The Alberta Readers' Choice (ARC) Award committee is pleased to announce its top five books vying for Alberta's biggest book prize. The $10,000 award rivals other major national book awards in Canada and is presented in partnership by the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) and the Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA). The ARC Award promotes the works of Alberta authors and publishers and encourages the reading public to support literary works published in Alberta. The final phase of the award process culminates in a public vote for the prize of $10,000, awarded to the author, who will be announced at the Book Publishers Association of Alberta Awards Gala on May 14, 2010 in Edmonton.
The ARC Award organizing committee reviewed over 200 submissions published in Alberta and produced a shortlist of 20 for a vote among Alberta libraries. Librarians helped reduce the list to 10 and the final phase saw guest jurors select the top five titles. ARC's five guest jurors will champion one finalist title respectively during the voting process. Jurors have selected the top five titles based on a range of criteria, from readability and literary merit, to potential consumer appeal. Public voting begins March 15 and runs until April 30th.
The top five books are:
- The Frog Lake Reader by Myrna Kostash: published by NeWest Press; championed by the Honourable Tommy Banks, Senator, musician and long-time broadcaster
- The Forgotten Explorer: Samuel Prescott Fay's 1914 Expedition to the Northern Rockies by Samuel Fay: published by Rocky Mountain Books; championed by Morris Flewwelling, Red Deer Mayor
- Fishing for Bacon by Michael Davie: published by NeWest Press; championed by Laurie Greenwood, bookstore owner and literacy advocate
- Bomb Canada and Other Unkind Remarks in the American Media by Chantal Allan: published by AU Press; championed by Fil Fraser, former broadcaster and author
- Buying Cigarettes for the Dog by Stuart Ross: published by Freehand Books Championed; Simone Lee, Calgary-based independent bookseller.