It’s February and the excitement of youth media awards season is starting to be eclipsed by things like the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards (I mean, clearly for myself and anyone reading this blog there is nothing more exciting that the announcement of the Printz, Morris, Odyssey, and other YALSA awards, but there’s a whole lot going on in the world of entertainment at this time of year!).
By now maybe you’ve read a few other winning titles … maybe you’ve even tried to read ALL of them, and are feeling a little in need of a literary palette cleanser. That’s why I’d like to take a moment to salute one of my favorite media award lists: the nonfiction section of Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. This list is full of some of the most quirky, fun, visually beautiful, and fascinating titles of the year, and often books that fly under the radar of other awarding and reviewing sources. The titles can be sassy reference materials like How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awful Famous or Show Me How: 500 Things You Should Know, Instructions for Life from the Everyday to the Exotic. They can be awe-inspiring artistic presentations like Pavement Chalk Artist: The Three-Dimensional Drawings of Julian Beever or share fashion from around the globe like Gothic and Lolita.
Sometimes the list is filled with books that will make you laugh or cringe, like Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong and Passive Aggressive Notes, to name a few of my favorites. Past selections have also included graphic novel biographies, amazing do-it-yourself guides, and everything from etiquette advice to gross world records. But the best thing about this list isn’t just how diverse and unique it is each year; it’s that all of these books feel effortless. They’re great for flipping through, sharing with friends, picking up and putting down.
The year is heading into those end-of-winter months when staying indoors and chilling out starts to give way to springtime busy-ness. Whether you want to hunker down with a stack of books or flip through something light and memorable, there are plenty of fun options to be found on the Quick Picks list.
— Mia Cabana, currently reading Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel
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