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The Special Pleasure of Book Recognitions

Karl Giberson

Writer’s Log: Stardate 12-1-13

The morning mail—which usually comes at suppertime—brought two important items. The first was my working glasses, which I had left at my daughter’s apartment in Connecticut on Wednesday.  These are special bifocals with the upper part optimized for a computer screen and the lower part optimized for reading a book. They are not so good for catching fly balls or driving a car, but I love them for working. To read anything except road signs with my regular progressive lenses requires that I tip my head back as if I was trying to stop a nosebleed, or locate a fly on the ceiling.

The second thing in the mail was a notification that The Anointed has been nominated for a 2012 Grawemeyer Award in the category of religion. If the book wins, Randall and I will share a generous cash prize and the enormous satisfaction of having our work recognized. But, even if we don’t win, simply being nominated is an honor in itself.

Being recognized for writing is important feedback. In fact, such recognitions are the reasons I have been able to start thinking of myself as a writer, and not just an “academic who writes books.”  There are many authors that I would not say are writers. Most scholarly books are written so terribly that you would never hand one to a student and say “You can learn to write by emulating this author’s style.” 

I have had several recognitions over the years but the greatest was when the Washington Post Book World—a premier literary publication—called Saving Darwin “One of the Best Books of 2008.” Saving Darwin also got another interesting recognition by being included on the 2011 “Book Lover’s Calendar.” The weekend entry for February 19-20 was a nice comment introducing the book and recommending it.

We don’t find out about the Grawemeyer Award until December 2012 but I will certainly write about it, if it happens.

Writer’s Log Supplemental: Stardate 12-1-13

I got an email from InterVarsity Press today asking for some corrections on the final version of The Wonder of the Universe before it goes to press next week. I find the editorial process very tedious. There seems to be an endless number of steps and everything takes a long time.  And there is so little creativity during this phase. But, it must be taken seriously or a lot of hard work will be compromised by errors and other problems that could have been corrected.