SAN FRANCISCO _ The 2013 San Francisco Book Festival has named “The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen & Live Without Regret” by Richie Norton with Natalie Norton (Shadow Mountain) as the grand prize winner of its annual competition honoring the best books of the spring.

The Norton book asks a fundamental question: what if, in order to achieve greatness, you have to do things that others may initially perceive as “stupid?” The fact of the matter, the books says, is that the smartest people in the world don’t run from stupid, they lean into it (in a smart way).

For its inspirational message, its sharp analysis and its insight from some of the world’s greatest success stories, the book shows how stupid is the new smart.

The book and other winners in the competition will be honored on May 18 at a public free day festival and a private evening awards ceremony held at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco.

Other winners in the competition:


WINNER: The Power of Starting Something Stupid – Richie Norton

RUNNER-UP: Your Network is your Networth – Porter Gale


  • Gutsy! How Women Leaders Make Change – Sylvia LaFair
  • An Island in Time – John Hart
  • The Trust Edge – David Horsager
  • Puttin’ Cologne on the Rickshaw – William Bouffard
  • Work Toward Reward! – Chia-li Chien


WINNER: Halfway to Halfway and Other River Stories – Dick Lindford/Bob Volpert

RUNNER-UP: Password: SeniorMoment – Patricia Bunin


  • Sour Cherry Tree – Mira P. Peck
  • Vignettes & Postcards – edited by Erin Byrne & Anna Pook
  • No Character Limit – Truth & Fiction from WriteGirl – edited by Keren Taylor
  • The Sentimentality of the Valley of Tea – V.S. Kalah


WINNER: A Little Different All Perfect – Anita Telle/illustrated by Denis Proulx

RUNNER-UP: Engine Number Ten – Rose Ann Woolpert


  • Curiosities – Mike Yamada/Victoria Ying/Jonathan Ying
  • Roy G. Bive is Mad at Me Because I Love Pink – Nancy Guettier/Andrew Vera
  • And I Thought About You – Rosanne Kurstedt/Lisa Carletta-Vieites
  • Dear Sun – Lauren Lombardo
  • Summer Sage – Monica Crosson
  • Sophia at a Royal Wedding – D.G. Flamand
  • How Hollyhocks Came to New Mexico – Rudolfo Anaya/Nicolas Otero/Nasario Garcia
  • I Wonder What It’s Like to Be – Mark Darlow
  • Brookie & the Bees – Tashanna Edwards
  • Crockery Farm – Ian House
  • Burton the Kind Scarecrow – V.A. Boeholt
  • The Lost Secret of Dragonfire – Tiffany Turner
  • For the Love of a Cloud Maker – Stephen J. Gray
  • How Dachshunds Came to Be – Kizzie Elizabeth Jones/illustrated by Scott Ward
  • Veda’s Victory – Allison Avalon/illustrated by Austen Mikulka
  • Hatfield and the River Winding Way – Marc Tilson/illustrations by Violeta Honasan
  • You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! – Jonah Winter & Terry Widener
  • The Travels of Ching – Robert Bright
  • Panda’s Song _ Hannah Yaawusuah Adjepong
  • Arlo Goes to the Dentist – Karisa Lowe
  • Ancient Queendom – Roya Hendesi
  • Breanna & Amber – Sabrina Depina Graham
  • Manuel’s Murals – Jeaninne Escallier Kato/illustrated by Rachel Smith
  • Will You Fill My Bucket – Carol McCloud/Karen Wells/Penny Weber
  • The Gumshoes: A New Town, Oh Joy – Valerie Murphy
  • Anni’s Attic – Anne Loader McGee
  • The Little Apple – Deborah Smith Ford
  • Diabetes ABC – Dr. Sherry Meinberg


WINNER: Twelve Months – Steven Manchester

RUNNER-UP: Gift of a Servant – Tamara Amos


  • A Change of Habit – Patty Ptak Kogutek
  • My Deep Training – Daniel Ponce
  • This is How I Save My Life – Amy B. Scher
  • Healing Your Mind and Soul – Garry A. Flint
  • Theological Sentences – Dr. Samuel Mikolaski
  • Secret Blood – Don Stansberry
  • No Boxing Allowed – Nola Anne Hennessy
  • Surfing on a Banana Peel – Brona Fanelle
  • A Path to Life’s Fullness – Manuel J. Costa
  • Master and the Green-Eyed Hope – Johanna Kern
  • Using Your White Light Angels to Find your Life’s Purpose – Mariah the Light Source


WINNER: In One Person – John Irving

RUNNER-UP: Connected – Dr. Joe Ferry/edited by Phil Moffa


  • Hand Me Down – Melaine Thorne
  • Y – Marjorie Celona
  • In the Shadow of the Banyan – Vaddey Ratner
  • The Love Song of Jonny Valentine – Teddy Wayne
  • Lady Macbeth On the Couch – Alma H. Bond
  • The Samsara Effect – Paul Black
  • Poor Richard’s Lament – Tom Fitzgerald
  • The Kindness of Ravens – Frank Bardessono
  • Indian Nation – Donovan Galway
  • About Time Already – L.A. Noble
  • Black Crow White Lie – Candi Sary
  • Horror Flick – Bob Zeidman
  • An Emperor Among Us – David St. John
  • The Goddess Letters – Vicki Matthews
  • Adelante – Ian Benjamin
  • A Prayer for the Devil – Dale Allan
  • The House’s Money – Owen Sullivan
  • Portraits of an Artist – Mary F. Burns
  • Love and Other Subjects – Kathleen Shoop
  • Sleeper’s Run – Henry Mosquera
  • The Village Sang to the Sea – Bruce McAllister
  • Lady Macbeth On the Couch – Alma H. Bond
  • Running with the Enemy – Lloyd Lofthouse
  • Sambolt – Joshua Rios
  • Kill Screen – Benjamin Reeves
  • One Summer in Arkansas – Marcia Kemp Sterling
  • Angels at Sunset – Tom Mach
  • The Success of Suexliegh – Zack Keller
  • The Last Gentle Dentist – Oliver Pearl
  • The Clock of Life – Nancy Klann-Moren
  • A Wicked Thing – Michael Kasenow
  • One Moment in Time – Glenn Snyder


WINNER: Wide Awake and Dreaming – Julie Flygare

RUNNER-UP: Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan


  • If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother – Julia Sweeney
  • Geronimo – Robert M. Utley
  • An Uncommon Journey – Deborah Strobin and Ilie Wacs
  • The Iron Butterfly – Choon-Ok Jade Harmon/Ana Maria Rodriguez
  • Finding the Pearl – Thuan Tammy Fadler with Carol M. Rehme
  • Coming to Forgiveness – Ronita Johnson
  • The Discipline Coach – Jim Roberson/edited by Ian Gilbert
  • Cricket: - Susan Fedorko
  • I’ve Got Some Lovin’ To Do – Julia Park Tracey
  • Queue Jumper – Jill Perry
  • Haunted: The Strange and Profound Art of Wright Morris – Jackson J. Benson
  • Eagle Rock: Growing Up Rich in Idaho – John David Rose
  • Among the Silent Giants – Sharon Porter Moxley/Susan Dregey
  • A Not-so-Nice Jewish Boy Faces World War II – Norman Beim
  • Seeing Red – Lone Morch


WINNER: Nigger for Life – Neal Hall

RUNNER-UP: Ditty-Ditty Doggerel – Gary Turchin


  • Obscenely Yours – Angelo Nikolopoulos
  • From Pink Bows to Red Stilettos – Xia Devore
  • Crossing Black Waters – Athena Kashyap


WINNER: Crumble – Fleur Philips

RUNNER-UP: Shadowland: The Legend – Johanna Kern and Roy Fitzsimmonds


  • The Age of Amy: Bonehead Bootcamp – Bruce Edwards
  • Hard Magic – John Caruso
  • The Quicksilver – Michael C. Madden
  • The Beauty in the Beasts – Samantha Kitchel
  • Tempestuous – Kim Askew and Amy Helmes


WINNER: 30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living Through Critical Thinking – Linda Elder and Richard Paul

RUNNER-UP: From PMS to PMA – Nola Anne Hennessy


  • D.U.I. – The Next Day – Melanie Beauchamp
  • The Uncharted Natural Art – Danny Saturday


WINNER: Diary of an Alaskan Madam – Lorina Ewing

RUNNER-UP: The Possession of Sarah Winchester – Jim Duggins


  • Connections: Little Insights for Exploring – K.D. Marlee
  • Eve’s Tarot – R.E. Lieski
  • Next O&W Train from Tennessee – J.R. Holbrook
  • Hollywood or Bust – Susan Marg
  • Vietnam Through Rose-Colored Glasses – Richard S. Rose
  • Postcards Home – W.D. Mast
  • The Magic Pumpkin – Benji Alexander Palus


WINNER: Paws for Consideration – Amy Butcher

RUNNER-UP: Las Vegas Bandits: Winds of Change – Jim Cartwright


  • Freak Story: 1967-1969 – Jim Musgrave
  • A Piece of Work – Elli K. Work


WINNER: Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us – Michael Moss

RUNNER-UP: The New New Deal – Michael Grunwald


  • Opium Nation – Fariba Nawa
  • Farewell, Fred Voodoo – A Letter from Haiti
  • Birthright – Stephen R. Kellert
  • Broken Pieces – Rachel Thompson
  • A School for Others – George LeBard
  • Buried in the Sky – Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan
  • Champagne Regained - - Jacqueline Widmar Stewart
  • The Terrible Loyalty – Sandy Moss
  • Dictionary of Publishing Terms – Ingrid Lundquist
  • Diabetes ABC – Dr. Sherry L. Meinberg
  • A Yippie’s Lament – Michael L. Kilday
  • With and Without Her – Dorothy Foltz-Gray
  • Raising a Child’s Awareness – Gretchen Fox/Gina McCormick


WINNER: The Treos Dilemma – William Lavell

RUNNER-UP: RabbitHole – V.J. Waks


  • The Legend of Jerrod – D.M. Stoddard
  • Monomania – Tim Dunn
  • Untimed – Andy Gavin
  • Grapeshot & Demons – Vincent Scully


WINNER: Season of the Witch – David Talbot

RUNNER-UP: Mania – Ronald K.L. Collins and David Skover


  • Quest for Flight – Craig S. Harwood/Gary B. Fogel
  • The War Below – James Scott
  • A History of the World – Donn H. Crilly
  • The War Below – James Scott
  • If These Stones Could Talk – Tales from Columbia Cemetary – Mary R. McNellan, Lise C. Cordsen, Judith G. Dayhoff, Barbara W. Myers
  • Report of an Expedition to the Copper, Tanana and Koyukuk Rivers – Dwaine Schuldt
  • Picnic at the Iron Curtain – Susan Viets


WINNER: Rice’s Owls – Robert Flatt

RUNNER-UP: Ezra Stoller, Photographer – Nina Rappaport


  • Carrie Mae Weems – Kathryn E. Delmez
  • Maynard L. Parker: Modern Photography – Maynard L. Parker


WINNER: A Tool Box for Mr. Jimmy – K. Patrick Malone


WINNER:  Eat it! Food Adventures with Marco Polo - Gracie Cavnar