Created for the disciples and aspiring disciples of His Holiness Radhanath Swami
(Vrinda Sheth (right) and her mother Annapurna Dasi with their book Shadows of the Sun Dynasty)
Two ISKCON authors have won in their categories at the Independent Book Publishers Benjamin Franklin Awards this year, which received nearly 1,400 entries published during the 2016 calendar year.
Over 150 librarians, booksellers, and design and editorial experts judged the books submitted.
Radhanath Swami’s “The Journey Within: Exploring the Path of Bhakti, A Contemporary Guide to Yoga’s Ancient Wisdom” won the gold medal in the Body, Mind & Spirit category.
Published by Mandala, the long-awaited follow-up to his international bestseller The Journey Home is a sort of spiritual self-help book that explains how to apply the essential principles of bhakti yoga to our everyday lives. It also tackles many of life’s big questions such as ‘What is love?’ ‘What is the soul?’ and ‘Who is God?’
(Radhanath Swami and his book The Journey Within)
Meanwhile Vrinda Sheth’s first book in her Sita’s Fire trilogy based on the Ramayana, “Shadows of the Sun Dynasty,” won the silver medal in the Teen Fiction (13-18 years) category. It is also published by Mandala.
Vrinda, a second generation devotee, and her mother Anna Johannson (Annapurna Dasi), a talented illustrator, collaborated to create this colorful and action-packed retelling of the classic Indian epic. Vrinda also brings an entirely new perspective to the story by telling it through the eyes of the women behind the throne. The second book in the series, Queen of the Elements, is already due in August this year.
“Receiving a reputed award like this feels incredibly rewarding,” says Vrinda. “To see our offering in between novels that fit the standard expectation – of a fictional character overcoming obstacles and having adventures along the way – feels like a strong affirmation that there is a place for and interest in Vedic stories retold for a modern audience.”
Angela Bole, Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Book Publishers Association, confirms that the Benjamin Franklin Awards can be very beneficial for authors and publishers.
“Winning can expand a book’s marketability and solidify a publisher’s credibility – two very powerful things in today’s crowded book market,” she says.