On July 12, The Book Club of California, a San Francisco-based society devoted to promoting an appreciation of the writing, design, and printing of fine books among collectors, scholars, and the public, presented one of its 16th annual Oscar Lewis Awards to UC Press author Thomas Pinney for his contributions to western history. A noted Rudyard Kipling scholar, Pinney is also a respected historian of wine whose two-volume A History of Wine in America is the definitive work on the subject. The second volume, covering the period from Prohibition to the present, received the 2006 International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award for Wine, Beer, or Spirits.

In accepting the award, Pinney acknowledged the crucial assistance of fellow wine historian Charles Sullivan (author of A Companion to California Wine and Zinfandel: A History of a Grape and its Wine), of UC Davis librarian Axel Borg, and of wine book collectors and curators Gayle Unzelman and Nina Wemyss. He praised UC Press for having “the largest and finest list of wine books of any publisher in the country.”

A second award was presented to artist Charles Hobson for his contributions to the book arts. Award namesake Oscar London served as the Book Club’s secretary from 1921-1946 and was the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including San Francisco: Mission to Metropolis and Bay Window Bohemia.

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