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Cover of The Making of Jane Austen, by Devoney LooserInsider Higher Ed is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 #IHEreaderschoice award: The Making of Jane Austen, by Devoney Looser, a professor of English at Arizona State University. The book was published by Johns Hopkins University Press, which also published the winners last year and the year before.

The press describes the book as answering the crucial question "Just how did Jane Austen become the celebrity author and the inspiration for generations of loyal fans she is today?" The answer comes from "the people, performances, activism and images that fostered Austen’s early fame, laying the groundwork for the beloved author we think we know."

Those interested in Looser's writing may also enjoy an essay she wrote for Inside Higher Ed, "Jane Austen, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda," about what to do when your academic specialty suddenly captures public attention.

Readers nominated books for consideration and then voted. Nominations were sought of university press books that would make the best gift for an academic this holiday season. The Making of Jane Austen won by a large margin. Five of those who voted for the winning book will receive copies. We'll also display it at next month's annual meeting of the Modern Language Association. We received 75 nominations, and more than 3,000 people voted.

We are pleased to also honor these runners-up (in order):

Inside Higher Ed thanks all of those who nominated books (you can see them all here) and those who voted. We especially want to thank the scholars who expand the world of ideas with their writing -- and the publishers who allow them to reach broader audiences. We hope that when you are looking for the perfect gift this holiday season, or any time of year, you will think about scholarly books.

Happy reading.