The shortlist for the award is based on titles which proved the most popular in Popular and Harris Bookshops last year. Readers will get a choice to vote for their favourites by filling in the forms which will appear in Starmag's and StarTwo's book pages over the coming weeks.
The top authors in the two categories will each receive RM1,000 and a trophy; authors of the second and third most popular book titles in both categories will each receive RM300 cash and certificates of recognition. There are also book vouchers to be won by those who send in the forms.
Here's the list. I've added links to relevant posts on this blog.
Honk! If You’re Malaysian by Lydia Teh I Am Muslim by Dina Zaman The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr Ismail and His Time by Ooi Kee Beng In Good Faith: Articles, Essays, and Interviews by Zaid Ibrahim As I Was Passing by Adibah Amin The Unmaking of Malaysia: An Insider’s Reminiscences of Umno, Razak, and Mahathir by Ahmad Mustapha Hassan Tanah Tujuh by Antares From Small-Town Boy to World Class Surgeon by Mangai Balasegaram Malaysian Politicians Say the Darndest Things by Amir Muhammad The Sky is Crazy by Yvonne Lee
There are several books here I've read in part but not written about. Several more I've glanced at in the bookshop, but given a limited budget I haven't bought. (The canny publisher slips the litblogger a free review copy!!) I may start to fill in some of those gaps now.
Confessions of an Old Boy: The Dato’ Hamid Adventures by Kam Raslan Mamasan by Khoo Kheng-Hor The Red Cheong Sam by Ralph Modder This End of the Rainbow by Adibah Amin 44 Cemetery Road: The Best of Tunku Halim by Tunku Halim Sweetheart from Hell by Lim May-Zhee The Boy Who Talks to Ghosts by Benny & Alice Wong Silverfish New Writing 6 edited by Dipika Mukherjee Long Road to Merdeka by Kamarul Zaman Kamarulzaman Nine Lives by Teoh Choon Ean
But congrats to all those nominated and I hope that this very useful initiative gives local authors and publishers a much needed boost.
The great thing about any literary award, is of course the discussion it creates, and so it's open season in the comments to this post.
What do you think of the books nominated? How many have you read?