From the SFWA.org website:
Novel: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
Novella: “Fountain of Age” by Nancy Kress
Novelette: “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang
Short Story: “Always” by Karen Joy Fowler
Script: Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Damon Knight Grand Master for 2008: Michael Moorcock
SFWA Service Award: Melisa Michaels and Graham P. Collins
Books from the award-winning authors currently available on Avalon.ph linked below:
Michael Chabon, Ted Chiang, Karen Joy Fowler, and Nancy Kress.
The Shopaholic series: the New Fashionista Bible
If I were to choose among my pile of chick literature for my favorite, I would say that the Shopaholic series tops the list. Rebecca Bloomwood, the series’ main protagonist, takes you to a never-ending ride of shopping trips and funny escapades that her spendthrift ways bring about. The books are as shallow as any chick literature would be, but the type of superficiality that Kinsella’s books offer differ from the usual nonsense blabbering of other chick literature protagonists. Confessions of a Shopaholic gives you a never-ending ride of shopping galore, with Rebecca’s sweet and exciting romance with Luke Brandon, the multimillionaire PR representative, as a bonus. The second installment, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, portrays Rebecca as an even more avid shopper as she goes to New York for the first time. I have read four out of the five installments, and my favorite would have to be the third one so far. Shopaholic Ties the Knot is beautiful because we see a more mature (but definitely still an extravagant) Rebecca as her once-budding romance with Luke becomes permanent and even more enchanting. This kind of chick literature is a good break from the classics and other heavy reading, so it is perfect for the summer or for escaping the tiring demands of work. But its shallowness is not so that it will make you cringe at every page. The superficiality is served through witty writing that British authors are so famous for, and Kinsella does not exaggerate or fail in her insertion of humor throughout the stories.
The Shopaholic series is something I always recommend to my friends because it is a light read, yet it does not go overboard in its superficiality. Though Rebecca’s spending habits and her tendency to avoid and ignore her monthly bills might be a little too much, and irksome at its worst, there is still that sensible touch to the whole series that prevents me from dismissing it as a mere novel-version of Vogue. Personally, ever since I have read the book, I have developed a renewed sense of fashion style. Reading about Rebecca’s fashion predicaments, the constant name-dropping of high-end fashion labels, and the vivid depiction of shopaholic must-haves that Rebecca espouses indirectly made me aware of fashion what-nots and know-hows. Such examples would be the Hermés scarf that Luke gave her in Confessions of a Shopaholic or the Angel bag that she “just had to buy??? in the third installment. So, if you want some delightful chick literature to read, then the Shopaholic series is the way to go. Not only does Rebecca take you to a different level of fashion and sensibility as she traverses modern-day life with style and sophistication, but the series actually makes you realize the difference between an outfit from the ordinary jeans-and-shirt get-up.
Purchase your copy of this book on Avalon.ph
Life As She Sees It: Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha
Arthur Golden’s debut novel is a fictional account of a geisha’s life. It narrates the story of Chiyo, who, as a child, was sold into slavery together with her sister. Chiyo eventually becomes Sayuri, as she is taken in and trained to become a geisha, while her sister is taken into a whorehouse and becomes separated from her sister permanently. I read this many years ago, and Golden’s skillful display of his exceptional knowledge in geisha culture and lifestyle woven with his main protagonist’s own voice narrating the accounts of her personal life cemented this book on my favorites’ list. The smooth prose adds depth to the rich narration and the poignant life story of Sayuri. The bittersweet memories of her life and the gripping prose style with which Golden wrote the novel combine into one absorbing and elegant must-read. If you have seen the movie, then there is all the more reason to peruse the book, in order for you to realize just how much the film failed to give justice to the novel’s beauty. Sayuri’s rivalry with Hatsumomo and her love affair with the hairman are just some of the delectable highlights of the novel, which is rich with facts about Japanese culture and art. The history and culture of a geisha in Sayuri’s time provides a rich social landscape apart from Sayuri’s personal story, so that when you read the book, not only do you witness the ups and downs of Sayuri’s life, but also a slice of Japanese history, and the culture that makes it worthy of remembrance.
Purchase your copy of this book on Avalon.ph