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2004 Book Sense “Book of the Year” Winners Announced

The winners of the 2004 Book Sense Book of the Year awards were announced on Friday, June 4, 2004 by the American Booksellers Association during the Celebration of Bookselling at BookExpo America 2004 held in Chicago. Based on the nominations of ABA member booksellers, the Book Sense Book of the Year Awards fall into five categories: Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, Children’s Literature and Children’s Illustrated Book, and Paperback.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Doubleday) won the Book Sense Book of the Year Award as best adult fiction title. The winner for adult nonfiction was Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi (Random House).

Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees (Penguin) won the paperback award, and she told booksellers, "I wish I could come to each of your stores and thank you in person for the way that you have supported my book with so much creativity. I couldn't have done it without you."

In the children's category, the award for illustrated book went to How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long and illustrated by David Shannon (Harcourt). Eragon: The Inheritance, Book I by Christopher Paolini (Knopf) took home the Childrens Literature category award.

The eighth annual Celebration of Bookselling was sponsored by The Atlantic Monthly, and the finalists and winners received reading-related gifts from Book Sense marketing partner, Levenger.

Nominations were drawn from the top Book Sense 76 picks of 2003. The Book Sense Picks (formerly know as the Book Sense 76) is a unique monthly (formerly bi-monthly) list of independent booksellers' recommendations.

The Book Sense Book of the Year was first awarded in 2000, as a successor to the ABBY, the American Booksellers Book of the Year, which was established in 1991, to honor the books that independent booksellers most enjoyed selling. The Book Sense Book of the Year award was inaugurated at BookExpo America 2000. ABA renamed the award in recognition of the growing strength of the Book Sense program, as well as the important role that the Book Sense Picks has played for independent booksellers in discovering and spreading the word to all stores about books of quality. In 2000, the Book Sense Book of the Year was awarded in both the Adult and Children's categories. In 2001, two more categories were added, Children's Illustrated and Adult Nonfiction. In 2002, Rediscovery, and, in 2003, Paperback were added to the growing list of categories.