2015 Troxellian Literature Awards (The Results)

It’s time to announce the winners of the 2015 Troxellian Literature Awards! The nominees were posted in my previous post. All winners were chosen by me and the results are based on nothing more than my meaningless opinion. This year marks the first year that I’m including graphic novels so that’s pretty historic…for an awards competition that has been going on for three years. Here are the awards!

The “WOOHOO” Award

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

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore

Score one for the graphic novels right out of the gate. I loved reading this book. Graphic novels always seem more fun than regular fiction. Do you think it’s the pictures…? Anyways, V is all the best parts of 1984 with way, way more violence…which is awesome. There’s a reason V is always on top ten lists of greatest graphic novels ever written. It says something and it says it in an interesting way. Good deal.

Honorable mention: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

 

The “HULK OUT!!!” Award

This award goes to the book that pissed me off the most (even though I read the whole thing). And the Troxell goes to…

Son by Lois Lowry

The Giver is one of my favorite books…EVER! I read it in elementary school and it has stayed with me ever since. It proved that literature can be so much more than stupid Goosebumps bullshit. It’s one of the reasons I’m a writer. And the ending…oh wow. Love it. Then Lowry shit all over the ending with a terrible sequel in the same universe and then another with Jonas and then Son came along and it just enraged me all over again because it was so unnecessary and terrible. Why can’t writers just leave their classic work alone?

Dishonorable mentions: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (feminist bullshit) and The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless (cash-in bullshit)

 

The “TAP OUT” Award

This award goes to the book that I quit reading. And the Troxell goes to…

Light in August by William Faulkner

There are books I read as a young gentleman that I just wasn’t ready for. I read Walden as a junior in high school and thought it was the most boring piece of garbage ever. Now it’s my favorite work of literature. So I thought I would return to Faulkner since I thought he was trash in college. Nope. Still trash. Actually, the book was so dull and so boring that I can’t even REMEMBER if I made it all the way through or not. Actually, I think I did. I just WISH I had tapped out. Sorry, Faulkner, you’re just not my bag.

 

The “‘Didn’t See That Comin’” Award

This award goes to a book I enjoyed way more than I expected to. And the Troxell goes to…

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief had all the makings of a book I hate. It has a gimmicky narrator (Death personified), it’s about a subject that’s been driven into the ground (World War II and the Holocaust), and it was a Best Seller (I’m a hipster). But, damn it, it was a great book! It pains my hipster nature to admit this, but admit this I must. Very emotional and the stupid gimmick narrator actually worked. Respect to The Green Mile as well since it was even better than the movie (which is very good as well).

Honorable Mention: The Green Mile by Stephen King

 

The “Gonorrhea” Award

This award goes to the book that I read the PREVIOUS year that has stayed with me two years later…much like an STD that just won’t go away. And the Troxell goes to…

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

It was the best book I read in 2014 and it still haunts me late in 2015. I see a lot of the dangers Rand warned us about popping up all over the place, especially in politics. I think the 2016 presidential election will send Rand spinning like a blender blade in her grave. Still not sure if it’s better than Atlas Shrugged, though…

 

The “Fountain of Youth” Award

I spent most of early 2015 writing a YA novel so I was reading a lot of YA during the year. This award goes to the best YA book I read in 2015. And the Troxell goes to…

Percy Jackson #4: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

I really wanted to give this award to Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, but it ends JUST as it’s getting really, really good. Because it’s so short it just never reached that next level of greatness. Come on, Gary! Make that kid suffer some more! Anyways, since I teach high school teens I’m always looking for books for young gentlemen who tell me with such pride that they HATE READING. The Percy Jackson series is something I will recommend. It’s an excellent blend of humor, action, and teenage whininess. I didn’t want to give the award to the entire series because it’s not all great (Book #3, I’m looking at you) so I picked my favorite, which was the fourth book in the series. Any teen who has even a dab of interest in Greek mythology (or God of War) should check it out.

Honorable Mention: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

 

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…

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Unlike previous years, I spent most of the year without a clear frontrunner for this award. All the books I read were good (entertaining), but none of them were great (meaningful). I guess that’s what I look for in a great work of literature: It has to say something. Then in December one of my students asked me to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and discuss it with him. I’ve found that the best books have a way of finding their way to you. I’ve found a new author in Philip K. Dick. He’s one of those authors that I’ve always heard about but never read. I love the movies based on his work (Total Recall, Blade Runner, The Running Man, etc.), but now I have the words and the man to go with them. The questions raised in the book were really interesting. What does it mean to be human? Is our ability to empathize the only thing that separates us from machines? Is it still adultery if you bang a robot? The best books make us question what we are and Dick’s work does exactly that. What can I say? I love Dick…wait a minute…

Honorable Mentions: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

And there you have it. Disagree with me if you want because none of it really matters since I’m not famous and I’m judging literature that came out over a span of many, many years. We’ll do it all again in 2016! Read on!

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~ by themoderntranscendentalist on December 31, 2015.

One Response to “2015 Troxellian Literature Awards (The Results)”

  1. Great list! I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles with Faulkner.

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