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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Snags First Quills Book of the Year Award

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The first Quill Awards — aiming to “pair a populist sensibility with Hollywood-style glitz” in awarding “literary prizes reflecting the tastes of the people who matter most, readers” — were named last night during a ceremony in New York City hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, with special appearances by Jon Stewart (who took home two prizes for his America -The Book) and another author-comedian, Robert Klein.

The Quills Book of the Year was awarded to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Mary GrandPré, published by Arthur Levine/Scholastic. Rowling was also presented with the Quills Children’s Chapter Book/Middle Grade Award. Debut Author of the Year went to Elizabeth Kostova for her multigenerational mystery novel, The Historian, published by Little Brown & Company; and Bob Dylan received the Biography/Memoir Award for his Chronicles: Volume One, published by Simon & Schuster.

The Quill Awards television special, hosted by Al Roker and WNBC’s Jane Hanson, will be carried on the 14 NBC Universal Owned and Operated Television Stations on Saturday, October 22, 2005, airing 7:00-8:00 p.m.

“We are pleased that we have engaged the American reader in the voting process for a significant book award,” remarked Gerry Byrne, former Publisher of Variety and Daily Variety, who designed and supervises The Quill Awards and program and serves as Chairman of The Quills Literacy Foundation. He added, “We’re delighted with the outstanding works of the well-regarded nominees-authors who we were proud to honor here tonight. We look forward to growing the Quills in the years to come.”

The winners of the 2005 Quill Book Awards are:

Book of the Year – presented by Brian Williams
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré (Illustrator)
Arthur Levine/Scholastic

Debut Author of the Year – presented by Kim Cattrall
The Historian
Elizabeth Kostova
Little Brown & Company

Audio Book – presented by Tony Roberts
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America: A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction
Jon Stewart and the Writers of the Daily Show
Time Warner AudioBooks

Children’s Illustrated Book – presented by Elmo
Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook
Shel Silverstein
HarperCollins Children’s Books

Children’s Chapter Book/Middle Grade – presented by Jules Feiffer
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré (Illustrator)
Arthur Levine/Scholastic

Young Adult/Teen – presented by Anthony Rapp
Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood
Ann Brashares
Delacorte Press

General Fiction – presented by Erica Jong
The Mermaid Chair
Sue Monk Kidd
Viking Press

Graphic Novel – presented by Jonathan Lethem
Marvel 1602 Volume I
Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert, and Richard Isanove
Marvel Comics

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller – presented by Stephen J. Cannell and Annie Parisse
Eleven on Top
Janet Evanovich
St. Martin’s Press

Poetry – presented by Robert Klein
Let America Be America Again: And Other Poems

Langston Hughes
Vintage Books

Romance – presented by Candace Bushnell
44 Cranberry Point
Debbie Macomber
Mira Books

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror – presented by Tamara Tunie
The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror
Christopher Moore
William Morrow & Company

Religion/Spirituality – presented by Matthew Modine
Peace is the Way: Bringing War and Violence to an End
Deepak Chopra
Harmony

Biography/Memoir – presented by Nick Hornby
Chronicles: Volume One
Bob Dylan
Simon & Schuster

Business – presented by Maria Bartiromo
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
William Morrow & Company

Cooking – presented by Rocco DeSpirito
Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Get Real Meals: Eat Healthy Without Going to Extremes
Rachael Ray
Clarkson Potter

Health/Self Improvement – presented by Dr. Joyce Brothers
He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys
Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
Simon Spotlight Entertainment

History/Current Events/Politics – presented by Tony LoBianco
1776
David McCullough
Simon & Schuster

Humor – presented by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America: A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction
Jon Stewart and the Writers of the Daily Show
Warner Books

Sports – presented by Len Berman
Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season
Stewart O’Nan and Stephen King
Scribner

Nominations for The Quill Award categories were made by a national panel of approximately 6,000 booksellers and librarians selected from Publishers Weekly subscriber base, with winners determined by consumer voting online. Booksellers carried a Quills brochure for customers to take home, listing the nominees and instructions for voting. In addition, Borders allowed people to vote at dedicated kiosks in its stores across the country.

Eligible books must have been published North America between August 1, 2004, and July 31, 2005, marketed in the United States, and met one of the following criteria: a starred review in Publishers Weekly, a Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers Program selection, one of the American Booksellers Association’s Book Sense Picks, a Borders Books & Music Original Voices title, or an appearance on the bestsellers lists of Publishers Weekly, Book Sense, Barnes & Noble, or Borders.

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