Category Winners for the 2018 Outstanding Works of Literature Award Announced!

Introducing the top five books of 2018!

It’s been quite a journey, but we’ve narrowed it down to the top books in business, children’s literature, wellness, religion, and politics & current events. Out of the 200+ submissions we received for this year’s Outstanding Works of Literature Award, we narrowed it down to a longlist of 25 titles and then a shortlist of 15. Congratulations to each of the longlist, shortlist, and category winners!


Business Category Winner: The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle

The Culture Code

In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle goes inside some of the world’s most successful organizations and reveals what makes them tick. He demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation and explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind. Coyle offers specific strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust, and drive positive change.

Our reactions:

“Daniel Coyle’s writing was some of the most intriguing for a business title that I have read. His stories do an excellent job of both explaining his arguments as well as expanding them to have an even greater impact. Coyle does a phenomenal job of summarizing key points and takeaways, while also providing practical suggestions for implementing the lessons garnered from the various groups he discusses. This book was fun to read, thought-provoking, and definitely one I will continuously refer back to for reference.”

The Culture Code takes you through numerous illuminating examples of what some of the most productive and tight-knit teams, companies, and organizations do to ensure their success. Dan’s ability to show, and then tell—distilling each story down to three principles—is what makes The Culture Code such an enjoyable read. I especially liked the ending chapters on “How to Lead for Proficiency” and “How to Lead for Creativity”, as these two skills offer different paths to the kinds of performance and values you want to optimize and build upon.”


Children’s Literature Category Winner: Llamaphones by Janik Coat

LlamaphonesLlamaphones, Janik Coat’s much-anticipated follow-up to Hippopposites and Rhymoceros, features witty words that sound the same but are spelled differently—and have different meanings. Like the other books in the series, this one features surprising novelties, including a touch-and-feel element, making homophones an easy and fun concept to learn.

Our reactions:

“Such a fun way to explain homophones! The illustrations are simple yet creative. The interactive llama makes reading this book so much fun.”

“Quite a few pages made me laugh out loud. Clever illustrations – especially with the llama’s expressions. Very clever and a great start to understanding words that sound the same but are spelled differently.”


Wellness: This is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today by Chrissy Metz

This is MeWith chapters that alternate from autobiographical to instructional, Chrissy offers practical applications of her hard-won insights in a series of “Bee Mindful” interstitials. There she invites you to embrace gratitude in “Say Thank You” or to be honest with your partner and yourself in “The Shrouded Supreme.” Blending love and experience, Chrissy encourages us all to claim our rightful place in a world that may be trying to knock us down, find our own unique gifts, and pursue our dreams.

Our reactions:

“As a fan of This is Us, it’s nice to see Chrissy’s journey. It was inspiring to read, well written, and kept me engaged—I read it all in one sitting!”

“What a great read! This book is a page-turner and I couldn’t put it down. Chrissy’s insight and honesty are very sincere and raw. I had moments where I laughed, cried, and cringed (with her) throughout the entire book. Her writing is relatable and humorous. I am glad I had a chance to get to know Chrissy on a personal level. She shares nothing but love, encouragement, inspiration, and forgiveness as she learns to love herself inside and out.”


Religion: The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation by Miles McPherson

The Third OptionMiles McPherson, founder of The Rock Church in San Diego, speaks out about the pervasive racial divisions in today’s culture and argues that we must learn to see people not by the color of their skin, but as God sees them—humans created in the image of God. Full of practical takeaways and exercises to help us understand the points of view of others, this book inspires, encourages, and equips us to make positive changes in our country—starting with ourselves.

Our reactions:

The Third Option transforms outlooks and makes the reader analyze their point of view. It hit its true meaning on page 172: ‘This book isn’t about guilt, but rather an encouragement for people of all ethnicities to be compassionate and understanding of those who experience a different reality.’ I really didn’t think I would like this book, but I ended up loving it! I would 100 percent recommend.”

“This book is unlike any religious book I’ve read—in a good way. Not only does it talk about an important issue, but it also does so in a way that is inspiring and uplifting. It’s a book anyone could (and should) read with many great takeaways.”


Politics & Current Events: When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele

When They Call You a TerroristA poetic and powerful memoir about what it means to be a Black woman in America―and the co-founding of a movement that demands justice for all in the land of the free. When They Call You a Terrorist is Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele’s reflection on humanity. Patrisse transformed her personal pain into political power, giving voice to a people suffering inequality and a movement fueled by her strength and love to tell the country―and the world―that Black Lives Matter.

Our reactions:

“I very much enjoyed When They Call You a Terrorist—it is written in thematic chapters focused on the author’s growth and evolution in a society that targets black people and ultimately sends many of her family members to jail. It is lyrical and poetic throughout with sweeping passages of strength, growth, and power. I would highly recommend this book to everyone as racism is a persisting problem this country has dealt with and never truly figured out since its inception.”

“This book is very eye-opening. It’s good to hear about the Black Lives Matter movement, not only from its founder but from someone who has been so entrenched in the issues. The book is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside. It flowed nicely and the narrative style was engaging to read.”


BookPal would like to extend a special thanks to all publishers and authors who submitted their titles. We appreciated all of them, and look forward to submissions in 2019!

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This post was written by Megan Habel, the brand strategist at BookPal. She is currently reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

3 Responses to “Category Winners for the 2018 Outstanding Works of Literature Award Announced!”

  1. Monet Love

    This is awesome ! A great honor. We thank you for all of the time and effort put into the awards. Congratulations to all of the incredible authors.

  2. Carmine

    It’sa shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this
    fantastic blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and
    adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new
    updates and will share this site wih my Facebook group.Chat soon!


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