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The Blooker prize

The 2006 Blooker prize went to Julie Powell who chronicled her struggle to follow a cookbook on her blog.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2006 14:56 IST

An amateur chef's account of her attempt to cook celebrated U.S. chef Julia Child's recipes on Monday took home the first literary garland devoted to books based on blogs.

Julie Powell, a 32-year-old Texas-raised New Yorker, beat 89 other contenders for the first Blooker Prize and won $2,000 from the award's sponsor Lulu, a U.S.-based digital do-it-yourself publishing house.

 
 Julie Powell with her award-winning book

Powell's

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen

chronicled her odyssey trying to cook every recipe in Child's classic

Mastering the Art of French Cooking

.

"The community aspect of blogging and the interaction with others kept me honest and kept me writing," Powell said.

The blog (refer "Related Links") was published last year in book form by Warner Book Group's Little, Brown imprint, and went on to sell more than 100,000 copies.

Cory Doctorow, editor of the popular Boingboing blog (refer "Related Links") and chairman of the three-judge Blooker panel, said Powell won because her approach was funny and engaging.

"It does the thing that all great non-fiction needs to do: makes a subject interesting because of how it's covered, not because of the subject itself," Doctorow said. "I don't care about French food but I loved this book."

The Blooker fiction prize went to ghost story Four and Twenty Blackbirds (refer "Related Links") by Cherie Priest, and the comics winner was Zach Miller for his self-published Totally Boned (refer "Related Links"). Each was awarded $1,000.

Though entries were submitted from Africa to Australia, all three winners of the inaugural prizes were American.

Books derived from online blogs took another step into the mainstream last month when an anonymous female author's diary from Iraq, known as "Baghdad Burning", was nominated for Britain's prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize for contemporary non-fiction.

The Blooker Prize is so named as both a hybrid word combining book and blog and as a nod to Britain's coveted Man Booker Prize for the best book of the year from British, Irish and Commonwealth writers.