Thursday, October 29, 2015

Prize winners

This was a fun little exercise. I just scoured the lists of National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and Pulitzer Prize winners to see how many I've read. I wasn't expecting many, since I read for pleasure and therefore very few "modern classics." The result is I haven't read many compared to how many award winners there are, but more than I expected.

National Book Award:
  • Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story by Paul Monette (1992, non-fiction)
  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (2001, fiction)
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2005, non-fiction)
Man Booker Prize for Fiction:
  • Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (2000)
  • The Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2002)
I also read half of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (2009), so I will give myself half-credit for that. I've also read five books shortlisted for the prize:
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1986)
  • Brick Lane by Monica Ali (2003)
  • Oryx and Crake  by Margaret Atwood (2003)
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005)
  • A Tale For the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (2013)
Wow, this award really loves Atwood and Ishiguro (there are several more of their books which have won or been shortlisted).

Pulitzer Prize:
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1961, fiction)
  • A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (2011, fiction)
Half-credit for Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (2003, fiction). I've also read four finalists, two of which are also National Book Award winners (The Corrections and The Year of Magical Thinking). The other two are What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander (2013, fiction) and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (1999), which I was wondering why I hadn't seen on any of these lists yet.

For my exposure to award-winning books, I have the following sources to thank: the CHA and ARMANi book clubs, working at Borders (from which was born both aforementioned book clubs), a dude in a gay chat room, and various book-reading friends.

Oh, and this exercise was inspired by the Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge, which I only just now discovered so any goals achieved are purely chance.