The 2013 Troxellian Literature Awards…OF DOOM! Part II

Now it’s time to announce the winners of the 2013 Troxellian Literature Awards…OF DOOM! I announced the nominees in my previous post (they include every book I read in 2013). Here are the awards:

“IT’S A CLASSIC FOR A REASON” Award

This award goes to a work that is considered a classic that totally lived up to the hype. And the Troxell goes too..

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

It was so early in the trend of time-traveling literature that it actually scored the title, The Time Machine. I thought it might seem dated with all the literature that built off the book’s premise of time-traveling that came later but…nope. And it does what the best time-travel novels do in that the entire novel stands as an allegory, aiming a magnifying glass at the time in which it was written. How perfect is the symbolism of The Morlocks busting their ass underground to keep the Eloi living their lives of luxury as a reflection of 19th Century social classes? Still has relevance today in a world of the 99% vs. the 1%.

Honorable mention: The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum

The “THAT’S IT?!” Award

This award goes to the book that is considered a classic that totally didn’t live up to the hype. And the Troxell goes to…

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

I expect to take some heat on this one. Everyone always sings the praises of The Outsiders as a classic of YA literature so when I started reading YA lit in preparation for writing my YA novel, it was one of the first books I read. Personally, I just didn’t see it. It was decent but totally forgettable. Maybe I’m too old or maybe it’s dated or maybe my expectations were too high, but I’m all for keeping Ponyboy and the rest on the outside (Oh snap…).

The “Woohoo!” Award

This award goes to the book that I had the most fun reading during the year. And the Troxell goes to…

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This book got sent my way during my dystopian phase. Sometimes you just wanna read a book to have a good time – not to learn anything or as research. Ready Player One was just fun to read. It takes place in the future where people entertain themselves by taking part in a humongous, fully interactive, virtual reality MMORPG. The designer of the game universe dies and leaves a treasure hunt for the players of the game with millions of dollars and ultimate power within the game universe at stake. The book is a love letter to the 80s and anyone who grew up playing old school video games. Just a fun read.

The “TAP OUT” Award

This award goes to the book that I gave up reading the fastest. And the Troxell goes to…

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

I also read Chabon’s Wonderboys this year so this isn’t a Chabon beatdown session, but God…Pulitzer Prize my ass! It’s amazing that the more boring a book is, the more “literary” and “artistic” it’s considered. Why does literary = boring? My time is valuable and there are so many good books in the world so it doesn’t take a lot for me to give up on a book. To be fair I try to give a book at least three chapters and K & C got its time…and I wanted it back. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what the book was about.

Dishonorable Mention: Eva’s Cousin by Sibylle Knauss

The “‘OLE FRIEND” Award

This award goes to a book I’ve read previously that I’m reading for the second time…and it turns out to be even better than the first time around. And the Troxell goes to…

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I read The Hobbit for the first time back in 7th grade. I liked it. I read it this past summer when I was gearing up to watch the first movie of the film trilogy…and I loved it. I certainly appreciated the world Tolkien had created much more as a writer. It’s certainly not as dense or dark as The LoftR trilogy. The Hobbit is just a fun book. It’s exciting and adventurous and has just a touch of magic in it. The film adaptations are much more similar to the LotR trilogy in tone so The Hobbit stands alone as Tolkien’s gift of pure joy to fantasy nerds everywhere. Thanks, J.R.R. (Why so many initials?).

The “THAT’S THE STUFF” Award

This award goes to the best book I read during the year that was the equivalent of literary heroin. And the Troxell goes to…

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Wow. I read Handmaid’s Tale at the tale end of my dystopian phase…and I saved one of the best for last. I assumed it would be a work of feminist propaganda and all literary and boring. I was so glad to be wrong. Atwood presents a terrifying vision of what the world would look like if Fox News ruled over everything. Rich people hire women to have children for them in a world of super conservatism. The story is interesting and the writing is beautiful. It’s a damn good book. Read it.

And there you have it. Congrats to the winners (unless it was a negative award…which isn’t much of an award at all). See you in 2014!

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~ by themoderntranscendentalist on December 22, 2013.

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