The 2015 Hoggies have been announced

hoggieLOS ANGELES – The awards for best reads of 2015 were awarded last night by the Academy of Reading Arts and Sciences during a live telecast from Dorothy Chandler pavilion in Los Angeles. This year’s ceremony brought out the usual mix of gowns and glamour as the world’s literati arrived to recognize the achievement of the books that most moved, enthralled, and entertained over the past year. Thomas Otto, president of the Academy reflected on what the awards mean to the reading community “This is one night of the year where we can look past all that separates us and forget about all the troubles in the world, and just come together to celebrate the best in fiction.” When asked about the exclusion of wildly popular work by Lana Danagihara and anything actually published in 2015, Otto pointed to Rachel Cusk’s novel Outline. After reporters pointed out that Outline was actually published in 2014,  Otto seemed momentarily deflated, but defended the Academy’s decisions “Look, the Hoggies shine a light on the best and brightest. Without the Academy’s work the reading public really doesn’t have a clue.”

Controversy of another kind spilled onto the red carpet when Margaret Atwood excoriated E! News reporter Giuliana Rancic on-air for asking probing questions about her books while failing to ask even one question about her outfit. “Would you ask me such deep questions if I was a man? One of these years I wish one of you bottom feeders in the press would ask me who made my gown.” Later, Rancic defended her red carpet questioning “I ask the questions our viewers care about most and they are much more interested in alternative interpretations than they are in Atelier Versace.”

Despite the red carpet encounter, the ceremony went off without a hitch. Host Neil Patrick Harris wowed the audience with a stunning musical opener about subject/verb agreement, but more importantly kept the pace of the awards moving. At a brisk 9 hours and 14 minutes, this year’s telecast was the shortest ever. Harris’s secret? Waving boxes of Franzia wine and cubes of supermarket cheese just off stage but in sight of the the evening’s winners. When asked where he got the idea, Harris grinned “I know what authors like.”

Last night’s winners

BEST NOVEL – FEMALE Ben, In the World by Doris Lessing

BEST NOVEL – MALE Any Human Heart by William Boyd

BEST AUDIO RECORDING (tie) The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht and Any Human Heart by William Boyd

BEST RE-READ – FEMALE Consequences by Penelope Lively

BEST RE-READ – MALE The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht

BEST NOVEL – DEPRESSION ERA Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell




BEST SHORT STORIES Mr. Loveday’s Little Outing and Other Sad Stories by Evelyn Waugh

BEST CRIME NOVEL Gang of Lovers by Massimo Carlotto

BEST NEW DISCOVERY – John Wyndham (The Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids, Chocky, and The Midwich Cuckoos)


30 thoughts on “The 2015 Hoggies have been announced

  1. Kateg December 21, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    Wonderful and deserving winners! Though some will be controversial, these were definitely the best of 2015. I do think Swan by Carol Shields may have been the most overlooked book of the year!


    • Thomas December 22, 2015 / 4:10 pm

      And since I didn’t finish my re-read of it, I overlooked it as well.


  2. Lisa December 21, 2015 / 10:50 pm

    Damn, I knew it was a mistake to give up cable. Will the telecast be available online anywhere?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don December 21, 2015 / 11:38 pm

    As much as I want to view this as well, Thomas supplied a helluva joke, Lisa. No one in LA would dress up for an awards ceremony for books. Ugh. As if. I’ve always been annoyed by Rancic, and he’s humanized her. GD you, man.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Don December 21, 2015 / 11:45 pm

    Also, Thomas, Please put your partner on notice that you have a suitor.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Susan in TX December 21, 2015 / 11:52 pm

    Oh. my. goodness. This made me laugh so hard (in public) that I nearly embarrassed my children. This was the line that got me first, “When asked about the exclusion of wildly popular work by Lana Danagihara and anything actually published in 2015,…”
    Thank you so much for the entertainment. I vote that the Hoggies become an annual tradition. ;)
    Merry Christmas to you, John, and Lucy!


    • Thomas December 22, 2015 / 4:12 pm

      I think the Hoggies very well could make a return appearance.


  6. Anna van Gelderen December 22, 2015 / 4:18 am

    This is brilliant! The only thing that is missing is a picture of Margaret
    Atwood’s gown :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thomas December 22, 2015 / 8:22 am

      I thought about trying to find something but didn’t think I would find anything suitably funny and my Photoshop skills aren’t that good.


  7. Liz Dexter December 22, 2015 / 5:01 am


    What if you read something amazing between now and the 31st, though?


    • Thomas December 22, 2015 / 4:24 pm

      I am far enough into what will probably be my final two books. One of which is Barbara Pym which is why I decided to give her the Lifetime Achievement.


      • Liz Dexter December 24, 2015 / 5:47 am

        Fair enough then – I’ll let you off, but only you!


  8. james b chester December 22, 2015 / 5:16 am

    This is a fun way to do this. I enjoyed it. Glad to see John Wyndham get an award, too, even if it is postumous. Did one of his children accept it for him?


    • Thomas December 22, 2015 / 4:25 pm

      Nope, we got a hologram of Wyndham himself to accept.


  9. Laura December 22, 2015 / 6:45 am

    This was brilliant. You’re lucky to have landed NPH as host, he is always so entertaining!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Cosy Books December 22, 2015 / 7:12 am

    Love it, Thomas! I have ‘Consequences’ on my shelves and am interested in Rachel Cusk’s book.


  11. Karen K. December 22, 2015 / 9:17 am

    Too funny! I’m trying to imagine NPH, Guiliana, and Atwood in the same room. The mind reels.

    And I’ve pushed my Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh up on my to-read list. Thanks! Hope you get some great books for Christmas to start a wonderful reading year in 2016.


  12. quinn December 22, 2015 / 11:05 am

    Brilliant! F’ing A Brilliant! I read everythg u write, but when i saw the headline of ‘2015’ bks..i thought…well who cares! But u nailed it! Yes, all the best of 15 was written before..dead authors rock. Every word u wrote was peeeerfect! Thank u as always. I am sending a pix of me in same gown Atwood wore to awards and then TMZ is going to do a ‘who wore it better’..stay tuned…
    big hugs for new year…


  13. lailaarch December 22, 2015 / 2:12 pm

    Marvelous! Adding Rachel Cusk’s Outline to the TBR now – you had me at “slightly Anita Brookner-ish.”


  14. dhanff December 25, 2015 / 11:02 pm

    Fantastic. Super enjoyable post. Thank you, Thomas, and wishing you all the joys of the season!


  15. Ruthiella December 27, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    Thank you Thomas, that was hilarious. It really made me laugh! Yes, please make this a tradition.


  16. Ruthiella December 27, 2015 / 7:37 pm

    Thank you Thomas, that was hilarious. Yes please, make this an annual event!


  17. Cal December 28, 2015 / 7:35 am

    Well done, Thomas! Thanks for all these book recommendations, presented in such a hilarious manner. You sly fox! (Also, thanks again for sending me earlier this year your giveaway copy of the novel FAMOUS LAST WORDS. And for your skilful mini-reviews that inspired me to start writing my own for the Constant Reader section of my own blog.) Here’s wishing you and all us bibliophiles many exciting reading adventures in the New Year!


  18. Karen December 30, 2015 / 12:56 am

    What a treat!


  19. Geoff W January 5, 2016 / 9:50 am

    I could absolutely see Atwood sassing the media like that.

    Liked by 1 person

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