I’ve made it through a lot more than I thought I would, although a few categories I had to decide to skip for this round. If I can avoid it, I don’t like to vote for a book if it’s the only one in the category that I’ve read, because that’s not really measuring what the vote is supposed to measure. But especially for the first round, sometimes that has to happen—in this case, historical fiction. I’m going to try and get through The North Water and To the Bright Edge of the World in time for round two, but honestly, they’ll have to be incredible to beat out Homegoing anyway.
Fiction: I’ve really made this choice difficult for myself by reading more of the nominees. Another Brooklyn was beautiful, but then so was Shelter, and now that I’ve started My Name is Lucy Barton (which I hadn’t even planned to read, but it was available at the library when Girls wasn’t) I know I’m really going to be in trouble trying to choose between them. I’m going to start What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours on my lunch break today, just to make the dilemma even worse.
Humor: I went ahead and voted for Mara Wilson’s book, because I started Tig Notaro’s and while I am enjoying it, I don’t think it’ll be enough to displace the other. I will say, though, that I really wouldn’t call Where Am I Now? “humor.” It seems to happen a lot in this category, but in this case, Mara Wilson’s not even a comedian by profession (as far as I know? She’s a storyteller, which isn’t the same thing)—her book is clearly a memoir, and I don’t know why it wasn’t placed in that category instead.
Nonfiction: Okay, so. Ha. I have been reading a few nonfiction books, but was disappointed just now to realize that none of them are actually for this category (they fall under history and science). I think Dark Money, Originals, Girls & Sex, and But What If We’re Wrong? all sound fascinating, and I’m still going to read them for the second and third rounds. But given what I know about the winners from past years, I’m going to go ahead and guess that none of the ones I’ll vote for will win anyway: It’s totally going to be Hamilton. Maybe Adnan’s Story, but probably Hamilton. Which is . . . Well, you know. Typical.
Memoir/Autobiography: I voted for Shrill, but it was tough, because I’m about halfway through The Rainbow Comes and Goes and it is also very worthy. I hadn’t known about Gloria Vanderbilt’s history, but learning about it through her conversations with her son (Anderson Cooper) is just really interesting. They have a lovely dynamic between them.
Science/Technology: I’m in the middle of both Grunt and The Genius of Birds, and I’m voting for Grunt. I like Jennifer Ackerman’s book a lot, and I’m finding all the information about birds really interesting, but also this is my first Mary Roach book and I understand the appeal now.
Graphic Novels/Comics: It wasn’t easy, but I voted for Monstress. I would still like to read Orange and Adulthood is a Myth, but I won’t be able to get a copy of them in time. I’ve read about half of the other nominees and yes, it was really hard to not vote for Rat Queens. If it were a choice between volume one and Monstress, I would definitely have to pick the Queens.