An Honor To Be Nominated

I have a friend whose criteria for buying books is that they have that little magic line stamped at the top of the cover that says – NY Times Bestseller. It’s a great plan, I think.

For me, I’m always on the lookout for the sticker that says the book was nominated for or won an award. I started a reading challenge to read books that have won the Pulitzer prize for Fiction but I’ve since decided I also want to read other awardees and nominees. There are many prestigious awards for novels and novelists including the Nobel Prize for Fiction, the Pen Hemingway award, and The Man Booker Prize.

The Man Booker Prize is awarded every year to original fiction novels published in English in England by authors from England, the UK and the Commonwealth. For a long time, that was the criteria, anyway. A few years ago, it was expanded so any English language novel can be considered. Last year, Jamaican novelist, Marlon James won for A Brief History of Seven Killings. Another, separate prize called the Man Booker International Prize was also recently initiated, and this one can be awarded to any living author from anywhere in the world. Han Kang was the most recent recipient, winning the prize for The Vegetarian  in 2016.

The Man Booker Prize also lists the novels that are shortlisted for the award so I decided to conduct my own judging. I’ll choose a year and read all the books that were shortlisted and see if I agree with the choice of awardee. I settled on 2013 because I already own a couple of the books and have a couple of the others on my TBR.

On the 2013 short list was:

  1. We Need New Names /NoViolet Bulawayo
  2. Harvest /Jim Grace
  3. The Lowland /Jhumpa Lahiri
  4. A Tale For The Time Being /Ruth Ozeki
  5. The Testament of Mary /Colm Toibin
  6.  The Luminaries /Eleanor Catton (Winner)

Sometime this year, I plan to read all 6 books. I’ve already started on the first book on the list. If you’ve read any of these, I’d love to share thoughts with you about it.

Click to watch the video where I talk about this challenge

What’s your criteria for buying or reading a book? Do you go off recommendations from other people? Do you look for the Bestseller notation on a cover? Or do you just give any book a chance?

Sharing this link on Broke and Bookish for lists of Top Ten Books I plan to read this Spring.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Eek I came here through a Top Ten Tuesday link up – I think you put the wrong link!
    I don’t set much store by awards or best sellers. Often the books without the huge amount of money thrown behind their publicity are better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Thanks for the comment. You’re so right about publicity driving the books that become bestsellers.


  2. Dave says:

    I tend to gravitate to self published non fiction (examples : ‘Ever Eastward’ by Ben Davis, ‘Confessions of a Work Camper’ by Blaize Sun). But more often, I tend to buy (or borrow from the library) on what theme is currently roaming inside my head. Currently I’m obsessed with art, artists and art museums in New York City. So, when I came across Olivia Laing’s ‘The Lonely City’ at the library I had to read because it was about art and artists living in New York City.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Thanks for sharing this, Dave. I haven’t read a lot of self published Non Fiction so it’s good to get these examples. I’ll check them out. I’ve never heard of The Lonely City.
      I get a lot of my books from the library too although this year, I’ve been buying way more books than usual.


  3. Misbah says:

    I select a book after reading its reviews and I prefer knowing my friend’s opinion on a particular book before buying it. catchy Quotes from a book compels me to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Katie says:

    Lots of times I’ll go on recommendations either by friends, websites or magazines! Is it weird that I also look at the cover and description?! HA! Lately I am loving books with essays or short stories, like yours, that I can read a bit, put down, and come back to. For this teacher, that works!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Oh that’s so great. Thanks for the shoutout by the way 🙂 You just made my day.
      I have made several cover buys and in general, I don’t like to read book synopsis because I don’t want to be spoiled about anything pertaining to the story so a good cover is always very attractive to me.


  5. Honestly, I know we’re always told not to judge a book by it’s cover, but there’s a reason publishers put so much money, time and effort into cover design! I far too often pick books based simply on whether or not the cover appeals to me. It’s not scientific by any means, but there you have it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So sad for your friend who only picks books on NYT Bestsellers, I think I’d miss out on so much of the more enjoyable reads if I did that. I select books based on mood, well at least the genre, and once I know my mood I will go to certain blogger sites to see which are the ones everyone is raving about, or saying are hidden gems. I know it’s a weird method, but…
    Additionally, like the comment above I love a great cover, sometimes I do read a book entirely based on the cover that drew me to it, that happens at the library all the time, LOL
    However, once a year I like to read a classic which usually fall in the award types you enjoy looking for books in.
    I love reading, and that is one thing I miss so much about my life right now, I just don’t have the time. I used to pound through 400 pages easy in an afternoon. I am trying to read a 380 pager right now and it’s taken me literally a month just fitting reading time in when I can, Ughhh I hate that, miss my days where I could just escape into a great book!


What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts as well.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s