Kenneth Womack, the Dean of Monmouth University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, was honored by Foreword Reveiws’ annual INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards as having written one of the best indie books of 2014.
There were more than 1,500 entries in 63 different categories. Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention awards were given out, with the winners determined by a panel of librarians and booksellers.
The selections were made after months of deliberation, and the winners were announced on June 26, in a special program during the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco.
Womack’s The Beatles Encyclopedia was honored with a silver medal in the Reference (Adult Nonfiction) Category.
“There are literally thousands of books available about the Beatles,” said Womack. “Many of them suffer from inaccuracies and wholesale myths about the Fab Four. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to set the record straight, while at the same time providing readers with a one-stop encyclopedia for learning more about the Fab Four’s lives, works, and associates.”
According to Amazon.com, “The Beatles Encyclopedia”“provides casual fans and aficionados alike with a comprehensive study of the historical, cultural, and musical influence of the Beatles, providing hundreds of insightful entries that address the people, places, events, and other details that have contributed to the band’s status as a global phenomena”. On the site, the book has received many positive reviews, from both critics and fans, and has a rating of five stars.
“I think I would read it,” said sophomore Ally Rao, an English creative writing major. “It would be interesting to know more about them, and it would be cool to see information that isn’t widely known about them, and to see just what an impact they had.”
The Beatles Encyclopedia was also the winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Award For General Nonfiction and the National Indie Excellence Award for Arts and Entertainment. It won a silver medal for both the Independent Publisher Book Award for Best Reference Work and the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards.
The Beatles Encyclopedia is not Womack’s first written work. His fiction writing includes “Playing the Angel”, published in 2013, “The Restaurant at the End of the World”, published in 2012, “John Doe No. 2 and The Dreamland Motel”, published in 2010.
“It’s very exciting to ponder the intricacies of the past and to imagine how readers today might be impacted by them,” said Womack of his fiction books.
He is working on a fourth fictional novel as well, one that he says deals with “a long-standing historical mystery”.
Much of his nonfiction works focus on the Beatles. Besides The Beatles Encyclopedia, they include “The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles”, published in 2009, “Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles”, published in 2007, and “Reading the Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, and the Fab Four”, published in 2006. He is also currently working on a new nonfiction piece, this one a biography of Beatles producer George Martin.
“I am hoping to provide fans with a studio-eye’s view of what it was like to record the Beatles as they made one unforgettable masterwork after another,” said Womack, of the upcoming biography.
“The Beatles Encyclopedia” is not Womack’s first book to be honored by Foreword Reviews. Both “Playing the Angel” and “John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel” were also given awards.
“I am very humbled whenever my books are honored in such a competitive literary marketplace,” said Womack. “Foreword Reviews is sponsored by the American Library Association, which makes it even more special, given the high quality of its membership across our country. The long hours of work and toil in bringing a work to the marketplace is truly rewarded when your peers recognize the value in your efforts.”
Aside from being the Dean of Monmouth University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Womack also serves as the editor of Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory, published by Penn State University Press, and as co-editor of the English Association’s Year’s Work in English Studies, published by Oxford University Press.
Womack holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University. His areas of professional interest include the Beatles, creative writing, and twentieth-century British literature.
The Beatles Encyclopediawas published in two volumes by Greenwood Press. The book is available at Amazon.com, as well as other booksellers. It is also available as an e-book and can be downloaed online.