Karanian’s ‘Armenia and Karabakh’ earns prestigious National Book Award

The Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA) has awarded a silver medal to author Matthew Karanian’s ‘Armenia and Karabakh: The Stone Garden Travel Guide’ in the category of best travel book for 2014.

The book award, which is known to the publishing industry as a Benjamin Franklin Award, or “Bennie,” is among the most prestigious national awards for independent book publishers. The competition recognizes excellence in book editorial content and design.

The award was announced on May 28, which, by coincidence, is Armenian Independence Day.

This silver medal awarded to ‘Armenia and Karabakh’ by the IBPA is Karanian’s second major award of the year. The book was recently recognized by Writer’s Digest Magazine as one of the Best Reference Guides published in the past year.

A complete list of the IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin book award winners is available online at

The publisher’s association recognized four travel books for excellence this year. The other travel books that received awards are titles about Costa Rica, the Canyon Lands of the American Southwest, and the US state of Washington.

Karanian was traveling in Armenia doing research for a future book when the award was announced. He said he considers the award be an acknowledgement of the merits of Armenia, as well as of his book. “Awards such as these help to give Armenia and Artsakh the recognition that they deserve” among Armenians and non-Armenians alike.

The book includes more than 150 color photographs from throughout Armenia and Artsakh, which were created by Karanian and by co-photographer Robert Kurkjian.

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