Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Prizes

Sebastian Barry has won the 2008 Costa Book of the Year award for The Secret Scripture. It’ll go on my TBR pile – not because it won the award, though its being shortlisted was what brought it to my attention. The Amazon blurb says ‘Barry is concerned with the imperatives of telling a story, but in a literary form that is rich with both psychological understanding and a skilful conjuring of time and place.’ That’ll be a tick then.

The Outcast by Sadie Jones was already on my TBR list, since the posters on London’s underground last time I was in the UK, piqued my interest.

Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill will go on too because I’m interested in reading about women’s lives. Although I read much more fiction than biography I’ve always enjoyed reading about people’s lives. That’s Nosy Parker in me.

What about you? Do you read books because they win prizes?

9 comments:

Flowerpot said...

No I don't. I read them because I like the sound of their content. If anything prizes put me off!

Lane said...

Sometimes I buy them because they've won prizes. Doesn't mean to say I always read them though:-)

ChrisH said...

You're in for a treat with 'The Outcast' it's beautifully written. I'm with Flowerpot, I buy books that appeal to me not because someone tells me I ought to!

marmiteandtea said...

Only for the same reason as you, that they were bought to my attention by the prize. The Graveyard Book was on my list before it won the Newbury but I have added Jellicoe Road which just won the Printz.

T just finished the Sebastian Barry book and really liked it until the end.

Carol and Chris said...

I'm with you....I only buy a book if it catches my interest or if someone recommends it to me.

C x

liz fenwick said...

Ditto what Lane said! Currently reading Annie Dunne by Barry and it is beautiful. I get lost in the beauty of the words and have no idea where or if there is a plot...
lx

Debs said...

I don't buy them because they win prizes. I only buy books that I like the look of after reading the blurb.

I must be the only person on the planet who didn't enjoy The Outcast as much as I had expected to. Mind you, I'm thrilled that Sadie Jones was nominated and has done so well.

JJ said...

Flowerpot, Some of the prizes have put me off. When I've read several of the finalists... being high on style is one thing but being short on a great story is not okay by me.

Lane, yes, sometimes it's book club that forces me to read them in the end. I hate wondering why I don't get it!

Chris, I can't wait to read the Sadie Jones...

Marmite and Tea, Yes, I'm completely with you on that. The prizes might alert us to them, but they've got to look as though they appeal to you too.

Carol, yes, true, but it also depends on who recommends it.

Liz, oooh, I find that scary. I'm all for lovely language but there has to be a story that grabs me too.

Debs, really? I'll let you know how I get on with it.

wordtryst said...

The prizes give them visibility, and I buy if they intrigue me. Sometimes I pick up a book because I know the author has won a prize, but I've hated some of those. Stylish writing is not everything; the story must compel as well.

A certain South African winner of major lit prizes comes to mind. Maybe he's a genius, but getting to the end of the book was a chore for me.