Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book Awards...How Many of These Things Are There?

Nobel Peace Prize, heard of it. Pulitzers, heard of those too. But what about the Pen Faulkner, Booker, Orange, Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, Edgar A. Poe, National Book Award, Newbury, Caldecott Medal,  Hemingway, Somerset Maugham, and T.S. Eliot prize awards just to name a few more?

There seems to be an inexhaustible number of book awards out there, and like too many T.V. award shows it can leave readers a bit confused. In my efforts to broaden my horizons I've decided to start reading books from a few lists that I like in order to better understand certain genres and also to push my reading in directions I might not have previously considered. Currently, I'm enjoying winners of the Michael Shaara Prize for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and have really liked some of the books I've come across so far. 

Obviously, some great books never get awards, but that doesn't mean that there aren't some neat finds on every book award list. What are some of your favorite prize lists to peruse? Perhaps something a bit unusual (hint hint)?  


  1. Hmm, I've never perused any prize lists before, but that's a great way to find new reading material! I'll have to try it :D

  2. Given my genre(s), I should say the Edgar A. Poe or the ITA (International Thriller Award), but the Booker list is the only one I really pay attention to. The Judging panel recognizes writers who push boundaries, rather than writers who write the same old thing but do it better than anyone else. And, of course, the writing is exemplary.

  3. I've never really looked at the lists, although I know there's a lot out there.

  4. Hello Mark:
    Like VR Barkowski [above], we tend to look at the Man Booker list and also the Orange Prize for Fiction. But mainly we rely on reviews and personal recommendations.

  5. The Nobel lists usually catch my attention, as do the Booker lists, as many have mentioned. I read a good number of the Pulitzer winners, though most of those have already received considerable buzz by the time the list comes out.

    I'm mixed on the concepts/executions/politicking of most of these awards, but I do use them to get recommendations, so I suppose I find value in them.

  6. Michelle - Groovy, glad to be of help:)

    VR - ITA, I'll have to check that out. I'll get around to reading more Booker Awards as I go too.

    Alex - Indeed;)

    Jane/Lance - Personal recommendations are always the best for sure, although I like that you mentioned the Orange Award, it's got some really neat reads on that list.

    Hektor - True, hard to beat Nobel. I agree that way too much politicking goes into decisions on both the Nobel and Pulitzer, but I suppose anything with more than 3 people involved will have that outcome (shrug) :)

  7. I follow the Aurelius, Nebula and Hugo prize winners. (Scifi and fantasy). I should broaden my search but I'm not a huge fan of literary prize stories.

  8. I forgot to mention the Nebula and Hugos, which also provide good recommendations (as Lynda noted). The National Book Awards also.

    "I suppose anything with more than 3 people involved will have that outcome"

    Yeah, it's best not to get too worked up about it. :)

  9. Lynda - Very cool, I love some of the ones on Nebula and Hugo:)

    Hektor - So true:)