A Stone for Andrew Dunphy by Ronald Caplan (Breton Books)
  • Where Duty Lies:  A New Brunswick Soldier in the Trenches of World War 1 by John Cunningham (Pottersfield Press)
  • The Blind Mechanic:  The Amazing Story of Eric Davidson, Survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion by Marilyn Davidson Elliott (Nimbus Publishing)

Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award

  • Notes for the Everlost: A Field Guide to Grief  by Kate Inglis (Shambhala Publications)
  • No Place to Go:  How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs by Lezlie Lowe (Coach House Books)
  • Following the River:  Traces of Red River Women by Lori Neilsen Glenn (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.) This book received the 2018 “The Very Best!” Book Award for Non-Fiction.

Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction), presented by Boyne Clarke LLP

  • A Circle on the Surface by Carol Bruneau (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint) This book is on the 2019 longlist for a “The Very Best!” Book Award for Fiction
  • Beholden by Lesley Crewe (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)
  • In the Wake by Nicola Davison (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint) This book is also on the 2019 longlist for a “The Very Best!” Book Award for Fiction.

Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Fiction sponsored by Royden Trainor, Weed Man Maritimes and the family of John and Margaret Savage

  • The Boat People by Sharon Bala (McClelland & Stewart)
  • In The Wake by Nicola Davison (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint) This book is on the 2019 longlist for a “The Very Best!” Book Award for Best First Book. (Fiction or Non-Fiction)
  • Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott (Vagrant Press – a Nimbus imprint)

Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-fiction), presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth

  • The Blind Mechanic:  The Amazing Story of Eric Davidson, Survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion by Marilyn Davidson Elliott (Nimbus Publishing)
  • First Degree:  From Medical School to Murder by Kayla Hounsell (Nimbus Publishing)
  • Threads in the Acadian Fabric:  Nine Generations of an Acadian Family by Simone Poirier-Bures (Pottersfield Press)

Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

After reviewing this list, it’s easy to see how many books I haven’t read this year (or last), and I average about 100 books per year! Congratulations to all the authors and publishers who made the shortlist! The full ABA shortlist is available at www.atlanticbookawards.ca.

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4 thoughts on “The 2019 Atlantic Book Awards Shortlist”

  1. Thank you for the shout-out! Sounds like you guys have some amazing awards out there, our Alberta Book Awards aren’t as prolific I’m afraid…they’re still great, just not as well publicized I think.

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