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2012 Puddly Awards

The 2012 Puddly Awards

Here at Powell's, nothing gives us greater joy than sharing our favorite books with our customers — and having our customers share theirs in return. So, annually we ask you to determine which titles should earn the coveted Puddly Awards, Powell's version of the Oscars. Thanks to all who voted for this year's titles!

Click here to see last year's winners.

We asked you to vote for the best book you read in 2011, and you responded in record numbers. Now, the results are in. And, kudos to you, we might add. So exuberant were we at this final 50, we wanted to mark the occasion with a poem (we are booksellers, after all). But as Jay Z, whose inability to complete his infamous album Fly to Be Dry, long ago noted, "It's really hard to rhyme with 'galoshes.'" So, we'll skip the fanfare, and take you straight to... your 2012 Puddly Award winners!

 

The 2012 Puddly Award
for Fiction

The Help
The Help
by Kathryn Stockett

The 2012 Puddly Award
for Nonfiction

Unbroken
Unbroken
by Laura Hillenbrand

Click here to learn more about how the results were tabulated.

1
The Help
The Help
by Kathryn Stockett

Customer Comment from pjona

The birth of yet another American classic. I fell in love with this book — with the characters, the language, the story, the writer. Stockett's skill at telling a story so historically and socially complex is stunning. I loved every minute of this page-turner....This one's a keeper. I promise you won't be disappointed.

List Price $16.00
Your price: $1.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


2
The Night Circus
The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern

Customer Comment from michael lueck

Even though my wife cautions me against using superlatives this was the most imaginative novel I have ever read. Ms. Morgenstern's characters are well drawn and the plot never lets you down, but it is the world that she creates and allows to grow that raises this book above all others I read in 2011.

List Price $28.95
Your price: $9.95
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


3
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
by Suzanne Collins

Customer Comment from Emily Holland

This novel has quickly moved from "young adult" to the head of modern dystopian literature. Suzanne Collins gives readers an inside look into the horrors of post-apocalyptic life through the eyes of Katniss Everdeen, a refreshingly strong female character. With a blockbuster movie well on the way, this novel is perfect for people of all ages....

List Price $10.99
Your price: $4.50
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


4
State of Wonder
State of Wonder
by Ann Patchett

Customer Comment from Krista Kabacy

This is another excellent novel by one of my favorite writers. The medical-pharmaceutical concepts, the jungle setting and the character relationships are fascinating. This book is such a page-turner. It would certainly make an excellent movie!

List Price $26.99
Your price: $6.50
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


5
Cutting for Stone (Vintage)
Cutting for Stone (Vintage)
by Abraham Verghese

Customer Comment from Sandra Lippert

A profoundly deep and painfully depicted story of the touching, intermingling, and joining of human lives in a land where the very essence of life itself is at a premium. The intricate detail and trail of this story never ceases to amaze— no, astound.

List Price $15.95
Your price: $5.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


6
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand

Customer Comment from Rita R

This amazing book about the life of Louis Zamperini kept me up late at night and caused me to play hooky from work (don't tell my boss!). The writing is fabulous and the details just grab you. I don't usually like "war memoirs" but this was so much more than I ever imagined. It truly was the best book I read in 2011.

List Price $28.00
Your price: $11.95
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


7
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot

Customer Comment from Meigan

Rebecca Skloot knocked my socks off with this book. The story itself encompasses human tragedy, injustice, and bravery, against a backdrop of science — the politics swirling around it, the inner workings of the biotech machine, and an exploration (made fascinating and enjoyable to read) of the science behind the story itself.... I think everyone should read this book!

List Price $16.00
Your price: $7.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


8
11/22/63
11/22/63
by Stephen King

Customer Comment from sgerritson

...[A] sprawling tale that ranges across the country and back in time to the early 1960s, where/when the protagonist has gone to try to prevent the assassination of President Kennedy. The book is well plotted and paced, the characters have their quirks, and the details...are authentic. A great read that I couldn't put down.

List Price $35.00
Your price: $12.50
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


9
1Q84
1Q84
by Haruki Murakami

Customer Comment from nduck1

Magical, suspenseful, philosophic, and dreamlike — I couldn't put this book down (despite its heft). Besides the intriguing story, the broader questions about life, connections, love, and reality stayed with me long after I finished. A truly remarkable book!

List Price $30.50
Your price: $13.95
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


10
The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicles #2)
The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicles #2)
by Patrick Rothfuss

Customer Comment from chriskitgordon

I re-read The Name of the Wind before I began The Wise Man's Fear, and was thrilled that the second book in the planned trilogy was as good — or perhaps even better — than the first. Patrick Rothfuss is a brilliant world-builder and storyteller. I can't wait for volume three.

List Price $29.95
Your price: $16.95
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


11
The Art of Fielding
The Art of Fielding
by Chad Harbach
List Price $25.99
Your price: $10.50
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


12
The Tiger's Wife
The Tiger's Wife
by Tea Obreht
List Price $16.00
Your price: $3.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


13
A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5)
A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5)
by George R. R. Martin
List Price $35.00
Your price: $9.50
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


14
Ready Player One
Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline
Your price: $25.00
New - Hardcover

add to wish list


15
Room
Room
by Emma Donoghue
List Price $16.00
Your price: $5.50
Sale - Trade Paper

add to wish list


16
Mink River
Mink River
by Brian Doyle
List Price $18.95
Your price: $12.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


17
A Discovery of Witches
A Discovery of Witches
by Deborah Harkness
List Price $17.00
Your price: $9.00
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


18
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
by Stieg Larsson
List Price $9.99
Your price: $1.95
Used - Mass Market

add to wish list


19
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
by Erik Larson
List Price $27.00
Your price: $7.95
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


20
The Chronology of Water: A Memoir
The Chronology of Water: A Memoir
by Lidia Yuknavitch
List Price $16.95
Your price: $10.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


21
Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
by Walter Isaacson
List Price $35.00
Your price: $9.00
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


22
The Marriage Plot
The Marriage Plot
by Jeffrey Eugenides
List Price $28.00
Your price: $4.50
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


23
The Sisters Brothers
The Sisters Brothers
by Patrick deWitt
List Price $24.99
Your price: $8.95
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


24
A Visit from the Goon Squad
A Visit from the Goon Squad
by Jennifer Egan
List Price $15.95
Your price: $7.50
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


25
Reamde
Reamde
by Neal Stephenson
List Price $35.00
Your price: $13.50
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


26
The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein
List Price $14.99
Your price: $5.50
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


27
Wildwood
Wildwood
by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis
List Price $17.99
Your price: $11.95
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


28
Swamplandia! (Vintage Contemporaries)
Swamplandia! (Vintage Contemporaries)
by Karen Russell
List Price $14.95
Your price: $8.00
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


29
Just Kids
Just Kids
by Patti Smith
List Price $16.00
Your price: $9.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


30
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
by Isabel Wilkerson
List Price $16.95
Your price: $8.50
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


31
Rules of Civility
Rules of Civility
by Amor Towles
List Price $26.95
Your price: $4.95
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


32
The Devil All the Time
The Devil All the Time
by Donald Ray Pollock
List Price $26.95
Your price: $8.50
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


33
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery
List Price $15.00
Your price: $8.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


34
Bossypants
Bossypants
by Tina Fey
List Price $15.99
Your price: $1.50
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


35
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
by George R. R. Martin
List Price $9.99
Your price: $4.95
Used - Mass Market

add to wish list


36
Freedom
Freedom
by Jonathan Franzen
List Price $16.00
Your price: $8.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


37
The Language of Flowers
The Language of Flowers
by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
List Price $25.00
Your price: $10.50
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


38
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (The Millennium Trilogy #3)
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (The Millennium Trilogy #3)
by Stieg Larsson
List Price $27.95
Your price: $5.50
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


39
The Sense of an Ending
The Sense of an Ending
by Julian Barnes
List Price $23.95
Your price: $9.95
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


40
Turn of Mind
Turn of Mind
by Alice LaPlante
List Price $24.00
Your price: $4.50
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


41
The Cat's Table
The Cat's Table
by Michael Ondaatje
List Price $25.00
Your price: $7.95
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


42
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
by David Mitchell
List Price $16.00
Your price: $8.00
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


43
The Paris Wife
The Paris Wife
by Paula Mclain
List Price $25.00
Your price: $6.95
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


44
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (Vintage)
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (Vintage)
by Christopher McDougall
List Price $16.00
Your price: $10.50
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


45
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
by Bill Bryson
List Price $15.95
Your price: $8.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


46
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
List Price $17.99
Your price: $6.98
Sale - Hardcover

add to wish list


47
Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War
Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War
by Karl Marlantes
List Price $15.95
Your price: $9.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


48
The Passage
The Passage
by Justin Cronin
List Price $16.00
Your price: $7.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


49
Embassytown
Embassytown
by China Mieville
List Price $16.00
Your price: $10.95
Used - Trade Paper

add to wish list


50
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
by Laini Taylor
List Price $20.00
Your price: $10.50
Used - Hardcover

add to wish list


Powell's Employee
Top 50

While you were casting your Puddly votes, we also asked our coworkers to name the best book they read in 2011. Check out the top 50 picks that won our adoration.

1
  1. $25.00 New Hardcover add to wish list

    Ready Player One

    Ernest Cline 9780307887436
2
  1. $10.95 Used Trade Paper add to wish list

    The Chronology of Water: A Memoir

    Lidia Yuknavitch 9780979018831
3
  1. $15.99 New Hardcover add to wish list

    I Want My Hat Back

    Jon Klassen 9780763655983
4
  1. $16.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list
5
  1. $9.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Night Circus

    Erin Morgenstern 9780385534635
6
  1. $7.95 Used Trade Paper add to wish list
7
  1. $8.00 Used Trade Paper add to wish list
8
  1. $13.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    1Q84

    Haruki Murakami 9780307593313
9
  1. $1.50 Used Trade Paper add to wish list

    Bossypants

    Tina Fey 9780316056878
10
  1. $9.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list
11
  1. $8.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Devil All the Time

    Donald Ray Pollock 9780385535045
12
  1. $6.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    State of Wonder

    Ann Patchett 9780062049803
13
  1. $9.95 Used Trade Paper add to wish list

    Just Kids

    Patti Smith 9780060936228
14
  1. $11.50 Used Trade Paper add to wish list

    Zazen

    Vanessa Veselka 9781935869054
15
  1. $3.95 Used Trade Paper add to wish list

    The Tiger's Wife

    Tea Obreht 9780385343848
16
  1. $8.50 Used Trade Paper add to wish list

    Pulphead: Essays

    John Jeremiah Sullivan 9780374532901
17
  1. $10.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Daughter of Smoke and Bone

    Laini Taylor 9780316134026
18
  1. $8.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list
19
  1. $11.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list
20
  1. $8.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Sisters Brothers

    Patrick deWitt 9780062041265
21
  1. $4.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Turn of Mind

    Alice LaPlante 9780802119773
22
  1. $9.95 Used Trade Paper add to wish list
23
  1. $11.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list
24
  1. $9.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    When She Woke

    Hillary Jordan 9781565126299
25
  1. $7.50 Used Trade Paper add to wish list

    A Visit from the Goon Squad

    Jennifer Egan 9780307477477
26
  1. $8.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Pale King

    David Foster Wallace 9780316074230
27
  1. $13.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Reamde

    Neal Stephenson 9780061977961
28
  1. $10.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Art of Fielding

    Chad Harbach 9780316126694
29
  1. $7.98 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

    Among Others

    Jo Walton 9780765331724
30
  1. $10.00 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Train Dreams: A Novella

    Denis Johnson 9780374281144
31
  1. $8.00 Used Trade Paper add to wish list
32
  1. $6.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Troubled Man

    Henning Mankell 9780307593498
33
  1. $22.00 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Feynman

    Jim Ottaviani 9781596432598
34
  1. $10.50 Used Trade Paper add to wish list
35
  1. $39.99 New Hardcover add to wish list
36
  1. $13.00 Used Hardcover add to wish list
37
  1. $12.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    11/22/63

    Stephen King 9781451627282
38
  1. $8.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    There But for The

    Ali Smith 9780375424090
39
  1. $19.00 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Habibi

    Craig Thompson 9780375424144
40
  1. $13.00 New Trade Paper add to wish list

    Divorcer

    Gary Lutz 9780983163350
41
  1. $4.95 Used Mass Market add to wish list
42
  1. $10.98 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Magician King

    Lev Grossman 9780670022311
43
  1. $9.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Robopocalypse

    Daniel H. Wilson 9780385533850
44
  1. $4.50 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    The Tragedy of Arthur

    Arthur Phillips 9781400066476
45
  1. $6.95 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    We the Animals

    Justin Torres 9780547576725
46
  1. $9.00 Used Trade Paper add to wish list

    Life

    Keith Richards 9780316034418
47
  1. $14.00 Used Hardcover add to wish list

    Damned

    Chuck Palahniuk 9780385533027
48
  1. $5.50 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

    Room

    Emma Donoghue 9780316098328
49
  1. $9.50 Used Trade Paper add to wish list

    Skippy Dies

    Paul Murray 9780865478619
50
  1. $6.95 Used Mass Market add to wish list

    The Fall

    Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan 9780061558252
  1. Results were calculated based on the number of votes submitted for a given title, not a specific ISBN (edition, binding, et al.). For example, all the votes for The Help — be it for the paperback, the hardcover, the audio book, the first edition, and so on — count toward its placement in the final list.
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