Monday, January 3, 2022

2021 VNRN Awards

It could be argued that in the past two years we have needed our nurse novels more than ever—the sassy roommates, the handsome yet aloof docs, the shimmering ball gowns, all a welcome respite from quarantines and politics and illness. In the VNRN world, a mask is not divisive, but can actually bring people together: “I looked across at Theo, asking her with my eyes who was being pulled to pieces this time. That is one thing about having worked in the OR a good bit: by the time you have accustomed yourself to signalling over the top of a mask, when the slightest sound might be off-putting to the surgeons, there is very little that you can’t convey with eye-language,” wrote Bess Norton in Night Duty at Duke’s. I’ll agree there’s some truth to that; I feel like my smile has changed in the past year, to involve my eyes more and my mouth less.

So today we celebrate the escape vehicles we’ve climbed into this past year. Fasten your seat belt! You’re about to meet the winners, who were picked from the 48 VNRNs I read this past year, which were written by 36 different writers. The Best and Worst Authors categories includes all the VNRNs reviewed for this blog (469 to date), but only authors with more than one review are included. This year’s all-stars are Olive Norton and William Neubauer (please stop by the biographical sketch I wrote about him; it took six months to put together, and I’m very proud of it!), who both had two novels in the Best Books category.  We also met two childrens’ book authors, Adèle De Leeuw and Vera Cleaver, who each delivered a top-notch nurse novel and then hung up their starched caps. Lastly, Adele Maritano, who writes as Jane Converse, has the dubious distinction of appearing on both the Best and Worst Books lists. Start your engines!

Best Books
1. The Nurse’s Dilemma, by Vera Cleaver
2. Junior Pro, by Kate Norway (pseud. Olive Norton)
3. Nurse with a Dream, by Norrey Ford (pseud. Noreen Ford)
4. The White Jacket, Kate Norway (pseud. Olive Norton)
5. Pam Green Rehabilitation Nurse, by Patti Carr (pseud. William Neubauer)
6. Office Nurse, by Rebecca Marsh (pseud. William Neubauer)
7. Doctor Ellen, by Adele De Leeuw
8. The Strange Quest of Nurse Anne, by Mary Burchell (pseud. Ida Cook)
9. Emergency Nurse, by Jane Converse (pseud. Adele Kay Maritano)
10. Nurse Julie of Ward Three, by Joan Callender 

Worst Books
1. Jolie Benoit, R.N., by Ruth McCarthy Sears
2. Wanted—One Nurse, by Joanna Grey
3. Crystal Manning, Maternity Nurse, by Nan Lowry (pseud. Ruth MacLeod)
4. Hostage Nurse, by Jane Converse (pseud. Adele Kay Maritano)
5. The Taming of Nurse Conway, by Nora Sanderson
6. A Prize for Nurse Darci, By Suzanne Roberts
7. Hospital on Wheels, by Anne Lorraine
8. Obstetrical Nurse, by Jane Converse (pseud. Adele Kay Maritano)
9. Part-Time Nurse, by Elizabeth Houghton (pseud. Elizabeth Gilzean)
10. Everglades Nurse, by Peggy Gaddis (pseud. Erolie Pearl Gaddis Dern) 

Best Authors*
1. Olive Norton (3.2, based on 7 reviews)
2. Faith Baldwin (3.0, based on 4 reviews)
2. Marguerite Mooers Marshall (3.0, based on 4 reviews)
4. Florence Stonebraker (2.8, based on 16 reviews)
4. Jean Francis Webb III (2.8, based on 5 reviews)
6. Irene Mossop Swatridge (2.7, based on 3 reviews)
7. William Neubauer (2.6, based on 8 reviews)
7. Jeanne Judson (2.6, based on 7 reviews)
7. Elizabeth Seifert (2.6, based on 3 reviews)
7. Noreen Ford (2.6, based on 2 reviews)
7. Marjorie Lewty (2.6, based on 2 reviews)

Worst Authors
1. Ruth McCarthy Sears (1.6 average, based on 6 reviews)
1. Arlene Fitzgerald (1.6 average, based on 4 reviews)
3. Peggy Blocklinger (1.7 average, based on 11 reviews)
3. Anne Lorraine (1.7 average, based on 3 reviews)
3. Zillah Macdonald (1.7 average, based on 3 reviews) 

Best Quotes

“If you’re ever going to have your own apartment, the first thing you absolutely have to have is a good recipe for meatloaf.”
Nurse Morgan Sees It Through, by Rubie Saunders 

“I could eat you, darling, only I haven’t time.”
Junior Pro, by Kate Norway (pseud. Olive Norton) 

“All during the thick blackness that preceded the dawn she prayed fervently that a tracheotomy would not be necessary.” 
Jolie Benoit, R.N., by Ruth McCarthy Sears 

“There is nothing coy or coquettish about you. Sometimes it’s discouraging.”
Crystal Manning, Maternity Nurse, by Nan Lowry (pseud. Ruth MacLeod) 

“Pam found her arm being taken companionably, and the hand gripping that arm piloted her quite expertly through a nonexistent lobby crowd, through a quite negotiable doorway, and into a Marine Room that was neither dark nor boobytrapped with obstacles.”
Pam Green Rehabilitation Nurse, by Patti Carr (pseud. William Neubauer)

“If you keep on flying into rages like this you’ll have a frightfully interesting stroke when you’re older.”
The Taming of Nurse Conway, by Nora Sanderson 

“I don’t think that is quite the way for a respectable doctor to behave in a telephone booth.”
The Odds Against Nurse Pat, by Ray Dorien 

“You look different. Not tired, exactly, but subdued. Has anyone been subduing you?”
Nurse Julie of Ward Three, by Joan Callender 

“Tears do have a way of invading the nasopharynx instead of rolling like pearls down a rosy cheek.” 
Nurse Ann in Surgery, by Ruth MacLeod 

“I’m going to do a few tests, find a fancy name for what you’ve got and then send you a bill.”
Hotel Nurse, by Tracy Adams (pseud. Sofi O’Bryan) 

est Covers

Hostage Nurse, cover illustration by Allan Kass

Doctor Chris

The Doctor of Blue Valley

Emergency Nurse

Pam Green Rehabilitation Nurse, cover illustration by Bob Abbett

* The scores for Best Authors are the result of some sort of weighted ranking that takes into account the number of reviews each author has. This score was generated by my son, who is a computer science major, and who went back to college before I remembered to ask him to explain it to me.

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