Best Adirondack books of 2007 honored

BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE Close to eighty writers, editors, publishers, and book lovers gathered at the stunning Blue Mountain Center in Blue Mountain Lake Sunday, June 8 to hear the announcements of the Adirondack Center for Writings (ACW) 3rd annual Adirondack Literary Award winners and to honor regional author Anne LaBastille with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Adirondack Literary Awards celebrate and acknowledge the books that were written by Adirondack authors or published in the region in the previous year. The thirty-seven entries this year were of particularly high quality, giving the judges a challenging task of picking the best of the best. All of the books submitted for consideration this year were on display, giving a visual sense of the scope of our Adirondack literary achievements, and over fifteen of the authors had signed copies of their books for sale. And the winners are Best Book of Fiction: Within a Dark Forest; an Adirondack Tale of Love and Suspicion by Michael Virtanen and published by Lost Pond Press. The poetry category, which was particularly strong this year, resulted in a tie-vote. Wet Apples, White Blood by Naomi Guttman and published by McGill-Queens University Press and The Origin of the Milky Way by Barbara Louise Ungar and published by Gival Press shared the top honor. Best Childrens Picture Book went to author Hope Irvin Marston for My Little Book Of Manatees published by Windward Publishing and Best Children's Literature, young adult, went to Spitfire by Kate Messner and published by North Country Books. My Brothers Madness by Paul Pines and published by Curbstone Press won Best Book of Nonfiction-Memoir and Lawrence P. Gooley's Oliver's War: An Adirondack Rebel Battles the Rockefeller Fortune (Bloated Toe Publishing) won Best Book of Nonfiction. For the first time an award of Special Appreciation was given to editor Lee Manchester and to his publisher Nicholas K. Burns for the collection and preservation of Mary MacKenzie's The Plains of Abraham: A History of North Elba and Lake Placid. In addition to the juried awards, the Adirondack Center for Writing annually offers the Peoples Choice Award, which is voted on by ACW members for the best book of the year, regardless of genre. This years Peoples Choice went to Actively Adirondack; Reflections on Mountain Life in the 21st Century by Randy Lewis and published by Hungry Bear Publishing. Finally, nationally acclaimed author, storyteller, and publisher, Joe Bruchac gave a moving tribute to writer and environmentalist Anne LaBastille, pointing out the scholarly achievements she made in the fields of biology and environmental studies. Bruchac described her as a lovely, small, and seemingly delicate woman, who could have led a comfortable life in any university setting, but who chose to live her life alone in the remote wilderness, a movie star, slightly miscast in a flannel shirt, and who has been a role model for young women everywhere. LaBastille, author of the popular Woodswoman series and member of ACWs advisory board, could not attend the ceremony for health reasons but asked that her friend, Isabella Worthen, accept the award on her behalf.

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