Do you feel compelled to read prize-winning (Giller/Booker/Pulitzer etc) books? Why, or why not? Is there, perhaps, one particular award that you favour? (question courtesy of MizB)
I'm a big fan of the Booker Prize and if I'm browsing in a bookstore and I see that a book I'm interested in was nominated for the prize, or won the prize, I'm much more likely to buy it and read it promptly. In the 1990s, I had a lot of really good luck with Booker winners. Possession, The Remains of the Day, The English Patient, The Blind Assassin were all Booker winners I read during that decade, and all of them were stunners. In the past five or so years I've found the prize to be less consistent with my own tastes- John Banville's The Sea and Anne Enright's The Gathering were both disappointing. But then Booker won me back with The Inheritance of Loss and The White Tiger. So I'm optimistic for the future and I really hope that that future includes A.S. Byatt's new, incredible novel, The Children's Book, which I expect to finish this week. Prizes are a great way to find new reads, but they don't all work for everyone. You just gotta find what works for you!
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