e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the tag “textbooks”

A new book award

Since I’ve started this blog and taken to browsing the web for literature news, I’ve come across some interesting events and awards in the book world.

cover art

‘My Beautiful Genome; by Lone Frank, shortlisted in the General Biology category.

The one I’m blogging about now isn’t exactly literature – it is the Society of Biology Book Awards. They have just announced the shortlists – three categories (undergrad textbooks, postgrad textbooks, general biology) so three lists.

Choosing the judges must have been a task in itself: textbooks are such specialised reading. Did they wait until the entrants were in then choose judges accordingly, or did they invite a selection of people and hope they’d understand the books?

The Society website talks of this being the inaugural award, so presumably the first time they’ve given it. We have awards everywhere these days and I suppose it’s good for academics to be up for some – writing the books must be very hard work and the writers are not often rewarded with a wide readership.

But I do sometimes wonder about the books that don’t get mentioned on short or long lists. Do they do worse or better than they would otherwise? Does an award raise the profile of a type of writing to the benefit of all its producers? I doubt if we’ll ever know.

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