Friday, April 11, 2008

Book Award Winners

After reviewing the list of the Top 10 Favorite Books, I thought that it might be interesting to look at what books won the Pulitzer Prize for 2008.

2008 Pulitzer Prize:
Fiction: "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," by Junot Diaz (Riverhead Books).

Finalists: "Tree of Smoke" by Denis Johnson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), and
"Shakespeare's Kitchen" by Lore Segal (The New Press).

General Nonfiction: "The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945," by Saul Friedlander (HarperCollins).
Finalists: "The Cigarette Century" by Allan Brandt (Basic Books);
"The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century" by Alex Ross (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

I am embarrassed to say that I have not even heard of any of these books. Does that mean that I don’t read great books? Not at all. But I guess that we all have different ideas of great books. But then, since I have not read any of these, perhaps if I do read them, I would consider them Pulitzer Prize deserving. Have any of you read them? Is anyone game to reading them?

Here is a link/address to see the review of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao that was in The New York Times.

See if it interests you in the book. It didn’t me.

New York Times review of The Tree of Smoke:

Again, I am not interested.

And a review from the Los Angeles Times for Shakespeare’s Kitchen:,1,6885107.story?coll=la-business-games.

Sounds like a book I might enjoy. I am a little put off because it is short stories and I don’t usually like to read short stories, but the reviews seem to indicate that the stories all intertwine, so I might be willing to try it.

Meanwhile, I was also checking out the winner of the 2008 Booker Prize, and found a list of all of the past Booker Award winners, so here is that list:
Booker Prize Winners:
2007 - The Gathering (Enright)

2006 - The Inheritance of Loss (Desai)

2005 - The Sea (Banville)

2004 - The Line of Beauty (Hollinghurst)

2003 - Vernon God Little (Pierre)

2002 - Life of Pi (Martel)

2001 - True History of the Kelly Gang (Carey)

2000 - The Blind Assassin (Atwood)1

999 - Disgrace (Coetzee)

1998 - Amsterdam: A Novel (McEwan)

1997 - The God of Small Things (Roy)

1996 - Last Orders (Swift)

1995 - The Ghost Road (Barker)

1994 - How Late It Was, How Late (Kelman)

1993 - Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (Doyle)

1992 - The English Patient (Ondaatje)

1992 - Sacred Hunger (Unsworth)

1991 - The Famished Road (Okri)

1990 - Possession: A Romance (Byatt)

1989 - The Remains of the Day (Ishiguro)

1988 - Oscar and Lucinda (Carey)

1987 - Moon Tiger (Lively)

1986 - The Old Devils (Amis)

1985 - The Bone People (Hulme)

1984 - Hotel Du Lac (Brookner)

1983 - Life & Times of Michael K (Coetzee)

1982 - Schindler's Ark (Keneally)

1981 - Midnight's Children (Rushdie)

1980 - Rites of Passage (Golding)

1979 - Offshore (Fitzgerald)

1978 - The Sea, the Sea (Murdoch)

1977 - Staying on (Scott)

1976 - Saville (Storey)

1975 - Heat and Dust (Jhabvala)

1974 - The Conservationist (Gordimer)

1974 - Holiday (Middleton)

1973 - The Siege of Krishnapur (Farrell)

1972 - G. (Berger)

1971 - In a Free State (Naipaul)

1970 - The Elected Member (Rubens)

1969 - Something to Answer For (Newby)

I notice that several of the years have more than 1 book listed. I don't know if there was a tie that year, or what.

I have read a few of these and they were very good reads. I am more likely to try to read some of these, especially since I have heard of them, than I am to read the Pulitzer Prize winners.

Anyone have any suggestions from this list? I think that I will read The Gathering next. Watch for my posting on it.

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