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LA Times Book Prize Winners

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It was a lovely evening of bookish folks gathered about to celebrate books and to kick-off the LA Times Festival of Books which begins today and runs through tomorrow afternoon. The awards ceremony for the Book Prizes was short and sweet, the acceptance speeches were both funny and poignant and the after-party had a full chocolate buffet, complete with ice sculptures. What more could you ask for?

Ah, the winners. Here are the winners of the 2007 Book Prizes, as announced during last night's ceremony:

  • Young Adult Fiction: Philip Reeve, A Darkling Plain
  • First Fiction: Dinaw Mengestu, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears
  • Science & Technology: Douglas Hofstadter, I Am A Strange Loop
  • Poetry: Stanley Plumly, Old Heart: Poems
  • Mystery/Thriller: Karin Fossum, The Indian Bride
  • History: Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
  • Biography: Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin
  • Fiction: Andrew O’Hagan, Be Near Me>
  • Current Interest:Elizabeth D. Samet, Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point

We didn't get all of our picks and predictions right - but we correctly picked Dinaw Mengestu, Karin Fossum and Tim Weiner. We were woefully off the mark in other categories, but that's what makes the LA Times Book Prizes so never know who'll walk away with the honors.
The Festival of Books is at UCLA today from 10am - 6pm and tomorrow from 10am - 5pm. With hundreds of authors and bookish booths from publishers and booklovers all over the world, there will be something for everyone. And as the emcee of last night's awards pointed out, it's the largest annual book event in the world. How can you pass that up?