Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Reading Pulitzer Prize Novels

by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

The Pulitzer prizes were announced this week, and fiction didn’t have a winner! Apparently, the board couldn’t reach a majority. This is the first time a winner hasn't been named since 1977 when A River Runs Through It failed to take home the prize.

This year, I started thinking about how many of the fiction winners I’ve actually read, and discovered that I’ve been serious slacking in the 2000s. But why? When I go through past winners I’ve read, I loved every single one of them. In fact, To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite story of all time!

Here are my 16 – those I’ve read and the year each won:
2007  The Road by Cormac McCarthy
1999 The Hours by Michael Cunningham
1995 The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
1994 Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
1992 A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
1989 Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
1988 Beloved by Toni Morrison
1986 Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
1983 The Color Purple by Alice Walker
1981 A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
1980 The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
1975 The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
1961 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
1953 Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
1952 The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
1948 Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener

If you Click here, you can check all the past fiction winners, but be sure to come back and tell us how many are on your read list.

Thanks to Amazon's book descriptions (I love using the site to preview books) and 554 reviews for this particular one (no, I didn't read them all), I think I'll start playing catch-up with Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout.

Happy reading!


Aurian said...

Without looking at the list, I think I can safely say I have read none of them. For me reading is an escape, relaxation. Which is why I read romance and cozy mysteries, and fantasy.

Deb said...

Well said, Aurian. And looking at my list, most of them were read for book clubs or class assignments. I was an English major and remember some of the required reading being extremely painful. Still....I love To Kill A Mockingbird!

Rosemary Harris said...

Well that was fun. Twenty-six and I'm sure I didn't read any of them because they were Pulitzer Prize winners. Maybe Middlesex.
Biggest surprise - Advise and Consent. Can't believe that was a winner. Terrific book. More surprising, the books I've loved that aren't on that list.
I think the process sounds strange - three judges and then they send finalists to a panel?

Jan Brogan said...

I've read nearly all the same ones you did,so we must be attracted by the same titles. I didn't know most were Pulitzer prize winners except for Killer Angels and Lonesome Dove - my all time FAVORITE books.

I still can't believe The Road won a Pulitzer. But I know a lot of people (including my son who forced me to read it) were big fans.

Shirley said...

I haven't read any of these. I read mostly mysteries and biographies. I feel the same (usually) about the Oscars. Most of the movies recommended for Oscars I haven't seen.

Jeannie D. said...

I have read 10 of them on your list. I loved "Killer Angels." I had to read "The Orchard Keeper" in high school by McCarthy. To this day, I just can't bring myself to read anymore of his books. His book's always have weird endings.