Book Awards III Challenge

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I loved the Book Awards Challenge so much, that I had no hesitation in signing up for this one. I think it is very appropriate to sign up on the day I finished the Book Awards Challenge II.

The Book Awards III Challenge is slightly different to the previous award challenges. First of all, it will only last for 5 months, from July 1 through December 1, 2009. That is because Book Awards 4 will be from February 1 through December 1, 2010. 

The challenge is to read: 5 books from 5 different awards

This itself is too easy for me, so I’m going to try to make it more difficult by seeking out some of the lesser known awards, and banning myself from including Bookers, Pulitzers or Orange Prize winners in this challenge.

My plans so far are:

1. The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler (Edgar, 1955)

2. The Secret Scripture – Sebastian Barry (Costa, 2009)

3. The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman (Newberry, 2009)

4. Sabbath’s Theatre – Philip Roth (National Book Award, 1995)

5. TBD – any suggestions?


Can you recommend any award winning books from the more obscure prizes?

Or forgotten winners from the more well known ones?

Wish me luck!

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  1. Sandy says:

    I will wish you luck, but I know you don’t really need any. You are so good at these. I can’t help you with recommendations. You are way beyond me!

  2. Beth F says:

    The Audies (for audiobooks) and the Edgars (for mysteries) are two awards you may not have thought of.

  3. Jackie says:

    Beth – I don’t think the audies are eligible for this challenge, but I have had my eye on them before – Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was a nominee this year I think.

    I’ve never knowingly read an Edgar – but I’ve just had a look at the list, and I have read a few. I think that is a good idea, so I’ll add one to my list.

  4. Christina says:

    Have you tried any of the books that won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize? Personally, no book comes to mind as the book I read off the longlist, I didn’t really enjoy. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

    You could also try the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Suspended Sentences: Fictions of Atonement by Mark McWatt sounds really interesting. And if you’d like to try some mystery, the Hammett Award is given annually by the North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers.

  5. Jackie says:

    Christina – Thank you for your suggestions. The ony IFF winner I have read is Out Stealing Horses. I have The Book of Chameleons on my wishlist, but haven’t seen good enough reviews to want to buy it specially at the moment.

    I love the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and have read quite a few of those. I can’t see Suspended Sentences anywhere on the winner’s list – was it a regional winner?

    I’ve never heard of the Hammett Award – I’ll have to go and look into it. Thanks again!

  6. claire says:

    You might have already read this, but I recently just read the last IMPAC Dublin winner, De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage.

    Also, one of my fave prize winners, although this is a Booker, but somehow forgotten, is James Kelman’s How Late it Was, How Late.

  7. LizzySiddal says:

    Have you tried Giller prize winners? How about a hop around the non-English prizes such as a) The Nordic Key for Scandanavian Crime Writing b) The German Book Prize c) The Planeta Prize (Spanish). Don’t forget the Daggers and loads of others.
    There’s a terrific list for reference on Wikipedia at

  8. Jackie says:

    Claire – I haven’t read De Niro’s Game – it doesn’t sound like something that would appeal to me, but on your recommendation I’ve added it to the wishlist!

    Lizzy – The only Giller I’ve read is A Fine Balance (my favourite book!!!) so perhaps I should read a few more.
    Thank you for the link – I’ll go for a quick browse. The rest of the awards you mention aren’t eligible for this challenge, but I’m happy to read a few for fun anyway. I think that by the end of the day I’ll have enough books lined up for the Book Awards Challenge 4!!

  9. LizzySiddal says:

    I’m confused. Why aren’t the awards I mentioned eligible? I’m in trouble if they aren’t because I have a pile of them waiting in the TBR!

  10. Jackie says:

    Lizzy – A list of all the eligible awards is in the sidebar on the right of the challenge blog. Perhaps it is worth contacting Michelle who runs the challenge to see if she’ll add a few more book awards to the challenge. If not, I’m sure it doesn’t matter, as she says it is a flexible challenge that you can change to suit your needs.

  11. raidergirl3 says:

    I second the IMPAC Dublin, I’ve read some great books from that list – No Great Mischief, This Blinding Absense of Light, and DeNiro’s Game.
    I was also going to mention the Giller. Or the Printz, or the Bram Stoker?

    I decided to go the other way – a Booker, a Pulitzer, an Orange, a Newbery, and a surprise.

  12. Matthew says:

    I enjoy The Secret Scripture, which is very crafty. I would like to read Philip Roth, whom I haven’t read since The Human Stain. I’m deciding between Sabbath’s Theater and Indignation. Did you read The White Tiger?

  13. Raidergirl3 – I’ll make sure I get De Niro’s Game after 2 recommendations! I think I have The Blinding Absense of Light here already, so I’ll move that up the pile. Thank you for all the recommendations!

    Matthew – The only Philip Roth book I have read is the Human Stain, and I loved it. I had the same choice, but I happen to have a copy of Sabbath’s Theater already, so it won!

    Yes, I read The White Tiger. It was OK, but I didn’t like the letters to the Chinese Ambassador. Everyone else seemed to rave about how it shows the real India, but I thought there were much better books on India out there – A Fine Balance and Q&A.

  14. 3m says:

    Glad to see you joined the challenge, Jackie!


  1. Book Awards Challenge III Complete! – Farm Lane Books Blog

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