AUTHOR Jonathan Safran Foer once said: “(The past) is always along the side of us ... on the inside, looking out.” It is perhaps for this reason that we are so drawn to stories from our past; whether personal anecdotes or historical events, these happenings are undeniably a part of who we are today.
This year’s nominees in the fiction category of the Popular-The Star Readers’ Choice Awards are no exception.
Being the 10 bestselling books in Popular and Harris bookstores last year, these nominees are truly a reflection of what Malaysians are reading. From the award’s inception in 2008, Popular and Star Publications (M) Bhd have aimed to encourage local authors and increase their visibility. As the only local literary award that rewards Malaysian authors, it also aspires to bring the local literary scene to a higher level.
Furthermore, the award hopes to encourage Malaysians to read more by incorporating the “Read to Vote, Vote to Win” component, where readers can determine the winners of the award through voting; simply submit your top three favourite titles from the list of nominees for both the fiction and non-fiction categories.
By voting, you also stand the chance of being one of the 100 readers who will receive a RM50 Popular gift voucher, a one-year-free-membership Popular card, and a book hamper worth RM100. Meanwhile, the top three authors in each category will be rewarded with cash, trophies and certificates of recognition.
To vote, go to popular.com.my or bookfestmalaysia.com. You can also fill in the form in Star2 and either post it in or drop it off at any Popular or Harris store. Forms are also available at all Popular and Harris bookstores around the country. You can send as many forms as you wish.
To vote via SMS; read the instructions at the top of the lists in the form carefully. (Remember the slogan, or you will be disqualified!)
The deadline for all submissions is July 1, 2012.
For those who haven’t read all the nominated books, here’s an introduction to the titles in the fiction category. (Look out for our introduction of the non-fiction nominees next week.) And if we’ve convinced you to pick up a few of them, you can get each of the 20 titles at a 20% discount at Popular and Harris bookstores nationwide from now until Sept 23, 2012.
The Female Cell
The first section of this collection of short stories comprises 12 works of fiction, while the second illustrates the author’s travels in countries like Egypt, Thailand, Turkey and the Philippines. Displaying a delightful sense of observation, humour and irony, the author’s writings on everyday details, like a lone bead on a necklace, an eccentric physics professor on a train, or the humidity of Malaysia, paint elegant portraits of human interactions.
(excerpt from The Star)