Well everyone else has book awards, so I decided that BNN should. Of course there is no tangible prize, I am currently out of ink in the printer and my wife just used up our supply of stamps sending Christmas cards, so the winners don’t even get a certificate mailed to them even if I could print it!

Of course because this is my own personal award system, I get to choose the authors and categories, no votes were cast so no ballot stuffing could occur.  I have been objective. There was no favoritism shown :) being my friend or quoting me did not help what so ever! This is perfectly objective…..

On a more serious note, I have read well over 100 books this year, and if I didn’t read it, it didn’t go in the hat. Did you know that some book awards are handed out, and no-one even bothered to read the darn thing? The numbers are not in yet, but based on previous years  I can guess that 2010 saw 300,000 new book titles.

I hardly scraped the surface with my measly reading habits! How can I come up with book awards based on only 100 or so books? Well my answer to that is name me a book award that reads everything in print. I also have a rule, I don’t do the rich and famous. These books are mostly Ghost Written and have little to do with reality.  In my opinion 2010 represented a great year of reading for me. All of the books I read were notable and exceptional. Every single author deserves an award, alas there is not enough space to mention them all.

What surprised me was the incredible high quality of the Print On Demand books. Reviewers and traditional publishers have long bashed the POD sector because of the lack of formal processes, agents, editors, etc. The bashing needs to stop, I saw as many typos and other issues in the Trad Books! POD is no longer the orphan step child of the publishing world.

2010 was an interesting year, I saw many authors publishing their second or third book. I also heard from many authors who are actively writing a new book in spite of their insistence that they were done!

So the BNN awards go to:

Best JFK Book

This one took a bit of mulling over. So much has been written about JFK that he is not so much a figure in history, he is an industry. But the king of the hill this year has to be Gerald Blaine his book The Kennedy Detail. It has provoked a good deal of grumbling from some factions of JFK ‘experts’.  Personally I thought it was a great read and adds some significant data about the assassination. This book is what a friend of mine refers to as ‘living history’, a book written by someone involved directly in an event. Gerald Blaine was one of the select few secret service agents assigned to protect JFK

Best Novel About Africa

Without question this award goes to my good friend D. Alan Johnson. Dave has written a cracking yarn in Asgaard. This is a must for fans of action and adventure. It explores the role of Private Military Contractors. They tread a fine line, they are civilians performing in a military role.  While Asgaard is fiction Dave pulls from more than 30 years of experience as a PMC pilot.

Best Beatles Book

There is little doubt that John Cherry walks away with the award for his book Paul McCartney: Solo Career 1970-2010. Not only is it a great book, John quoted me on the back cover! That is a sure fire way to get my attention! Actually it is a very researched look at the ups and downs of his post Beatles career. John Cherry is a huge McCartney fan however he is objective and gives a very honest analysis.

Best Self Help Book

Has to go to John Mann and Bob Burg for Go Givers Sell More, this one upped John Cherry,  they actually quoted me in the book. The subject of the book is an interesting one and certainly one that I have talked to about with many people. Success can be achieved by giving away knowledge for free. Sharing knowledge with a competitor might seem a lunatic strategy.  But it is not, I have found that working for free often reaps great benefits. Knowledge is power, sharing knowledge is even more powerful! There is a saying ‘it takes a dollar to make a dollar’, that is often not the case, it takes nothing to give today, and it will probably result in many dollars tomorrow. Try it, you might be surprised in the results.

Best School Text Book

OK I know that this is not a regular category in a best books list. But these are my awards, so I get to pick them! Back in 2007 I wrote a rather grumpy little article about a new Hindu Temple that had been build on Canada, it came with a $40 million price tag! At the time I was working in a homeless shelter, and $40 Million could do a great deal to help the homeless and working poor. A UK publisher asked my permission to reprint part of it in a school text book. This means that school kids in England are now having to deal with my words of wisdom. I do feel sorry for them! The title is Worship & Key Beliefs: Student Book (Gcse Religious Studies B)
. I have to admit that I never thought I would make it to a school text book, and certainly not a religious studies one.

Best Mob Book

Surviving The Mob by Denny Griffin and Andrew DiDonato. This one will be in the book stores next week. Andrew and Denny have done a very fine job. Actually Andrew gets a second award, best DVD documentary of the year. Surviving The Mob is a chilling journey inside the Gambino crime family. It also didn’t hurt that he quoted me on the DVD cover! Nah, I am not biased. I have read the galley and anyone interested on the murky wold of Organized Crime will want to read this book. I still think they should have titled it The Life And Crimes Of A Gambino Foot Soldier. I predict that this book is going to do very well indeed.

Best Health And Nutrition Book

This award goes to the husband and wife writing and research team of Mannie Barling and Ashley Brooks. They released two books Arthritis, Inflammation, Gout, Crohn’s, IBD and IBS and Mannies Diet and Enzyme Formula. The titles sound a bit dry, but the information inside is eye opening. They are also very nice people, apparently I have provoked them into writing another book, and they are threatening to mention me.

Most Thought Provoking Book

This one is a tie. The joint winners are Sam Moffie for The Book Of Eli and P.S. Baber for Cassie Draws The Universe. These books draw the reader in, sure you can take them at face value but they also stand up to a much deeper analysis. Maybe I should have called the category Best Gray Matter Work Out Book!

Best Fantasy Book

This one has to go to Paul Deepan for The Fruit Of The Dendragon Tree. This is fantasy for grown up’s, there are no cute fairies. Dendragon is nitty gritty. The story behind the story is maybe the strangest thing. Paul used Breast Cancer as a jumping off plot line, and two months after the first draft was finished his wife was diagnosed with it.

Best Rant Book

Ranting is not generally used as a category in the library cataloging system. I think it should be added. I love a good rant. This year brought a bumper crop of great rants. It was hard to choose the best one. Rick The Poet Warrior unleashed Kill The Rich on the unsuspecting population. Written in the style of an email it is resplendent in typos, and grammar that likely would not score well in the classroom. This book exudes pure venom! I loved it.

Best Autobiography Book

This was another very tough choice. I read many great autobiographies this year. I don’t tend to go for the rich and famous, they are boring. My choice is Dorcey Wingo and The Rise And Fall Of Captain Methane. Dorcey was a career helicopter pilot, his story is a strange one. If the name rings a distant bell, it is probably because you heard it on the news. He was the pilot driving the chopper on the Twilight Zone movie set that Viv Morrow and two children lost their lives. This is a book that covers many emotions.

Best NYT Bestseller

You are joking. There wasn’t one! This year saw the usual fare of ghost written rubbish about people that I could care less about.  It was just another year of mindless drivel about the rich and infamous. Junk subjects, sanitized writing, and over edited garbage from the big publishing houses.

I have not run out of categories, but my keyboard is smoking from all of the typing, so I think I will have to stop before my desk bursts into flames. 2010 has been a great year, I have met many new friends. Every book that I read was written from the heart, and every author deserves great amounts of kudos.

Simon Barrett

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