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The Waverton Good Read Award

Last year I raved about The Ghosts of Eden. It is a wonderful book about twin boys growing up in Uganda. The author, Andrew Sharp, is a medical doctor and so it is packed with all those intelligent observations about life that doctors seem to acquire in abundance. The book ended up on my top ten of 2009 list, but a quick Internet search has leads me to believe that no other bloggers have reviewed it yet. I am saddened that such a wonderful book is slipping under the radar. Can I be the only person in the world that loved this book? Well, luckily it seems not!

I’m delighted to announce that The Ghosts of Eden has just won the 2009/2010 Waverton Good Read Award.

Don’t worry – I’d never heard of the Waverton Award before either, but after doing a bit of research I think it is a prize worth following.

Waverton is a beautiful village in Cheshire, England where local readers have got together to form their own literary award.

The award is for debut novels written by British or Irish authors, published for the first time between 1st September 2009 and 31st August 2010.

100 keen readers score each book that they read and from all the books submitted a short list of 5 is produced. These 5 books are then distributed around the village and everyone is invited to read them. Ballot papers are sent out, votes are cast and then the winner is announced at the village fete. I love it!! I want to move to Waverton!!

Apart from being a wonderful way to celebrate books and bring a community together it seems as though the people of Waverton are very good at discovering the best new talent.

A quick flick through the previous winners reveals several books that you may have heard of:

2004 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

2005 Boy A – Jonathan Trigell

2006 A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian – Marina Lewycka

2007 The Killing Jar – Nicola Monaghan

2008 Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – Paul Torday

2009 Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith

It is wonderful to know that a whole community of readers loved The Ghosts of Eden as much as I did and I hope that word of mouth will ensure that this book reaches the audience it deserves.

Have I persuaded you to:

a) Read The Ghosts of Eden?

b) Think about moving to Waverton?

c) Set up your own literary award?!!

d) None of the above :-(

31 replies on “The Waverton Good Read Award”

I think that is the most charming thing I’ve heard of in a long time! I want to live there too. I remember your review of this book, and it is nice to see that someone else has appreciated it. Am I convinced? Yes. Will I read it? Don’t know. It would help if I didn’t have about fifty books I want to finish before the end of the year…

Sandy, I know – it is lovely to know that there is a whole village out there talking about books. I appreciate your TBR problem – especially since the book probably isn’t easy to come by in the US. Hopefully a US publisher will pick it up soon so that you can easily get it in your local library. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

I like the sound of both the book and the place – that’s what I call community spirit! They certainly seem to be a pretty well read lot too but not overly pretentious which is refreshing.
BTW I didn’t manage to finish White Is For Witching as I got thoroughly bemused by the first couple of chapters and abandoned it (and I do normally like fairy tales!)

LizF, Perhaps I’ll just have to keep the village in mind for my retirement – hopefully their book award will still be going in 30 years!!

Congratulations on abandoning White is for Witching. I really should be doing that more often, but the fact it was quite short meant that I persevered to the end.

Vivienne, I’d love to know how they managed to start it. Was it just the enthusiasm of a single person or was the whole village very bookish to start with? I love it!

Lija, Don’t worry – I don’t think many people have heard of this book. I’m trying to change that. Hopefully it will become a best seller soon and you’ll be able to say that you heard about it here first ;-)

What a great story … and I think this award is probably more meaningful than many of the other awards out there as it is given by a group of devoted readers! I want to move to Waverton too!

Jenners, Yes – it is just a group of readers trying to find the most enjoyable read, not caring about literary symbolism or politics. I think this shows in their excellent choices.

I haven’t heard of the award either! The previous winners (only read two of them) also seem to be really good reads, so yeah, you’ve got me wanting to both, read this book and follow this award closely.

As for starting my own literary award….. Nahh!

anothercookiecrumbles, LOL! Starting your own award is a lot of hard work so I don’t think I’d have any desire to do that, but if there was a large group of local people who wanted to do it with me then I could be tempted….

I hope you decide to read The Ghosts of Eden – I’d love for it to spread across the bloggosphere.

Wow, that’s brilliant. Does the award have much standing in the overall scheme of things? (It should, 100 regular readers is a good opinion I’d say.)

C – I would have thought setting up your own award pretty difficult unless you’re famous. I think I’d add A into that but I’m trying to “forget” books I read about at the moment until I’ve ploughed through the ones I’ve got.

Charlie, I don’t think the award has that much impact. Perhaps on a local level? It should do though. I trust the opinion of 100 random readers more than a few specially selected literary types who argue and then choose a compromise winner ;-)

After a wonderful evening at the Waverton Good Read Award dinner, I was wondering whether the answers to the quiz were available

Jan, I’m afraid I have no connection to the Waverton Good Read Award and so know nothing about your quiz. It sounds as though you had a fantastic night! You pick great books!

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