SAN FRANCISCO _ The 2012 San Francisco Book Festival has named “The Cult of Lego” as the grand prize winner of its annual competition honoring the best books of the spring.

The plastic objects that have become a worldwide phenomenon and powered the dreams of children and adults are examined in-depth by authors John Baichtal and Joe Meno. As they reveal, Lego is much more than a toy – it’s a way of life. Beyond the history, the books examine the fans who spend countless hours building their masterpieces, covering their conventions and showing the serious side of a hobby that many adults rediscover after a “dark age” of neglect.

The book’s impressive scope and its fascinating coverage of a world that touches millions won over the judges. The authors and others in the competition will be honored on Saturday, May 19 in a private ceremony at the Sir Francis Drake hotel.

Other winners in the competition:


WINNER: Won Ton – Lee Wardlaw

RUNNER-UP: The Blue Lobster – Robin Chiarello


  • The Magic Spoon – Richard DeFabio
  • My Bonus Mom! - Tami Butcher
  • Quickly’s Magical Pancake Adventure – Jeryl Abelmann
  • The Adventure of Best, The Water Buffalo – Voleak S. Gibb
  • Lily & Nana – A Book About Laughing – Barbara Myers
  • The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto… - Victoria Griffith
  • Read to Your Pets – Cynthia C. Phillips
  • Down on the Farm – Merrily Kutner/illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
  • Adam and Seymour – Cathy Finch White
  • The Boy Who Wouldn’t Sit Still – Sharon Lester
  • Molly’s Organic Farm - Carol L. Malnor/Trina L. Hunner
  • The Vanishing Squid – Katie Foster
  • Pink Hamster and the Big Birthday Surprise- Eileen Wacker/illustrated by Alan M. Low
  • Wyatt’s Laughing Lark – Jennifer Bouani
  • Gold Country Courage - Cherie Love
  • The King Who Wanted a Whale – Hal Holbrook
  • La Estrella de La Navidad – Shawn Marie Simmons
  • The Gift of the Tortoise – Sanelle Sibanda
  • A Gothic Fable: The Tales of Beverly Rose – Mayhew Preston Reese


WINNER: Girl Unmoored – Jennifer Gooch Hummer

RUNNER-UP: Growing Up with A Bucket Full of Happiness – Carol McCloud


  • Words Hit Hard as a Fist – Charisse Rudolph
  • The Grief Recovery Kit – Tanya Kilgore
  • Revealing Eden – Victoria Foyt
  • I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! – Pierette Simpson
  • The Fifth Kraut - Jeff Kohmstedt
  • Lucy and Cecee’s How To Survive (and Thrive) in Middle School – Kimberly Dana
  • Anvil of Moonlight – William Weyr
  • Hex: The Haunting of Barrington County – Stacy Charasidis


WINNER: Sweetgrass: Johnathan and Esher – Patricia Ann Kuess

RUNNER-UP: Folsom Street Blues: A Memoir – Jim Stewart


  • Purgatory – Jeff Mann
  • Freakish – Ty Flynn


WINNER: Octavia, Daughter of God – Jane Shaw

RUNNER-UP: Dog Tags: The History, Personal Stories… - Ginger Cucolo


  • Sealab – Ben Hellwarth
  • The Oil Kings – Andrew Scott Cooper
  • America’s Great Debate – Fergus M. Bordewich
  • Water to My Soul – Pamela Mueller
  • For Music’s Sake: Asbury Park’s Upstage Club and Green Mermaid Caf? – Carrie Potter Devening
  • Sir Francis Drake Landed in California – Hector Rodriguez
  • Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from the… - Betty DeRamus
  • Creek with No Name – Kenneth Bilderback


WINNER: The Cult of Lego – John Baichtal and Joe Meno

RUNNER-UP: The Emperor’s Dilemma – Craig M. Porter Rollins


  • Pairs – David Richards
  • In Search of Aginsky’s Mind – Leighton J. Reynolds
  • Ship for Brains – Brian David Bruns
  • Win the Race of Life – Nadine Lajoie
  • The Sylvan Horn – Robert Redinger
  • Changing Behavior - Georgianna Donadio
  • The Muffins Part 1: The Chase – Timothy K. Robinson Sr.


WINNER: The Last Resort – Norma Watkins


  • Winter King:Henry VII and The Dawn of Tudor England – Thomas Penn
  • The Last Sultan:The Life and Times of Ahmet Ertegun – Robert Greenfield


  • PinkHoneysuckle - Barbara E. Heintz 
  • Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots – Deborah Feldman
  • Lost Edens: A True Story - Jamie Patterson
  • North of Hollywood – Rick Lenz
  • Harold Jones: The Singer’s Drummer – Gil Jacobs
  • J. Edgar Hoover & Clyde Tolson – Darwin Porter
  • Confessions of a Guide Dog - Mark Carlson/Musket
  • Grip: A Memoir of Fierce Attractions – Nina Hamberg
  • History of a Pipe Dream – Susan Miller
  • Once Upon a Gypsy Moon – Michael C. Hurley
  • Yokohama Gaijin: Memoir of a Foreigner – George Lavrov
  • Marilyn at Rainbow’s End: Sex, Lies… - Darwin Porter
  • Our Father Who Aren’t in Heaven – Frye & Mercier
  • The Virgin Journals – Travis Laurence Naught
  • Woe of the Road: Tales to Make You Never… - Kyle Therese Cranston/Jenn Dlugos
  • Many Blessings: A Tapestry of Accomplished African-American Women – Sonnee Weedn


WINNER: Life is a Choice – Dr. David Washington

RUNNER-UP: Attitude Reconstruction – Jude Bijou


  • Do Not Invent Buggy Whips – Kenneth Thurber
  • Strategies for Parenting – Jeff Brown
  • Erotic Marriage – Dr. Fredrick Mondin
  • Bags: The Modern Classics, Clutches…. – Megan Scott
  • Escaping the Jaws of Life – Lori Godsey Anzini
  • Lemons, Lemonade and Life – Janet Thomas
  • Imperfect Weddings are Best – Dr. Sherry Meinberg
  • Abstract Painting – A Practical Approach - Hennie Reimer
  • Rock the World Rehab: A 4-Step… - Denise Marie Nieman
  • All-Day Energy: 100 Ways to Boost Your Energy – Syd Hoffman
  • TellTale Souls: Writing the Mother Memoir – Lynn Cook Henriksen
  • I Speak, Read, Write Mandarin Chinese – Wang-Ching Liu


WINNER: Beyond the Pews – Jillian Maas Backman

RUNNER-UP: Practical Conscious Creation – Jackie Lapin


  • Soul Centered – Sarah McLean
  • Together – A Strong Journey of Faith – Karen Erickson
  • Nothing Will Separate Us – Charlotte R. Brown
  • Spirit Stones - Dianne Ebertt Beeaff
  • At Left Brain, Turn Right - Anthony Meindl
  • Touched by the Grace of God – Heidi R. May
  • The Genesis Code: God Has Spoken – Julie Snyder
  • The Butterfly Silhouette - Jeanne Nangle
  • Gentle Hands, Gentle People – Loretta Aileen Carson Warren


WINNER: Carry the One – Carol Anshaw

RUNNER-UP : Inside the Outside – Martin Lastrapes


  • Blueprints for Building Better Girls – Elissa Schappell
  • The Rebel Wife: A Novel – Taylor M. Polites
  • ROAM – Alan Lazar
  • Sweet Hope – Mary Bucci Bush
  • Crown of Dust – Mary Volmer
  • To Kill the Duke – Sam Moffie
  • Dark Lake – Louise Gaylord
  • The Sausage Maker’s Daughters – AGS Johnson
  • The Safehouse - Timothy Ackerman
  • A Moment to Love - Diane Myerson
  • Heart’s Blood - Elizabeth Zinn
  • Marvin Piersoll – Bernard Mendillo
  • The Bricklayer - Irene Gargantini
  • Every Time I Think of You - Jim Provenzano
  • Make it Stay: A Novel – Joan Frank
  • Flashblind – Paul Bernstein, MD
  • Wells Without Water – Channing Allen
  • The Concubine Saga – Lloyd Lofthouse
  • A Time to Cast Away Stones – Elise Frances Miller
  • The Last Paradise – Michael Kasenow
  • Blood Life – Gianna Perada
  • The Length of the Leash – Gary D. Sproul
  • Pittsburg Landing – Robert Burns Clark
  • Jezebel in Blue Satin – Peter S. Fischer
  • The Abel Conspiracy – Gary D. Henry
  • The Moon Comes Nearer – Guy Nair
  • The Hometown – Leena Ceraveeni
  • Hollywood Buckaroo – Tracy Debrincat
  • Lingering Tide and Other Stories - Latha Viswanathan


WINNER: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty – Andrew Bolton

RUNNER-UP: The Radical Camera – Mason Klein/Catherine Evans


  • Snapshot: Painters and Photography – Elizabeth Easton
  • Adventure in Color – Suzanne Blaney
  • After the Rain – Lesley James
  • Knoll Textiles, 1945-2010 – Earl Martin
  • Living Shells - Charles Rawlings


WINNER: Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat – Melissa Joulwan

RUNNER-UP: Armenian Cuisine – Aline Kamakian


  • Make the Bread, Buy the Butter – Jennifer Reese
  • Healthy French Cuisine for Less Than $10 – Alain Braux
  • San Francisco Entertains – The Junior League of San Francisco, Inc


WINNER: Triptych – JM Frey

RUNNER-UP: The Death of Eve - Shaun Penney


  • The Immortals: Kama Lotz – Daniel Newell
  • The Augustine Agenda – William L. Lavell
  • Breathing Space: Book One of the Exodus – Ian Fydell
  • Dome Child - Regina Glei
  • The Immune - Doc Lucky Meisenheimer
  • Peripheral Conflict – Shawn Cobb
  • The Distant Trees - Mary Ellen Wall
  • Sequence - Kenneth Rogers Jr.
  • Was a Time When – Sam Penny
  • Project Heartfire – Angela Browne-Miller
  • Shortcuts: Secrets of ESP and Love – Ken Renshaw


WINNER: I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did – Lori Andrews

RUNNER-UP: A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception and Survival at Jonestown – Julia Scheeres


  • Maria’s Duck Tales - Maria Daddino
  • Blood & Money – P. Mark Accettura
  • Afriats: Understanding Forced Inter-Personal Relationships -Richard Bird Baker
  • Quiet Horizon: Releasing Ideology and.Embracing Self-Knowledge – Greg Jemsek
  • Imperfect Weddings Are Best – Dr. Sherry Meinberg
  • Safari Jema – A Journey of Love… - Teresa O'Kane
  • Life Expectancy – It’s Never Too Late – William Keiper
  • Marijuana Pest & Disease Control – Ed Rosenthal
  • Rules Get Broken - John Herbert
  • The Gathering Table – Ronda Giangreco
  • Walkout – Henry C. Woodrum
  • The 4-1-1 on Step Parenting – Michele Sfakianos
  • Among Murderers and Madness – Sonny Long
  • You Might Be A Narcissist If… - Lisa Charlebois


WINNER: Put the Needle on the Record – Matthew Chojnacki

RUNNER-UP: Intensity: The 10th Anniversary Anthology of WriteGirl – edited by Keren Taylor


  • Letters From Across the Big Divide – Richard Bird Baker
  • Imperfect Weddings are Best – Dr. Sherry Meinberg
  • “She Writes” Anthology – MaryAnn Easley


WINNER: In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes our Lives – Steven Levy

RUNNER-UP: Do Not Invent Buggy Whips – Kenneth Thurber


  • The ABC of Sales – Daniel Milstein
  • Personal Branding for Dummies – Susan Chritton

WINNER: Big Wave Surfing – Kenneth Thurber

WINNER: Hurrah’s Nest – Arisa White

RUNNER-UP: All These Houses Next to Mine – Jeremy Long


  • A fox peeks out: poems – Ravi Chandra
  • Cinematic Mind: The Eternal Search… - Kimo Hill
  • A Place to Fall Into – Jo-Ann Birch
  • Poetic Outlets – Melica Niccole
  • Love Cake – Leah Samarasinha
  • Rites of Passage – Mark Magro
  • The Butterfly Silhouette – Jeanne Nangle
  • Uninhibited – Duania K. Hall
  • Beyond the Long Good-Byes – Mark Merlin Estep