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Massachusetts Must Reads 2015 & Advocacy Needed

Massachusetts Book Award sealThe Massachusetts Must-Reads – finalists in the Massachusetts Book Awards for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Children’s/Young Adult – are being announced this week on Facebook by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.

The 2015 Massachusetts Book Awards are for books published in 2014. Librarian judges serve for one year on a panel of three librarians plus a convener; they read, read, and read to decide on the best, most discussable books, either by a Massachusetts author or with a Massachusetts theme. I was disappointed to see that my personal favorite, The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis, didn’t make the short list of Must Reads in the fiction category, but clearly there was a lot of tough competition this year. (Check the Giveaways page for your chance to win your very own copy of The Orphans of Race Point this month, though!)

MassBook Must Read seal

The 2015 Must-Read Titles


cover imageAnita Diamant, The Boston Girl (Scribner)
Bret Anthony Johnston, Remember Me Like This (Random House)
Ward Just, American Romantic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Randy Susan Meyers, Accidents of Marriage (Atria)
Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You (Penguin)
Annie Weatherwax, All We Had (Scribner)

Michael Blanding, The Map Thief (Gotham Books)cover image
Michael M. Greenburg, The Court-Martial of Paul Revere (ForeEdge)
Fred Kaplan, John Quincy Adams (Harper)
Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction (Henry Holt)
Doug Most, The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry that Built America’s First Subway (St Martin’s)
Jennifer Taub, Other People’s Houses (Yale University)


cover imageLiam Day, Afforded Permanence (Aforementioned Productions)
Jeffrey Harrison, Into the Daylight (Tupelo Press)
Fanny Howe, Second Childhood (Graywolf Press)
Jennifer Markell, Samsara (Turning Point)
January Gill O’Neil, Misery Islands
Afaa Michael Weaver, City of Eternal Spring (Pittsburgh UP)

To be announced

Massachusetts residents, your help is needed! The Massachusetts Center for the Book, which administers the Massachusetts Book Awards among other programs, is struggling for its funding in the state budget again.

At first, the House zeroed out funding for the Center for the Book in their proposed FY2016 budget, but then amended it to $200,000, thanks to Rep. Kate Hogan and other library advocates in the House, including Rep. Tom Calter.  However the Senate then voted to zero it out of their budget, and voted not to adopt the amendment sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Flanagan to keep funding for the Center at $200,000, despite support from Senators Eldridge, Brownsberger and (my own senator) Sen. Tom Kennedy.

Now, since the House and Senate budgets don’t match, the budget is in joint conference committee. If you live in Massachusetts and want to advocate for your local library on the state level, now is the time to contact members of the Senate/House Conference Committee to ask them to support the FY2016 Library Legislative Agenda, especially the following line items:

7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries (This is local aid that goes directly to support local public libraries throughout the state.)

7000-9506 Automated Networks/Library Technology & Resource Sharing (This goes straight to supporting the networks that connect libraries throughout the state, helping to lower costs for local libraries.)

7000-9508 “For the Massachusetts Center for the Book, Inc., chartered as the Commonwealth Affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress; to continue its work as a public-private partnership……$200,000”

Conference Committee (click for contact info)

Brian Dempsey, Haverhill
Steven Kulik, Worthington
Todd Smola, Warren

Karen Spilka, Ashland
Sal DiDomenico, Everett
Viriato (Vinny) deMacedo, Plymouth

Thank you!!!

Would love to have you comment!