BOSTON_ A young boy’s journey out of poverty using the power of the brain and his heart is the grand prize winner of the 2016 New England Book Festival, which honors the best books of the holiday season.

Author James R. Doty’s Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart (Avery/Penguin Random House) is a memoir of a young boy from a poverty-stricken family who discovers a small magic shop in a rundown strip mall. There he meets Ruth, a woman who will teach him the most powerful magic of all: how to ease his own suffering and manifest his greatest desires. Those lessons will hit home when the adult Jim must make a fateful decision that will determine his future security.

This captivating journey is an inspiring memoir and moved the judges, making it well worthy of top honors. Doty and other winners, runner-ups and honorable mentions will be celebrated at a private reception in January.

Other winners in the competition:


WINNER: The Runaway’s Gold – Emelie Christie Burack

RUNNER-UP: The Indian – Barry Kenzle


  • Inside the Palisade – K.C. Maguire
  • Seventh Dimension – The Castle, Book 3 – Lorilyn Roberts
  • The Castoff Children – L.M. Browning
  • The Carlswick Conspiracy – S.L. Beaumont
  • Running from the Gods – Diann T. Read
  • TJ’s Last Summer in Cape Cod – Garfield Whyte
  • Kooluva and the Mayans – Michael Thal
  • Spires of Aurora – Nathanial Covell


WINNER: Growing Up Metric – George Contos

RUNNER-UP: A Realtor’s Guide to Great Success – Nancy Butler


  • Letters to My Child’s Guardian – Virginia C. Antipolo-Utt
  • Rebuilding the GE House Jack Blew Down – Mary Kuykendall


WINNER: Motley Education – S.A. Larsen

RUNNER-UP: The Famly Tree: The Night of the Storm – Laurie Copmann


  • Have You Filled a Bucket Today? 10th Anniversary Edition – Carol McCloud/David Messing
  • One Hot Mess – Jeanne E. Rogers
  • Winter Wonderland – D.G. Stern
  • The Ride of Doom – Anthony Pardoe
  • The Crystal Cavern – Anthony Pardoe
  • Journey Around Our National Parks – Martha Zschock
  • The Little Bucket – Jeff Bates
  • Six for Safari – Jeryl Abelmann
  • Jamie’s Journey – Sharon Wozny
  • Cheyanna and the Holey Horse – Ondrea Shepperson
  • Jamie’s Journey – Sharon Wozny
  • Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home – Jody A. Dean, Ph. D.
  • Escape into the Mall – Donna LeBlanc
  • Ice Cream USA – Thal Dixon
  • Lucky Penny and the Little Dark – Doctor D
  • Stay at Home Santa – William Dispoto
  • Stinky Binky – Troy Kent


WINNER: Infinite Awareness – Marjorie Woollacott

RUNNER-UP: I Punched Myself in the Eye – Pamela Capone


  • From Science & Religion to God – Cheryl Petersen
  • The Case Against Origin and Reincarnationi – Eric Liberatos
  • Blessings for a Changing World – Diana Moore
  • God’s Light Abridged Audiobook – Dr. Rick Scarnati


WINNER: Cooking for Picasso – Camille Aubray

RUNNER-UP: The Boston Castrato – Colin W. Sargent


  • Unknown Caller – Debra Spark
  • Sea Smoke – Miriam Nesset
  • The Dust Prophet – Shannon Macfarlane
  • 3 Days: A Passion – Tom Fairman
  • We’ve Already Gone This Far – Patrick Dacey
  • The Changing Season – Steven Manchester
  • The Popcorn Girl – Michael J. Vaughn
  • Allegiance – Kermit Roosevelt
  • One of Windsor – Beth Caruso
  • Small Change – Sandra Hunter
  • Groovy Times – Lance Smith
  • The Storm: How Young Men Become Good Men – Dan Blanchard
  • A Witch in Time Saves Nine – Nikki Broadwell
  • Sears Point – Jim Coogan
  • Silent Messages – John Albion
  • The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall – Shannon Kirks
  • Fatal Odds – John F. Dobbyn
  • A Love Like Blood – Victory Yates
  • Small Change – Sandra Hunter
  • There’s Always Tomorrow – D.G. Stern
  • First Born – Janelle Gaby
  • The Beginning of This, the End of That – James E. Matteson
  • Nothing as it Seems – Thomas Hall
  • Tzippy the Thief – Patricia Striar Rohner
  • Diatomaceous Earth – H. Willams
  • Adam’s Chair – Barbara de la Cuesta
  • South of Main Street – Robert Gately
  • The Duration – Dave Fromm
  • Forbidden Child III: Exposed – James Aiello
  • Hunting Taylor Brown – Rhys Hagan
  • The Torch is Passed – William Powers
  • The Latina President – Joe Rothstein
  • The Empty Chair - Penny Goetjen
  • The Fool’s Truth – Loretta Marion
  •  Sharp Obsidian – Joseph Suste
  • The Jefferson Files – Martin Herman
  • Marie Bernadette: Secrets of a Dallas Moon – John F. Bronzo
  • Gators, Goons and Guns on the Bayou – Eldon N. Spady
  • Crippled Sunrise – Paco Torch


WINNER: Living Mollusks – Charles Rawlings

RUNNER-UP: A Peace of My Mind – John Noltner


  • A Bicycle World – Andre Baldet


WINNER: Where Do I Sit – Dr. Neal Hall

RUNNER-UP: Coltrane’s God – Donald Levering


  • Reverberations – Charles Rawlings
  • Whispers from the Tree of Life – Frances L. O’Donnell
  • Tiller North – Rosa Lane
  • Abandoned Earth – Linwood D. Rumney
  • Snowy Owls, Egrets and Unexpected Graces – Gwendolyn Morgan
  • Yours Truly – M. Catherine Bunton
  • Lessons II: Mirror Conversations – LaDonna Marie


WINNER: One Door Closes – Tom Ingrassia/Jared Chrudimsky

RUNNER-UP: The Renegade Writer – W.G. Griffiths


  • Tame Your Money Elephants – Patrick Carroll
  • Hosting Cask Ale Events – Randy Baril
  • Publish Your Book Free – Steve and Jolyn Burt
  • How to Befriend, Tame, Manage and Teach… - Dr. James Manning
  • From Status Quo to Creativity – Ijeoma Nwankwo


WINNER: Into the Magic Shop – James R. Doty, MD

RUNNER-UP: Project Animal Farm – Sonia Faruqi


  • Generation Chef – Karen Stabiner
  • Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here – Angela Palm
  • 90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet – Felice Cohen
  • My Father’s Daughter, from Rome to Sicily – Gilda Morina Syverson
  • The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World – The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Douglas Carlton Abrams
  • The 100 Greatest Baseball Autographs – Tom and Ellen Zappala
  • Part of the Family – Jason Hensley
  • Sadie’s Winter Dream – Judith Burger-Gossart
  • Blue Butterfly Open – Alice Barber
  • Overcoming Anxiety, Depression… - Judith Fowles
  • A Journey with Panic – Dr. James Manning
  • Amrit Yoga & The Yoga Sutras – Lila Ivey
  • The Toolbox – Hank Leo, Jr.
  • Beverly Hills Concentration Camp – Randi Maggid
  • Reflections of a Love Supreme – Tom Ingrassia
  • June 17, 1967 – David Hearne
  • Color Me Included – Deborah B. Knowlton, M.Div.
  • Letters from Nigeria – Gretel Clark


WINNER: The Dancing Delilahs – Pamela Bauer-Mueller

RUNNER-UP: Half Past Tarissa – Lyn Thomas



WINNER: Fused: A Memoir of Child OCD and Adult Obession – Dr. James Manning

RUNNER-UP: With Angel’s Wings – Stephanie A. Collins


  • If You Ain’t a Pilot – Raymond Wright
  • Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers – Mathias B. Freese
  • I Just Looked Up – Sue Krupa
  • A Pilgrim for Freedom – Michael Novakovic
  • Running for My Life – Christine Wodke
  • Unraveled, Time to Tell – Lisa Lynn


WINNER: Cooking with the Muse – Stephen Massimillia/Myra Kornfeld

RUNNER-UP: Opulencia - Elizabeth Solaru


WINNER: Treasure – Vanessa Leigh Hoffman

RUNNER-UP: The Slate Roof Bible, Third Edition – Joseph Jenkins


  • The Lobby – Randi Sherman
  • The Confluence – A Collection of Essays, Art and Tall Tales – David Van Wie
  • 21st Century Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures – Cheryl Petersen
  • The Lord of the Infield Flies – Steven M. Reilly
  • The Torture Trial of George W. Bush – Joseph Suste
  • The Hidden Treasures of Dutch Buffalo Creek – Jackson Badgenoone
  • Doc MacDoodle’s Color Therapy for Grown… - Bridget Finnegan


WINNER: Burnt Mountain Rhyllia – Cheryl Campbell


WINNER: Unblinded: One Man’s Courageous Battle to Regain his Vision – Traci Medford-Rosow

RUNNER-UP: Campus Tales – Lyn Thomas


WINNER: The Scorpion’s Empress – Yoshiyuki Ly