As you know, I give money away. I don't have much money, so I don't give much away...but it is such a pleasure that I thought I'd tell you just a bit about it.
I love books. So a few years ago I came up with this crazy idea of awarding my own "Book of the Year" Award. And now, once a year I award $100 to the author of the book I have most enjoyed during the year. I usually make the award around the Christmas holiday season. A hundred dollars once a year...not a big deal, and it's sort of in the spirit of the season.
But all year long each book I read has me wondering....is This Book going to be my COAVC Book of the Year? It consumes me (in a pleasant sort of way.)
Sure, there's the National Book Award, and The Pulitzer Prize, The Man Booker Prize, and the Nobel Prize for Literature...but do the folks who award those prizes know more about the best books around than I do? Ya know.... probably not. And each of the people on the committees deciding the winners of these awards is undoubtedly influenced by their peers, and their consensus selection may be good but it is likely never going to be daring nor original.
When I award the COAVC Best Book of the Year Award, however, I can be as daring and original as I want. And I may unearth a genius who may otherwise have been lost to the ages.
My winner this year (2014) was the book Welcome To The Divide by S.P. Daley. I had never heard of this author. It was simply the best book I read this year so I awarded it the prize. If the author accepts the award, I have decided to send him a formal letter suitable for framing. Sort of like the diploma from the Wizard of Oz.
I think more people should do this. Send $100 to an author who has really "made your day." Do it once a year. $100 a year isn't really much.
I surely am not rich. But these authors have enriched me with their writing; and I shall continue making my book of the year awards.
Be well, my friends, and Merry Christmas.