Category Archives: Goodreads

The Goodreads Choice Awards, Then and Now

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The display of all the past winners of Goodreads Choice Awards.  Can you find Jim Henson? (Don’t worry, I’ll show you where it is in a bit…)

Last night, I had the great pleasure of attending the Goodreads Choice Awards Tenth Anniversary Celebration in New York, where I was one of about fifteen previous award winners in attendance — and that’s because you were all lovely enough to vote for Jim Henson as the Best Biography of 2013. You can see Jim stacked there with a few of the other winners from 2013, including Stephen King, Dan Brown, and Dean Koontz. 2013 was a pretty cool year.

GoodreadscoverIt was great to be among so many passionate readers, writers, and publishers–and I tried not to fanboy too much when I met Dave Cullen, who’s heartbreaking Columbine is one of my all-time favorites, and with Alexandra Robbins, who’s got a new book, Fraternity, coming your way in January. We also got to hear from Neil Gaiman, who picked up an award for being one of Goodreads’s most-nominated authors. It was a pre-recorded (Whattayawant? The man is off working to bring us the miniseries Good Omens!), but it was still super cool.

It was also a lot of fun to watch the folks at Goodreads (and Audible, another of our hosts for the evening) unveil the nominees for this year’s awards. Lots of great nominees across lots of categories–in fact, you can start casting your votes for the books of 2018 as of 11 p.m. last night. Go for it.  You’ll find the link below.

Oh, and one more thing . . .

As a prior winner, that also makes Jim Henson one of the nominees in this year’s new category, “Best of the Best,” in which readers can vote for their favorite book from among a gigantic list of previous winners. I’d love it if you’d vote for Jim Henson as your all-time favorite–but it’s a huge list with EVERY genre represented, so even if you’re not a biography reader, there’s bound to be something on the list that you loved.

Click here to start voting!

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There he is! Stacked between two other award winners from 2013, Dan Brown’s Inferno, and Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half.

Want an Advance Copy of George Lucas: A Life?

You bet you do.  And now, thanks to the fine folks at Little, Brown and Goodreads, you can. Go here to enter the giveaway over on Goodreads, for a chance to win one of twenty advance copies.  The contest is open until October 1, and they’ll be giving away copies from August 22 until October 2.

My Thanks to Outstanding (Good)Readers

GoodreadscoverLike Lord Byron, who woke up one morning and found himself famous, I woke up this morning to countless e-mails and text messages alerting me to the wonderful news that Jim Henson: The Biography had won the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Biography of 2013.

Wow.

It was great to even be nominated — an old saw, but what can I say? It really is true.  And in the category of Biography/History, I was in great company: Denise Kiernan’s The Girls of Atomic City. Bill Bryson’s One Summer. Reza Aslan’s Zealot — and that’s just for starters. With a fellowship of biographers and historians like that clustered around you, it really is exciting just to be among the  nominees. But what a genuine thrill it is to learn that readers loved it enough to vote for it — and keep voting for it multiple times, since that’s what it takes to make it through each round.

And so: THANK YOU to each and every one of you. And Goodreads aside, thank you all for the warmth and enthusiasm over these past few months. It’s a rare pleasure to get to document someone’s incredible life — and I’m so glad we could enjoy it all together. I appreciate all of you.

My congratulations, too, to the winners in all the other categories.  This marks probably the only time in my life I will likely be on the same list with Stephen King, Khaled Hosseini, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, and J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m marking the day with a white stone, as Lewis Carroll once put it.

UP (with People!), Pressing Matters, and Goodreads

I had a terrific time speaking at Jim Henson’s other hometown of University Park (UP), Maryland, last week — where the Hensons moved for good in 1948, where Jim went to high school and college, and where, perhaps most importantly, he discovered his love for television amidst the whopping four television channels available in the Greater Washington, DC Metro area. As in Leland, it was great to meet so many people who love Jim Henson and his work, and to get reacquainted with several people  who helped me in my research on Jim Henson, including former UP Mayor John Brunner (who burrowed deep into public records to locate the various Henson residences) and University of Maryland archivist Anne Turkos.

I also met a childhood friend of Jim’s named Harvey Beavers — which, given the name of a certain character in Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, made me smile (though it’s just one of those happy coincidences, since the character appears in the source material…) — as well as the current owner of the Henson family’s former house on Beechwood in University Park, a very kind and quiet woman who says that, so far, no one has banged on her door and asked to look around.  Well done, everyone.

Next up for me: the 36th Annual Book Fair and Authors’ Night at the National Press Club here in Washington, DC.  I’m delighted to have been invited, and the reader and book fan in me is eager to attend as well, as I’m looking forward to meeting several of the writers in attendance — including Larry Kane, whose book on the Beatles, When They Were Boys, was a heckuva lotta fun, and Dan Balz, who penned the dynamite Collision 2012, all about the last election.

Finally, I’m thrilled, flattered, and humbled that Jim Henson has not only been nominated for a Goodreads Choice Awards for 2013, but that it’s also made it to the final round.

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Yay! There’s Jim Henson, in the second row, still in the hunt after the first two rounds, thanks to all of you.

Thank you so much, everyone who’s voted to bring Jim Henson into the  final round.  I appreciate it — and if you’re so inclined, vote for it once again in the final round, and let’s see how far it’ll go. Regardless, it really is an honor just to be considered, so thank you, too, for that.

If you’d like vote, go here.