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Santa Monica Book Tapped For Award:

The Southern California Booksellers Association has announced the finalists in four categories for its 2005 SCBA Book Awards, and among them is Santa Monica Beach: A Collector’s Pictorial History, by Santa Monica historian and scholar Ernest Marquez.

Marquez is the great-grandson of two of the three Mexican citizens granted the land that would become Santa Monica by the Mexican government in 1839, so his “pictorial history” is more than just another coffee-table book with great old photographs of our beach town. It’s a political, cultural, and family history. Santa Monica Beach was published by Angel City Press in July 2004.

Lipstick Jihad by Azadeh Moaveni (PublicAffairs); A Sense of Duty: My Father, My American Journey by Quang X. Pham (Ballantine), Rebels on the Backlot by Sharon Waxman (HarperEntertainment), and Looking at Los Angeles by Marla Kennedy, Ben Stiller, and David Ulin (DAP) round out the nominations for non-fiction.

To qualify for an SCBA award, an author or illustrator must reside within the association’s geographic region that extends from Morro Bay to the Mexican border. According to the SCBA’s website, titles must reflect a Southern California experience or culture – although some of this year’s nominees do not, at least directly — and the books must have been published between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2005.

The fiction nominees are Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House), Gonzalez & Daughter Trucking Co. by Maria Amparo Escandón (Three Rivers Press); Queen Jade by Yxta Maya Murray (Rayo), The Language of Saxophones: Pocket Poets Series no. 57 by Kamau Daaood (City Lights Books) and One Sunday Morning by Amy Ephron (William Morrow).

In the mystery category, California Girl by T. Jefferson Parker (William Morrow); Savage Garden by Denise Hamilton (Scribner’s), Dating Is Murder by Harley Jane Kozak (Doubleday), Bloodlines by Jan Burke (Simon & Schuster), and Not a Girl Detective: A Cece Caruso Mystery by Susan Kandel (William Morrow) make up the five finalists.

This year’s children’s books nods went to Greene & Greene for Kids by Kathleen Thorne-Thompson (Gibbs Smith); Alice the Fairy by David Shannon (Blue Sky/Scholastic), The Legend of Holly Claus by Brittney Ryan (HarperCollins), Dad, Jackie, and Me by Myron Uhlberg (Peachtree), Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan (Scholastic).

Winners will be announced at the Annual 2005 Authors Feast & Fall Seminars held by the SCBA on Saturday, October 15 at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach.The SCBA is a trade organization of independent booksellers and others committed to independent bookselling, promoting, and cooperation throughout the Southern California region. Its mission includes fostering community amongst and advocating on behalf of its members, and maintaining the notion of Southern California as a viable and important part of the national bookselling landscape. Its web address is www.scbabooks.org.

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