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Originally published Sunday, April 17, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Indie booksellers give out Book Sense awards

Last week we highlighted literary awards from some prestigious corners of the book world, the Pulitzers and Kiriyama prize winners among...

Last week we highlighted literary awards from some prestigious corners of the book world, the Pulitzers and Kiriyama prize winners among them. This week comes a more grass-roots sort of prize: the Book Sense Book of the Year awards. These titles are tapped by independent booksellers throughout the U.S., whose business is finding good books (that, hopefully, the public will want to purchase). Here's the list:

Adult fiction: "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury), a work of great imagination and sly wit about two magicians who come together to save 19th-century England (assessment courtesy of this editor, who has read this book twice).

Adult nonfiction: "Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II," by Robert Kurson (Random House). This is a tale of some New Jersey men whose grand obsession is to identify a mysterious World War II-era German submarine which has come to rest in the waters off the New Jersey coast.

The two children's winners were "Chasing Vermeer" by Blue Balliett, illustrated by Brett Helquist, (Scholastic) and "Duck for President," by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers).

Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor

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