Category: Prize Winning Books

The Ghost Road – Book Review

Hallet was lying on his back, hands clasped behind his head, nothing much visible from Prior’s angle except his chin. How appallingly random it all was. If Hallet’s father had got a gleam in his eye two years later than he did, Hallet wouldn’t be here. he might even have missed the war altogether, perhaps …

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Perpetual Challenges – The Award Winners

I participated in a lot of time restricted reading challenges in 2008 – and completed many of them – but, in 2009 I want to make a bigger dent in my perpetual reading challenge lists…especially those involving the award winners. To help me keep organized, I’ve decided to make a list of books I currently …

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Man Booker Prize Challenge


January 1 – December 31, 2008

Here is the perfect compliment to Laura’s Complete Booker ChallengeThe Man Booker Challenge, hosted by Dewey, challenges participants to read 6 books from the short, long or winner lists for the Man Booker Prize.  Readers can change their lists at any time and overlaps are fine.

So here’s my list (subject to change):
1. The Reluctant Fundamentalist, by Moshin Hamid – 2007 Shortlist (finished January 11, 2008; rated 4/5; read my review)
2. The Night Watch, by Sarah Waters – 2006 Shortlist (finished February 12, 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
3. The Gathering, by Anne Enright – Winner 2007
4. In the Country of Men, by Hisham Matar – 2006 Shortlist
5. The Secret River, by Kate Grenville – 2006 Shortlist
6. Cat’s Eye, by Margaret Atwood – 1989 Shortlist (finished February 29, 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
7. Life and Times of Michael K, by J.M. Coetzee – Winner 1983 (finished February 17, 2008; rated 4/5; read my review)

Book Awards Reading Challenge

July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2008


I know, I know – I said I wasn’t going to join anymore challenges. BUT, I couldn’t pass this one up. Michelle’s Book Awards Reading Challenge runs from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008 and challenges participants to read 12 award winning books over 12 months. I’m picking mostly books I either already have on my shelf, am reading for other challenges, or plan on reading for book groups.

We are allowed to pick any book by a Nobel Prize winning author, but at least six of the twelve books read must have WON A PRIZE.

Here’s my FINAL list (Books whose author won Noble Prize only are highlighted in pink):

1.   The Bone People, by Keri HulmeBooker 1985 – COMPLETED July 12, 2007; read a review here.
2.   The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret AtwoodGovernor Generals Award (Canada) 1985 – COMPLETED November 5, 2007; read a review here.
3.   The Blind Assassin, by Margaret AtwoodBooker 2000 – COMPLETED August 1, 2007; read a review here.
4.   The God of Small Things, by Arundhati RoyBooker 1997 – COMPLETED September 29, 2007; read a review here.
5.   The Echo Maker, by Richard PowersNational Book Award 2006 – COMPLETED September 6, 2007; read a review here.
6.   Middlesex, by Jeffrey EugenidesPulitzer 2003 – COMPLETED November 1, 2007; read a review here.
7.   The True History of the Kelly Gang, by Peter Carey – Booker 2001 AND Commonwealth Writers Prize 2001
8.   Disgrace, by J. M. CoetzeeBooker 1999 AND Commonwealth Writers Prize 2000 AND Nobel Prize awarded to author in 2003 – COMPLETED December 14, 2007; read review here.
9.   Breathing Lessons, by Anne Tyler – Pulitzer 1989
10. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya – Premio Quinto Sol (National Chicano Award 1972)
11. Atonement, by Ian McEwan – National Book Critics Circle Award 2002
12. East Of Eden, by John SteinbeckAuthor won Nobel Prize in 1962 – COMPLETED October 12, 2007; read a review here.

Alternates (or extras):

13. Crime in the Neighborhood, by Berne – Orange Prize 1999
14. The Tenderness of Wolves, by Stef Penney – Costa/Whitbread 2006
15. A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth – Commonwealth Writers Prize 1994
16. The Secret River, by Kate Grenville – Commonwealth Writers Prize 2006
17. We Need To Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver – Orange Prize 2005
18.
Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner – Pulitzer 1972
19. A Bend In The River, by V.S. Naipal – Author won Nobel Prize in 2001

20. Cairo Trilogy, by Naguib Mahfouz – Author won Nobel Prize in 1988
21. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway – Author won Nobel Prize in 1954
22. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Author won Nobel Prize in 1982
23. A compilation of The O’Henry Awards 2001 Prize Stories (published by Anchor Books – edited by Larry Dark)
24. Scared Hunger, by Barry Unsworth – Booker 1992
25. The Known World, by Edward P. Jones – Pulitzer 2004, National Book Critics Circle 2003, IMPAC Dublin 2005
26. The Great Fire, by Shirley HazzardNational Book Award 2003, Miles Franklin 2004COMPLETED August 8, 2007; read a review here.
27. The Borrowers, by Mary NortonCarnegie Medal 1952 –
COMPLETED December 30, 2007; read a review here.
28. Behind the Scenes at the MuseumWhitbread Book of The Year (First Novel Award) 1995
29.  Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett – Pen/Faulkner 2002
30. 
The Devil in the White City, by Erik LarsonEdgar Award (Best Fact Crime) 2004COMPLETED September 12, 2007; read a review here.
31.  The Good Earth, by Pearl BuckPulitzer 1932; Nobel 1938COMPLETED November 28, 2007; read a review here.
32.  The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton WilderPulitzer Prize 1928COMPLETED December 23, 2007; read a review here.
32.  The Giver, by Lois LowryNewbury Medal 1994COMPLETED January 1, 2008; read a review here.
33.  So Big, by Edna FerberPulitzer Prize 1925COMPLETED January 17, 2008; read a review here.
34.  Life and Times of Michael K, by J.M. CoetzeeBooker Prize 1983, Nobel Laureate 2003 COMPLETED February 17, 2008; read a review here.

The Complete Booker

The Complete Booker
An Ongoing Challenge to Read All the Booker Prize Winners

My bookie soul-mate, Laura at Musings, is hosting an ongoing challenge with no time limit. The goal: to read every Booker Prize Winner. She’s started a group blog called The Complete Booker for participants to track their progress and post their reviews.

I’ll be posting there, but also keeping track here on my blog.

Read in 2007:

The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai – won in 2006 (completed March 16, 2007; rated 4.25/5; reviewed here)
The Bone People, by Keri Hulme – won in 1985 (completed July 12, 2007; rated 4.5/5; reviewed here)
The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood – won in 2000 (completed August 1, 2007; rated 4.5/5; reviewed here)
The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy – won in 1997 (completed September 29, 2007; rated 5/5; reviewed here)
Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee – won in 1999 (completed December 14, 2007; rated 4.5/5; reviewed here)

Read in 2008:

Life and Times of Michael K, by J.M. Coetzee – won in 1983 (completed February 17, 2008; rated 4/5; reviewed here)

National Book Award Project

Sharon from Ex Libris is hosting this perpetual challenge (no time limit) to read from the National Book Award fiction list (winners and nominees). The National Book Award Project allows flexibility in the guidelines. Looking through the list, I’ve discovered I have already read several winners and nominees…so my goal will to keep reading through the list (good thing there is no time limit!). I don’t promise to read all the nominees, but I would like to get through all the winners – and if I do that, I will consider this challenge a success.

I’ll be keeping track of my progress at the official challenge blog; and also here.

You may notice that there are a few DNF’s (Did not Finish). These were books which I disliked so much, I couldn’t make my way through them. I have no intention of trying them again…chalk it up to not enough time in my life to read books I hate.

Below are the lists. Winners are in bold print. Books I’ve read are highlighted in Red with links to my reviews when available.

1950

  • Nelson Algren – The Man with the Golden Arm

1951

  • William Faulkner – The Collected Stories of William Faulkner
  • Brendan Gill – The Trouble of One House

1952

  • James Jones – From Here to Eternity (No review)
  • James Agee – The Morning Watch
  • Truman Capote – The Grass Harp
  • William Faulkner – Requiem for a Nun
  • Caroline Gordon – The Strange Children
  • Thomas Mann – The Holy Sinner
  • John P. Marquand – Melville Goodwin USA
  • J. D. Salinger – The Catcher in the Rye
  • William Styron – Lie Down in Darkness
  • Jessamyn West – The Witch Diggers
  • Herman Wouk – The Caine Mutiny

1953

  • Ralph Ellison – Invisible Man
  • Isabel Bolton – Many Mansions
  • H. L. Davis – Winds of Morning
  • Thomas Gallagher – The Gathering Darkness
  • Ernest Hemingway – The Old Man and the Sea
  • Carl Jones – Jefferson Selleck
  • Peter Martin – The Landsman
  • John Steinbeck – East of Eden (Read October 15, 2007; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • William Carlos Williams – The Build Up

1954

  • Saul Bellow – The Adventures of Augie March

1955

  • William Faulkner – A Fable
  • Harriet Arnow – The Dollmaker
  • Hamilton Basso – The View from Pompey’s Head
  • Davis Grubb – The Night of the Hunter
  • Randall Jarrell – Pictures from an Institution
  • Milton Lott – The Last Hunt
  • Frederick Manfred – The Last Grizzly
  • William March – The Bad Seed
  • Wright Morris – The Huge Season
  • Frank Rooney – The Courts of Memory
  • John Steinbeck – Sweet Thursday

1956

  • John O’Hara – Ten North Frederick
  • Paul Bowles – The Spider’s House
  • Shirley Ann Grau – The Black Prince
  • MacKinlay Kantor – Andersonville
  • Flannery O’Connor – A Good Man is Hard to Find
  • May Sarton – Faithful are the Wounds
  • Robert Penn Warren – Band of Angels
  • Eudora Welty – The Bride of the Innisfallen
  • Herman Wouk – Marjorie Morningstar

1957

  • Wright Morris – The Field of Vision
  • Nelson Algren – Walk on the Wild Side
  • James Baldwin – Giovanni’s Room
  • Saul Bellow – Seize the Day
  • B. J. Chute – Greenwillow
  • A. B. Guthrie – These Thousand Years
  • John Hersey – A Single Pebble
  • John Hunt – Generations of Men
  • Edwin O’Connor – The Last Hurrah
  • J. F. Powers – The Presence of Grace
  • Elizabeth Spencer – The Voice at the Back Door
  • James Thurber – Further Fables for Our Time

1958

  • John Cheever – The Wapshop Chronicle
  • James Agee – A Death in the Family
  • James Gould Cozzens – By Love Possessed
  • Mark Harris – Something About A Soldier
  • Andrew Lytle – The Velvet Horn
  • Bernard Malamud – The Assistant
  • Wright Morris – Love Among the Cannibals
  • Vladimir Nabokov – Pnin
  • Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged
  • Nancy Wilson Ross – The Return of Lady Brace
  • May Sarton – The Birth of a Grandfather

1959

  • Bernard Malamud – The Magic Barrel
  • J. P. Donleavy – The Ginger Man
  • William Humphrey – Home from the Hill
  • Vladimir Nabokov – Lolita
  • John O’Hara – From the Terrace
  • J. R. Salamanca – The Lost Country
  • Anya Seyton – The Winthrop Woman
  • Robert Travers – Anatomy of a Murder

1960

  • Philip Roth – Goodbye Columbus
  • Louis Auchincloss – Pursuit of the Prodigal
  • Hamilton Basso – The Light Infantry Ball
  • Saul Bellow – Henderson the Rain King
  • Evan S. Connell, Jr. – Mrs. Bridge
  • William Faulkner – The Mansion
  • Mark Harris – Wake Up, Stupid
  • John Hersey – The War Lover
  • H. L. Humes – Men Die
  • Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House (no review)
  • Elizabeth Janeway – The Third Choice
  • James Jones – The Pistol
  • Warren Miller – The Cool World
  • James Purdy – Malcolm
  • Leo Rostyn – The Return of H*Y*M*A*N*K*A*P*L*A*N*
  • John Updike – The Poorhouse Fair
  • Robert Penn Warren – The Cave
  • Morris West – The Devil’s Advocate

1961

  • Conrad Richter – The Waters of Kronos
  • Louis Auchincloss – The House of Five Talents
  • Kay Boyle – Generation without Farewell
  • John Hersey – The Child Buyer
  • John Knowles – A Separate Place (no review)
  • Harper Lee – To Kill a Mockingbird (Read March 21, 2007; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Wright Morris – Ceremony in a Lone Tree
  • Flannery O’Connor – The Violent Bear It Away
  • Elizabeth Spencer – The Light in the Piazza and Other Italian Tales
  • Francis Steegmuller – The Christening Party
  • John Updike – Rabbit, Run
  • Mildred Walker – The Body of a Young Man

1962

  • Walker Percy – The Moviegoer
  • Hortense Calisher – False Entry
  • George P. Elliott – Among the Dangs
  • Joseph Heller –  Catch 22 (DNF)
  • Bernard Malamud – A New Life
  • J. D. Salinger – Franny and Zooey
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer – The Spinoza of Market Street and Other Stories
  • Edward Lewis Wallant – The Pawnbroker
  • Joan Williams – The Morning and the Evening
  • Richard Yates – Revolutionary Road

1963

  • J. F. Powers – Morte D’Urban
  • Vladimir Nabokov – Pale Fire
  • Katherine Anne Porter – Ship of Fools
  • Dawn Powell – The Golden Spur
  • Clancy Sigal – Going Away
  • John Updike – Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories

1964

  • John Updike – The Centaur
  • Bernard Malamud – Idiots First
  • Mary McCarthy – The Group
  • Thomas Pynchon – V
  • Harvey Swados – The Will

1965

  • Saul Bellow – Herzog
  • Louis Auchincloss – The Rector of Justin
  • John Hawkes – Second Skin
  • Richard Kim – The Martyred
  • Wallace Markfield – To an Early Grave
  • Vladimir Nabokov – The Defense
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer – Short Friday

1966

  • Katherine A. Porter – The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
  • Jesse Hill Ford – The Liberation of Lord Byron Jones
  • Peter Matthiessen – At Play in the Fields of the Lord
  • James Merrill – The (Diblos) Notebook
  • Flannery O’Connor – Everything that Rises Must Converge
  • Harry Petrakis – Pericles on 31st Street

1967

  • Bernard Malamud – The Fixer
  • Louis Auchincloss – The Embezzler
  • Edwin O’Connor – All in the Family
  • Walker Percy – The Last Gentleman
  • Harry Petrakis – A Dream of Kings
  • Wilfrid Sheeds – Office Politics

1968

  • Thornton Wilder – The Eighth Day
  • Norman Mailer – Why Are We in Vietnam?
  • Joyce Carol Oates – A Garden of Earthly Delights
  • Chaim Potok – The Chosen
  • William Styron – Confessions of Nat Turner

1969

  • Jerzy Kosinski – Steps
  • John Barth – Lost in the Funhouse
  • Frederick Exley – A Fan’s Notes
  • Joyce Carol Oates – Expensive People
  • Thomas Rogers – The Pursuit of Happiness

1970

  • Joyce Carol Oates – Them
  • Leonard Gardner – Fat City
  • Leonard Michaels – Going Places
  • Jean Stafford – The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
  • Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse Five (Read December 2006; rated 4/5; no review)

1971

  • Saul Bellow – Mr. Sammler’s Planet
  • James Dickey – Deliverance
  • Shirley Hazzard – The Bay of Noon
  • John Updike – Bech: A Book
  • Eudora Welty – Losing Battles

1972

  • Flannery O’Connor – The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor
  • Frederick Buechner – Lion Country
  • E. L. Doctorow – The Book of Daniel
  • Stanley Elkin – The Dick Gibson Show
  • Tom McHale – Farragan’s Retreat
  • Joyce Carol Oates – Wonderland
  • Cynthia Ozick – The Pagan Rabbi and Other Stories
  • Walker Percy – Love Among the Ruins
  • Earl Thompson – A Garden of Sand
  • John Updike – Rabbit Redux

1973

  • John Barth – Chimera
  • John Williams – Augustus
  • Brock Brauer – The Late Great Creature
  • Alan Friedman – Hermaphrodeity
  • Barry Hannah – Geronimo Rex
  • George V. Higgins – The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  • R. M. Koster – The Prince
  • Vladimir Nabokov – Transparent Things
  • Ishmael Reed – Mumbo Jumbo
  • Thomas Rogers – The Confession of a Child of the Century
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer – Enemies, A Love Story
  • Eudora Welty – The Optimist’s Daughter

1974

  • Thomas Pyncheon – Gravity’s Rainbow
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer – A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories
  • Doris Betts – Beasts of the World and Other Stories
  • John Cheever – The World of Apples
  • Ellen Douglas – Apostles of Light
  • Stanley Elkin – Searches and Seizures
  • John Gardner – Nickel Mountain
  • Tom McGuane – Ninety-Two in the Shade
  • Wilfrid Sheed – People Will Always Be Kind
  • Gore Vidal – Burr
  • Joy Williams – State of Grace

1975

  • Robert Stone – Dog Soldiers
  • Thomas Williams – The Hair of Harold Roux
  • Donald Barthelme – The Guilty Pleasures
  • Gail Godwin – The Odd Woman
  • Joseph Heller – Something Happened
  • Toni Morrison – Sula
  • Vladimir Nabokov – Look at the Harlequins!
  • Grace Paley – Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
  • Philip Roth – My Life as a Man
  • Mark Smith – The Death of a Detective

1976

  • Wiliam Gaddis – JR
  • Saul Bellow – Humboldt’s Gift
  • Hortense Calisher – The Collected Stories of Hortense Calisher
  • Johanna Kaplan – Other People’s Lives
  • Vladimir Nabokov – Tyrant’s Destroyed and Other Stories
  • Larry Woiwode – Beyond the Bedroom Wall

1977

  • Wallace Stegner – The Spectator Bird
  • Raymond Carver – Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
  • MacDonald Harris – The Balloonist
  • Ursula K. Le Guin – Orsinian Tales
  • Cynthia Propper Seton – A Fine Romance

1978

  • Mary Lee Settles – Blood Ties
  • Robert Coover – The Public Burning
  • Peter De Vries – Madder Music
  • James Alan McPherson – Elbow Room
  • John Sayles – Union Dues

1979

  • Tim O’Brien – Going After Cacciato
  • John Cheever – The Stories of John Cheever
  • John Irving – The World According to Garp (Read multiple times; rated 5/5; no review)
  • Diane Johnson – Lying Low
  • David Plante – The Family

1980

  • William Styron – Sophie’s Choice
  • James Baldwin – Just Above My Head
  • Norman Mailer – The Executioner’s Song
  • Philip Roth – The Ghost Writer
  • Scott Spencer – Endless Love

1981

  • Wright Morris – Plains Song
  • Shirley Hazzard – The Transit of Venus
  • William Maxwell – So Long, See  You Tomorrow
  • Walker Percy – The Second Coming
  • Eudora Welty – The Collected Stories

1982

  • John Updike – Rabbit is Rich
  • Mark Helprin – Ellis Island and Other Stories
  • John Irving – The Hotel New Hampshire (Read multiple times; rated 5/5; no review)
  • Robert Stone – A Flag for Sunrise
  • William Wharton – Dad

1983

  • Alice Walker – The Color Purple (Read January 12, 2007; rated 4.25/5; read my review)
  • Gail Godwin – A Mother and Two Daughters
  • Bobbie Ann Mason – Shiloh and Other Stories
  • Paul Theroux – The Mosquito Coast
  • Anne Tyler – Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (Read January 24, 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review)

1984

  • Ellen Gilchrist – Victory Over Japan: A Book of Stories
  • Alison Lurie – Foreign Affairs
  • Philip Roth – The Anatomy Lesson

1985

  • Don DeLillo – White Noise
  • Ursula K. Le Guin – Always Coming Home
  • Hugh Nissenson – The Tree of Life

1986

  • E. L. Doctorow – World’s Fair
  • Norman Rush – Whites
  • Peter Taylor – A Summon to Memphis

1987

  • Larry Heinemann – Paco’s Story
  • Alice McDermott – That Night
  • Toni Morrison – Beloved
  • Howard Norman – The Northern Lights
  • Philip Roth – The Counterlife

1988

  • Peter Dexter – Paris Trout (no review)
  • Don DeLillo – Libra
  • Mary McGarry Morris – Vanished
  • James F. Powers – Wheat That Springeth Green
  • Anne Tyler – Breathing Lessons

1989

  • John Casey – Spartina
  • E. L. Doctorow – Billy Bathgate
  • Katherine Dunn – Geek Love
  • Oscar Hijuelos – Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
  • Amy Tan – The Joy Luck Club

1990

  • Charles Johnson – Middle Passage
  • Felipe Alfau – Chromos
  • Elena Castedo – Paradise
  • Jessica Hagedorn – Dogeaters
  • Joyce Carol Oates – Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart

1991

  • Norman Rush – Mating
  • Louis Begley – Wartime Lies
  • Stephen Dixon – Frog
  • Stanley Elkin – The MacGuffin
  • Sandra Scofield – Beyond Deserving

1992

  • Cormac McCarthy – All the Pretty Horses
  • Dorothy Allison – Bastard Out of Carolina (Read August 1, 2007; rated 3/5; read my review)
  • Cristina Garcia – Dreaming in Cuban
  • Edward P. Jones – Lost in the City
  • Robert Stone – Outerbridge Reach

1993

  • E. Annie Proulx – The Shipping News (no review)
  • Amy Bloom – Come to Me
  • Thom Jones – The Puligist at Rest
  • Richard Powers – Operation Wandering Soul
  • Bob Shacochis – Swimming in the Volcano

1994

  • William Gaddis – A Frolic of His Own
  • Ellen Currie – Moses Supposes
  • Richard Dooling – White Man’s Grave
  • Howard Norman – The Bird Artist
  • Grace Paley – The Collected Stories

1995

  • Philip Roth – Sabbath’s Theater
  • Madison Smartt Bell – All Souls’ Rising
  • Edwidge Danticat – Krik?  Krak!
  • Stephen Dixon – Interstate
  • Rosario Ferre – The House on the Lagoon

1996

  • Andrea Barrett – Ship Fever and Other Stories
  • Ron Hansen – Atticus
  • Elizabeth McCracken – The Giant’s House
  • Stephen Millhauser – Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer
  • Janet Peery – The River Beyond the World

1997

  • Charles Frazier – Cold Mountain
  • Don DeLillo – Underworld (DNF)
  • Diane Johnson – Le Divorce
  • Ward Just – Echo House
  • Cynthia Ozick – The Puttermesser Papers

1998

  • Alice McDermott – Charming Billy
  • Allegra Goodman – Kaaterskill Falls
  • Gayl Jones – The Healing
  • Robert Stone – Damascus Gate
  • Thomas Wolfe – A Man in Full

1999

  • Ha Jin – Waiting
  • Andre Dubus III – The House of Sand and Fog
  • Kent Haruf – Plainsong
  • Patricia Henley – Hummingbird House
  • Jean Thompson – Who Do You Love

2000

  • Susan Sontag – In America
  • Charles Baxter – The Feast of Love
  • Alan Lightman – The Diagnosis
  • Joyce Carol Oates – Blonde
  • Francine Prose – Blue Angel

2001

  • Jonathan Franzen – The Corrections
  • Dan Chaon – Among the Missing
  • Jennifer Egan – Look at Me
  • Louise Erdrich – The Last Report on the Miracle at Little No Horse
  • Susan Straight – Highwire Moon

2002

  • Julia Glass – Three Moons
  • Mark Costello – Big If
  • Adam Haslett – You Are Not A Stranger Here
  • Martha McPhee – Gorgeous Lies
  • Brad Watson – The Heaven of Mercury

2003

  • Shirley Hazzard – The Great Fire (Read August 9, 2007; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • T. C. Boyle – Drop City
  • Edward P. Jones – The Known World
  • Scott Spenser – A Ship Made of Paper
  • Marianne Wiggins – Evidence of Things Unseen: A Novel

2004

  • Lily Tuck – The News from Paraguay
  • Sarah Shun-lien Bynum – Madeleine is Sleeping
  • Christine Schutt – Florida
  • Joan Silber – Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories
  • Kate Walbert – Our Kind

2005

  • William T. Vollman – Europe Central
  • E. L. Doctorow – The March
  • Mary Gaitskill – Veronica
  • Christopher Sorrentino – Trance
  • Rene Steinke – Holy Skirts

2006

  • Richard Powers – The Echo Maker (Read September 6, 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • Mark Z. Danielewski – Only Revolutions (DNF)
  • Ken Kalfus – A Disorder Peculiar to the Country
  • Dana Spiotta – Eat the Document (Read May 22, 2007; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  • Jess Walter – The Zero

2007

  • Denis Johnson – Tree of Smoke
  • Mischa Berlinski – Fieldwork
  • Lydia Davis – Varieties of Disturbance
  • Joshua Ferris – Then We Came to the End
  • Jim Shepard – Like You’d Understand, Anyway

The Costa Book Award Project

I was very excited when Sharon of Ex Libris told me she was going to host The Costa Book Award Project. The goal is to read all of the winners from several categories. I love reading from the award lists, and these perpetual challenges are perfect for me – low key, no stress! I have read almost nothing from the Costa Awards list, and this challenge will stretch me to read poetry and Biographies…a neglected aspect of my reading.

Below are the books I’ve read and what I hope to read in 2008.

Read previous to the challenge:
White Teeth, by Zadie Smith (read in 2001; unrated)

Books I hope to read in 2008:
What Was Lost, by Catherine O’Flynn (First Novel 2007)
The Tenderness of Wolves, by Stef Penney (First Novel 2006)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon (Novel Award 2003)
Behind the Scenes at the Museum, by Kate Atkinson (First Novel 1995)
The Queen of the Tambourine, by Jane Gardam (Novel Award 1991)

Below is the complete list of winners. As I read books from the list, I’ll cross them off, and provide date read, rating, and link to review.

2007

  • First Novel Award – What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn
  • Novel Award – Day by A L Kennedy***
  • Biography Award – Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • Poetry Award – Tilt by Jean Sprackland
  • Children’s Book Award – The Bower Bird by Ann Kelley

2006

  • First Novel Award – The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney***
  • Novel Award – Restless by William Boyd
  • Biography Award – Keeping Mum by Brian Thompson
  • Poetry Award – Letter to Patience by John Haynes
  • Children’s Book Award – Set in Stone by Linda Newbery

2005

  • First Novel Award – The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw
  • Novel Award – The Accidental by Ali Smith
  • Biography Award – Matisse: The Master by Hilary Spurling***
  • Poetry Award – Cold Calls by Christopher Logue
  • Children’s Book Award – The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

2004

  • First Novel Award – Eve Green by Susan Fletcher
  • Novel Award – Small Island by Andrea Levy***
  • Biography Award – My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots by John Guy
  • Poetry Award – Corpus by Michael Simmons
  • Children’s Book Award – Not the End of the World by Geraldine McCaughrean

2003

  • First Novel Award – Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre
  • Novel Award – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon***
  • Biography Award – Orwell: The Life by DJ Taylor
  • Poetry Award – Landing Light by Don Paterson
  • Children’s Book Award – The Fire-Eaters by David Almond

2002

  • First Novel Award – The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
  • Novel Award – Spies by Michael Frayn
  • Biography Award – Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin***
  • Poetry Award – The Ice Age by Paul Farley
  • Children’s Book Award – Saffy’s Angel by Hilary McKay

2001

  • First Novel Award – Something Like a House by Sid Smith
  • Novel Award – Twelve Bar Blues by Patrick Neate
  • Biography Award – Selkirk’s Island by Diana Souhami
  • Poetry Award – Bunny by Selima Hill
  • Children’s Book Award – The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman***

2000

  • First Novel Award – White Teeth by Zadie Smith (read in 2001; not rated; no review)
  • Novel Award – English Passengers by Matthew Kneale***
  • Biography Award – Bad Blood by Lorna Sage
  • Poetry Award – The Asylum Dance by John Burnside
  • Children’s Book Award – Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin

1999

  • First Novel Award – White City Blue by Tim Lott
  • Novel Award – Music and Silence by Rose Tremain
  • Biography Award – Berlioz, Volume 2 by David Cairns
  • Poetry Award – Beowulf by Seamus Heaney***
  • Children’s Book Award – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

1998

  • First Novel Award – The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden
  • Novel Award – Leading the Cheers by Justin Cartwright
  • Biography Award – Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman
  • Poetry Award – Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes***
  • Children’s Book Award – Skellig by David Almond

1997

  • First Novel Award – The Ventriloquist’s Tale by Pauline Melville
  • Novel Award – Quarantine by Jim Crace
  • Biography Award – Victor Hugo by Graham Robb
  • Poetry Award – Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes***
  • Children’s Book Award – Aquila by Andrew Norriss

1996

  • First Novel Award – The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
  • Novel Award – Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge
  • Biography Award – Thomas Cranmer: A Life by Diarmaid MacCulloch
  • Poetry Award – The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney***
  • Children’s Book Award – The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine

1995

  • First Novel Award – Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson***
  • Novel Award – The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie
  • Biography Award – Gladstone by Roy Jenkins
  • Poetry Award – Gunpowder by Bernard O’Donoghue
  • Children’s Book Award – The Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo

1994

  • First Novel Award – The Longest Memory by Fred D’Aguiar
  • Novel Award – Felicia’s Journey by William Trevor***
  • Biography Award – D. H. Lawrence: The Married Man by Brenda Maddox
  • Poetry Award – Out of Danger by James Fenton
  • Children’s Book Award – Gold Dust by Geraldine McCaughrean

1993

  • First Novel Award – Saving Agnes by Rachel Cusk
  • Novel Award – Theory of War by Joan Brady***
  • Biography Award – Philip Larkin: A Writer’s Life by Andrew Motion
  • Poetry Award – Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy
  • Children’s Book Award – Flour Babies by Anne Fine

1992

  • First Novel Award – Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington***
  • Novel Award – Poor Things by Alasdair Gray
  • Biography Award – Trollope by Victoria Glendinning
  • Poetry Award – The Gaze of the Gorgon by Tony Harrison
  • Children’s Book Award –The Great Elephant Chase by Gillian Cross

1991

  • First Novel Award – Alma Cogan by Gordon Burn
  • Novel Award – The Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam
  • Biography Award – A Life of Picasso by John Richardson***
  • Poetry Award – Gorse Fires by Michael Longley
  • Children’s Book Award – Harvey Angell by Diana Hendry

1990

  • First Novel Award – The Buddha of Suburbia by Nicholas Mosley
  • Novel Award – Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley***
  • Biography Award – A A Milne: His Life by Ann Thwaite
  • Poetry Award – Daddy, Daddy by Paul Durcan
  • Children’s Book Award – AK by Peter Dickinson

1989

  • First Novel Award – Gerontius by James Hamilton-Paterson
  • Novel Award – The Chymical Wedding by Lindsay Clarke
  • Biography Award – Coleridge: Early Visions by Richard Holmes***
  • Poetry Award – Shibboleth by Michael Donaghy
  • Children’s Book Award – Why Weeps the Brogan? by Hugh Scott

1988

  • First Novel Award – The Comforts of Madness by Paul Sayer***
  • Novel Award – The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  • Biography Award – Tolstoy by A N Wilson
  • Poetry Award – The Automatic Oracle by Peter Porter
  • Children’s Book Award – Awaiting Developments by Judy Allen

1987

  • First Novel Award – The Other Garden by Francis Wyndham
  • Novel Award – The Child in Time by Ian McEwan
  • Biography Award – Under the Eye of the Clock by Christopher Nolan***
  • Poetry Award – The Haw Lantern by Seamus Heany
  • Children’s Book Award – A Little Lower than the Angels by Geraldine McCaughrean

1986

  • First Novel Award – Continent by Jim Crace
  • Novel Award – An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro***
  • Biography Award – Gilbert White by Richard Mabey
  • Poetry Award – Stet by Peter Reading
  • Children’s Book Award – The Coal House by Andrew Taylor

1985

  • First Novel Award – Oranges are not the only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
  • Novel Award – Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd
  • Biography Award – Hugh Dalton by Ben Pimlott
  • Poetry Award – Elegies by Douglas Dunn***
  • Children’s Book Award – The Nature of the Beast by Janni Howker

[Note:  The issuance of a Book of the Year award began in 1985.  Between 1971 and 1984, categories shifted and awards were not given in all categories. ]

1984

  • First Novel Award – A Parish of Rich Women by James Buchan
  • Novel Award – Kruger’s Alp by Christopher Hope
  • Biography Award – T S Eliot by Peter Ackroyd
  • Short Story Award – Tomorrow is our Permanent Address by Diane Rowe
  • Children’s Book Award – The Queen of the Pharisees’ Children by Barbara Willard

1983

  • First Novel Award – Flying to Nowhere by John Fuller
  • Novel Award – Fools of Fortune by William Trevor
  • Joint Biography Award – Vita by Victoria Glendining and King George V by Kenneth Rose
  • Children’s Book Award – The Witches by Roald Dahl

1982

  • First Novel Award – On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
  • Novel Award – Young Shoulders by John Wain
  • Biography Award – Bismarck by Edward Crankshaw
  • Children’s Book Award – The Song of Pentecost by W J Corbett

1981

  • First Novel Award – A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd
  • Novel Award – Silver’s City by Maurice Leitch
  • Biography Award – Monty: The Making of a General by Nigel Hamilton
  • Children’s Book Award – The Hollow Land by Jane Gardam

1980

  • Novel Award – How Far Can You Go? by David Lodge
  • Biography Award – On the Edge of Paradise: A C Benson the Diarist by David Newsome
  • Childen’s Book Award – John Diamond by Leon Garfield

1979

  • Novel Award – The Old Jest by Jennifer Johnston
  • Autobiography Award – About Time by Penelope Mortimer
  • Children’s Book Award – Tulku by Peter Dickinson

1978

  • Novel Award – Picture Palace by Paul Theroux
  • Biography Award – Lloyd George: the People’s Champion by John Grigg
  • Children’s Book Award – The Battle of Bubble & Squeak by Philippa Pearce

1977

  • Novel Award – Injury Time by Beryl Bainbridge
  • Biography Award – Mary Curzon by Nigel Nicolson
  • Children’s Book Award – No End to Yesterday by Shelagh Macdonald

1976

  • Novel Award – The Children of Dynmouth by William Trevor
  • Biography Award – Elizabeth Gaskell by Winifred Gerin
  • Children’s Book Award – A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively

1975

  • Novel Award – Docherty by William McIlvanney
  • Autobiography Award – In Our Infancy by Helen Corke
  • First Book Award – The Improbable Puritan: A Life of Bulstrode Whitelock by Ruth Spalding

1974

  • Novel Award – The Sacred & Profane Love Machine by Iris Murdoch
  • Biography Award – Poor Dear Brendan by Andrew Boyle
  • Joint Children’s Books – How Tom Beat captain Najork & His Hired Sportsmen by Russell Hoban & Quentin Blake, The Emperor’s Winding Sheet by Jill Paton Walsh
  • First Book Award – The Life & Death of Mary Wollstonecraft by Claire Tomalin

1973

  • Novel Award – The Chip Chip Gatherers by Shiva Naipaul
  • Biography Award – CB: A Life of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman by John Wilson
  • Children’s Book Award – The Butterfly Ball & The Grasshopper’s Feast by Alan Aldridge & William Plomer

1972

  • Novel Award – The Bird of Night by Susan Hill
  • Biography Award – Trollope by James Pope-Hennessey
  • Children’s Book Award – The Diddakoi by Rumer Godden

1971

  • Novel Award – The Destiny Waltz by Gerda Charles
  • Biography Award – Henrik Ibsen by Michael Meyer
  • Poetry Award – Mercian Hymns by Geoffrey Hill

The Orange Prize Project


No Time Limit

In the spirit of some of the other award winning perpetual reading challenges, I decided to host this long-term project in which the participants will read all books that have won or been short listed for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction AND the Orange Broadband Award for New Writers. There is no time limit.

For those readers who want to go further than the short lists, I have also provided a list of the titles which appeared annually on the long list for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Reading from the long lists is not required, by could be viewed as “extra credit!”

I have started a blog dedicated to this challenge which is open for contribution by challenge participants. Please go to The Orange Prize Project blog for further guidelines and to join up!

My Progress List and goals:

Below the books I’ve read from winners and shortlists are highlighted in orange. The books I’ve read from the longlists are highlighted in green; ratings, links and reviews as indicated.

I’ve gone through my current stacks of TBR books and found a number of Orange Prize winners and nominees. In the lists below, I have italicized those books I hope to read in 2008.

The Orange Prize for Fiction

2007

Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – WINNER (Read January 7, 2007; rated 5/5; read my review)
Arlington Park, by Rachel Cusk
The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai (Read March 17, 2007; rated 4.25/5; read my review)
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, by Xiaolu Guo
The Observations, by Jane Harris
Digging to America, by Anne Tyler

From the Longlist:
What Was Lost, by Catherine O’Flynn

2006

On Beauty, by Zadie Smith – WINNER
The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss
Beyond Black, by Hilary Mantel
The Accidental, by Ali Smith
Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living, by Carrie Tiffany
The Night Watch, by Sarah Waters (read February 12, 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)

From the Longlist:
Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson (read in 2006; rated 2/5)
Minaret, by Leila Aboulela

2005

We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver – WINNER
Old Filth, by Jane Gardam (read May 29, 2007; rated 3.5/5; read my review)

The Mammoth Cheese, by Sheri Holman
Liars and Saints, by Maile Meloy
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, by Marina Lewycka

From the Longlist:
Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson

2004

Small Island, by Andrea Levy – WINNER
Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood (Read in 2006; rated 3.5/5)
The Great Fire, by Shirley Hazzard (Read August 9, 2007; rated 4/5; read my review)
Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Read January 24, 2007; rated 5/5; read my review)
Ice Road, by Gillian Slovo
The Colour, by Rose Tremain

From the Longlist:
The Amateur Marriage, by Anne Tyler

2003

Property, by Valerie Martin – WINNER
Buddha Da, by Anne Donovan
Heligoland, by Shena Mackay
Unless, by Carol Shields
The Autograph Man, by Zadie Smith
The Little Friend, by Donna Tartt

From the Longlist:
What I Loved, by Siri Hustvedt

2002

Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett- WINNER
No Bones, by Anna Burns
The Siege, by Helen Dunmore
The White Family, by Maggie Gee
A Child’s Book of True Crime, by Chloe Hooper
Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters

From the Longlist:

2001

The Idea of Perfection, by Kate Grenville – WINNER
The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood (Read August 4, 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
Fred & Edie, by Jill Dawson
Hotel World, by Ali Smith
Homestead, by Rosina Lippi
Horse Heaven, by Jane Smiley

From the Longlist:

2000

When I Lived in Modern Times, by Linda Grant – WINNER
If I Told You Once, by Judy Budnitz
Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
The Dancers Dancing, by Eilis Ni Dhuibhne
White Teeth, by Zadie Smith (Read in 2003; unrated)

From the Longlist:
The Translator, by Leila Aboulela (Read March 23, 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review)

1999

A Crime in the Neighborhood, by Suzanne Berne – WINNER
The Short History of a Prince, by Jane Hamilton
The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
Paradise, by Toni Morrison
The Leper’s Companions, by Julia Blackburn
Visible Worlds, by Marilyn Bowering

From the Longlist:

1998

Larry’s Party, by Carol Shield – WINNER
Lives of the Monster Dogs, by Kirsten Bakis
The Ventriloquist’s Tale, by Pauline Melville
The Magician’s Assistant, by Ann Patchett
Love Like Hate Adore, by Deirdre Purcell
The Weight of Water, by Anita Shreve

From the Longlist:

1997

Fugitive Pieces, by Anne Michaels – WINNER
Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood (Read May 14, 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
One by One in the Darkness, by Deirdre Madden
Accordion Crimes, by E. Annie Proulx (Read 2006; rated 2/5)
Hen’s Teeth, by Manda Scott
I Was Amelia Earhart, by Jane Mendelsohn

From the Longlist:
Fall On Your Knees, by Ann-Marie MacDonald (Read April 28, 2007; rated 4/5; read my review)

1996

A Spell of Winter, by Helen Dunmore – WINNER
The Book of Colour, by Julia Blackburn
Spinsters, by Pagan Kennedy
The Hundred Secret Senses, by Amy Tan
Ladder of Years, by Anne Tyler
Eveless Eden, by Marianne Wiggins

From the Longlist:

Orange Prize for New Writers


2007

The Lizard Cage, by Karen Connelly – WINNER
Poppy Shakespeare, by Clare Allan
Bitter Sweets, by Roopa Farooki

2006

Disobedience, by Naomi Alderman – WINNER
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, by Yiyun Li
The Dream Life of Sukhanov, by Olga Grushin

2005

26a, by Diana Evans – WINNER
Lucky Girls, by Nell Freudenberger
How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff


Reading The Nobels Challenge

A Challenge With No Time Limit

Aloi Reads is sponsoring a challenge to read the Nobel Laureates. She’s started a Group Blog for participants to post reviews and talk about the Laureates. I’ve always wanted to read these award winning authors, so I’ve decided to join up. There is no time limit – so this might take me my whole life!

Here is the list of those authors I’ve read and links to my reviews of their books:

2003: J.M. Coetzee

Slow Man – Read June 5, 2007; rated 4/5; read my review here.
Disgrace – Read December 14, 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review here.
Life and Times of Michael K – Read February 17, 2008; rated 4/5; read my review here.

1993: Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon – Read February 25, 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review here.

1991: Nadine Gordimer

A Beneficiary (short story) – Read November 22, 2007; rated 5/5; read my review here.

1962: John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath – Read January 19, 2007; rated 55; read my review here.
Travels With Charley In Search of America – Read March 29, 2007; rated 5/5; read my review here.
Of Mice and Men – Read July 13, 2007; rated 5/5; read my review here.
East of Eden – Read October 12, 2007; rated 5/5; read my review here.
The Pearl – Read November 30, 2007; rated 5/5; read my review here.

1958: Boris Pasternak

Doctor Zhivago – Read November 24, 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review here.

1954: Ernest Hemingway

For Whom The Bell Tolls – Read April 7, 2007; rated 2/5; read my review here.

1938: Pearl Buck

The Good Earth – Read November 28, 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review here.

The Pulitzer Project


The Pulitzer Project
Ongoing Challenge to Read All the Pulitzer Winners

Michelle at 3M has created a new group blog called The Pulitzer Project for those readers who want to challenge themselves to read all the Pulitzer Prize Winners. There is no time limit – which makes this one very doable for me!

I will be tracking my progress here. I’ve included those I’ve read since 2005. I think I may have read some in high school, but since I can’t remember the details of those books I will be re-reading them.

Read in 2005:

The Hours, by Michael Cunningham – won in 1999 (unrated; not reviewed)
The Shipping News, by Annie Proulx – won in 1994 (rated 4/5; not reviewed)
Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry – won in 1986 (rated 5/5; not reviewed)

Read in 2006:

Gilead, by Marilyn Robinson – won in 2005 (rated 2.5/5; not reviewed)
The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton – won in 1921 (rated 4.75/5; not reviewed)

Read in 2007:

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy – won in 2007 (completed May 17, 2007; rated 5/5; reviewed here)
March, by Geraldine Brooks – won in 2006 (completed April 3, 2007; rated 4/5; reviewed here)
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker – won in 1983 (completed January 12, 2007; rated 4.75/5; reviewed here)
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee – won in 1961 (completed March 21, 2007; rated 5/5; reviewed here)
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck – won in 1940 (completed January 18, 2007; rated 5/5; reviewed here)
Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides – won in 2003 (completed November 1, 2007; rated 4.5/5; reviewed here)
The Good Earth, by Pearl Buck – won in 1932 (completed November 28, 2007; rated 4.5/5; reviewed here)
The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder – won in 1928 (completed December 23, 2007; rated 3/5; reviewed here)

Read in 2008:

So Big, by Edna Ferber – won in 1925 (completed January 17, 2008; rated 5/5; reviewed here)

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