Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Book Awards Reading Challenge

There are a few Literary Awards that I keep half an eye on (Giller Prize, Governor General's Literary Awards, Orange Prize, Booker Prize, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award) so there was no way I could possibly resist this challenge.

The Goal:
To read any 12 award-winning books from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008.
(click on button for more info)

Here's my tentative list of 12 plus alternatives, all of which are currently in my stacks. I could easily do the challenge twice without buying any new books! Of course that's unlikely.
Since we don't have to stick to a fixed list, my final choices may, and probably will, change as the challenge progresses. And happily since books may be cross-posted with other challenges, there's still hope for me to catch up a bit on the O'Canada Challenge. I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of these.

1. The Love of a Good Woman – Alice Munro (Giller Prize 1998)
2. Mercy Among the Children – David Adams Richards (Giller Prize 2000)
3. My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk (IMPAC Dublin Award 2003, Nobel Prize 2006)
4. No Great Mischief - Alistair MacLeod (IMPAC Dublin Award 2001)
5. The Tenderness of Wolves - Stef Penney (Costa/Whitbread 2006)
6. An Artist of the Floating World - Kazuo Ishiguro (Costa/Whitbread 1986)
7. A Spell of Winter - Helen Dunmore (Orange Prize 1996)
8. Larry’s Party - Carol Shields (Orange Prize 1998)
9. A Crime in the Neighbourhood - Suzanne Berne (Orange Prize 1999)
10. Property - Valerie Martin (Orange Prize 2003)
11. The Road - Cormac McCarthy (Pulitzer Prize 2007)
12. The Silent Cry - Kenzaburo Oe (Tanizaki Prize 1967, Nobel Prize 1994)

Other Possibles:
The Polished Hoe - Austin Clarke (Giller Prize 2002)
This Blinding Absence of Light - Tahar Ben Jelloun (IMPAC Dublin Award 2004)
The Line of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst (Booker Prize 2004)
True History of the Kelly Gang - Peter Carey (Booker Prize 2001)
Schindler’s Ark - Thomas Keneally (Booker Prize 1982)
The Sea, The Sea - Iris Murdoch (Booker Prize 1978)
English Passengers - Matthew Kneale (Costa/Whitbread 2000)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon (Pulitzer Prize 2001)
A Thousand Acres - Jane Smiley (Pulitzer Prize 1992)
Beloved - Toni Morrison (Pulitzer Prize 1988)
The Great Fire - Shirley Hazzard (National Book Award 2003, Miles Franklin 2004)
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen (National Book Award 2001)
Waiting - Ha Jin (National Book Award 1999)
Snow Country - Yasunari Kawabata (Nobel Prize 1968)
Independent People - Halldor Laxness (Nobel Prize 1955)
L’Étranger – Albert Camus (Nobel Prize 1957)
Doomsday Book - Connie Willis (Hugo Award 1993, Nebula Award 1992)


  1. Hello - I happened upon your site via Technorati - nice place you have here!

  2. Great list! I decided to do this challenge because I found that lately all I am reading it award winning novels so why not!

  3. Doesn't this challenge look like fun? I can't wait to get started. I think you'll like "The Road" (I sure did), and I'd like to endorse "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay", hoping you'll consider squeezing that one in. It's one of my all-time favorite books.

  4. You have a great list. I want to read several of those same titles, too. I did read the Dunmore some years ago and really liked it. I have always meant to read more of her, but haven't gotten around to it.

  5. Bibliolatrist,
    Hi. Thanks for stopping by! :)

    It's a great idea for a challenge, especially since it's all book winners, so we're all bound to have books we want to read for it.

    Definitely. I'm looking forward to it. I remember your review of The Road, and picked it up a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't realised it's actually quite short. As for Kavalier & Clay, I'll try (it's a chunkster!), especially since it's one of your favourites! :)

    I've read The Siege and Mourning Ruby by Dunmore and keep meaning to read more. I've heard good things about A Spell of Winter. I'm looking forward to reading it this summer.

  6. This is a great challenge. I'm wondering if I can manage to commit. I love your lists...there are a lot of things you want to read that I want to read too. I'd like to read Dunmore and Kenzaburo Oe...have fun with it!

  7. I haven't read any on your first list, but they do seem exciting.

    I've read two on your alternative list, Schindler's Ark and True History of the Kelly Gang both by Aussie authors. They are fantastic. Have you seen the film Schindler's List ?

  8. Gentle Reader,
    Thanks. I'm looking forward to it. I've never read anything by Oe so this'll be a great chance to do so.

    Yes I've seen the movie of Schindler's List but not recently. I thought about putting the book on my main list but since I just read Anne Frank's Diary and some other writings, I'm not sure I'm in the mood for more at the moment. Someday though definitely.

  9. I've read none on your first list and a few on your second. So many books, so little time. Happy reading.
    I found you through the Chunkster Challenge which I'm finishing up.

  10. Sarala,
    So many books, so little time is so very true! I'm glad you found me. I've just had a look at your blog and love your pictures!

  11. Alright, I think I'm going to have to give into temptation and sign up for this challenge. It just looks too good to resist!

    I put a vote in for reading English Passengers - it was one of my favorite books last year.

  12. Lesley,
    Vote duly noted. :)
    I fully expect my list to change around over the next year and I'm really glad we don't have to stick to the original 12. It should be a fun challenge. I look forward to seeing your picks.

  13. That's a great,great list, Nat, I cannot wait for your thoughts on the books. If you do read "Beloved", you will be highly moved by it...I thought about the story and the characters for weeks after I had read's one of those books that impacts you very strongly.

    I have heard some great things about "The Road" too...I have my copy here which is yet unread.

  14. Lotus,
    The Road has had lots of positive comments around the blogosphere. I'm looking forward to it.
    I'm not sure why but I keep hesitating to read Beloved or other Morrison books but you're helping to move it up the list. :)

  15. Nat...glad to help, but I did want to say, "Beloved" is the only Morrison novel I have loved. I just could not get into her other novels...not sure why...many other readers have found her novels a difficult,tedious read.

  16. Lotus,
    Yes I've heard that quite a bit so it's why I keep saying 'not now, later' when I look at Beloved. One of these days though..


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