This year's winners include:
Category: Literature - adult
På vegne av venner by Kristopher Schau
Designer: Terese Moe Leiner
Category: Literature - Children/YA
Category: Cover Design - Children/YA
Håndbok for André by Yngve Sæther
Illustrators/designers: Aslak Gurholt Rønsen and Thomas Nordby from Yokoland
Category: Cover Design - Adult
Min kamp 1-3 by Karl Ove Knausgård
Designer: Yngve Knausgård
Designer/photographer: Asbjørn Jensen
Most Beautiful Book of 2010
SANDAKER VGS, Portrait of a Norwegian High School by Line Bøhmer Løkken
From the jury's comment: This book is a portrait of the school and its culture and architecture. [...] The photos show the diversity [of students] and makes it interesting. The material of the cover creates associations to the way report cards used to be, and the endpaper has an ornament like the one the school uses on its envelopes.
I haven't seen any of these books myself, so I can't really comment on anything else than these pictures. The cover of the first one, På vegne av venner, looks lovely. The author decided to go to funerals that for different reasons were arranged by the state, because he wanted to see what it was like when there was no one there to say goodbye. Kristopher Schau is a well-known comedian (think TV show Jackass) in Norway, so I'm having a hard time picturing him writing such a serious book. But it has received many positive reviews, so maybe I should put my prejudices aside and read this "small book which grows in your hands" (Grafill jury).
I love the photos from Sandaker high school, and would like to see more of them. I think photographer and author Line Bøhmer Løkken has captured so many different aspects and emotions of the school. I actually found a few more of her photos here - scroll down to "Sandaker skole - en skole for alle" or just do a search for Line Bøhmer Løkken.
What do you think of these books? Do they deserve the title "Most beautiful books of the year"? Do you know of any similar book contests in your country?