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From Book Awards to More Awards and Back Again

Today’s starting book in the Six Degrees meme is a Booker Prize winner, and I ended up with many prize winners in the list. Kind of moving from one award to more awards 🙂

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All About Book Awards (Almost!)

While I most often pick books simply because, I do pick award winning books every once in a while (more than once in a while actually). Why? Simply because it means these books and their authors have gone above and beyond the rest in some way.

It could be exceptional writing or a powerful message/story. Or it could be originality or insightful commentary on an important societal issue. Each of these by itself can make a book a winner (aren’t all books winners already?) and the ones that go on to win these cool awards excel in many ways. So I know I will reach the end of that book satisfied, enriched, and with a possible book-hangover!

So What are Book Awards?

Like any other awards, book awards are recognitions and rewards given to authors and their works to celebrate and honor excellence. They can be regional awards all the way to international ones, like the Nobel Prize. And they can be niche awards, like the Bram Stoker Awards for the horror genre, or generic ones, like the Nobel Prize Book awards. Yet others give out awards in multiple categories (like the National Book Awards).

Why does a Book Award Matter?

Book awards help the book and its author in many ways, including:

  1. The recognition and prestige that winning a book award brings to an author. It has a positive impact on the author’s career, offering recognition from peers and literary critics.
  2. Award-winning books often see increased sales and readership.
  3. Book awards help highlight important works and help bring attention to diverse voices and stories. Thus they help make a powerful cultural and societal impact.
  4. For authors, the prospect of winning an award can be a powerful motivator to strive for excellence in their writing.

Thus these awards serve multiple purposes, including promoting literary culture, recognizing outstanding achievements, and guiding readers toward high-quality books.

And Which Ones are the Coolest?

Well, these are the coolest ones in my opinion. I have both the popular ones and the lesser known ones below.

Prestigious Awards (a few)

  • Nobel Prize in Literature: Given to an author for lifetime achievements in literature, celebrating their body of work’s lasting impact.
  • Booker Prize: Awarded annually to the best original novel written in English and published in the UK or Ireland. It is known for its international prestige and substantial prize money.
  • Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Awarded for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life. It is one of the most prestigious literary awards in the United States.
  • National Book Awards: Presented annually in the United States, these awards recognize outstanding literary work in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature.
  • Newbery Medal: given to the author of “the most distinguished contributions to American literature for children” by the ALA (American Library Association).
  • Caldecott Medal: for the preceding year’s “most distinguished American picture book for children.”

And I definitely need to mention the Cybils awards for , where I have been on the panel of judges across a couple of different categories over the past few years. Cybils stands for Childrens and Young adult Book lovers Literary awards.

Quirkiness Abounds Here

  • The Diagram Prize celebrates the most bizarre book titles published each year. Some winners include “Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop” and “How to Avoid Huge Ships.”
  • The Ig Nobel Prize rewards unusual or humorous research that first makes people laugh, then think! One past winner: “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly” by Daniel M. Oppenheimer
  • The Undies! given to books whose case covers reveal a surprising design when the dust jacket is removed
  • The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (BLFC) is run by the English Department of San José State University in my home-town of San Jose! It is one of those ‘un-awards,’ where participants “compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels” – that is, one which is deliberately bad.
  • Then there is the Lyttle Lytton Contest, run by Adam Cadre. The name suggests what it is about – it is the BLFC, but for littler opening lines (no more than 25 words).

From Award to Award Via Fantasy and Reality

This month’s Six Degrees chain starts off with Kairos.

Kairos —> The White Tiger -> Moon Tiger —> Life of Pi —> The Alchemist —>  Haroun and the Sea of Stories —> Midnight’s Children —> Kairos 

The Pairs

Kairos —> The White Tiger

The link: Booker Prize

As is always the case, I am yet to read the starter book – Kairos – but reading the description has inspired me (like with many other starter books for the previous chains) to add this to my TBR.

Linking it to another Booker Prize winner, Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger. Both my son and I read it and reviewed it here. A book that takes me back to India and to beloved Bangalore within its pages. Another Aravind Adiga book I loved is Last Man in Tower (reviewed here).

The White Tiger -> Moon Tiger

The link: Booker Prize and tigers

I found Moon Tiger while looking at Booker Prize winners and realized I want to read it. Plus, the “tiger” connection in addition to the award connection meant I had to add it here to the chain!

Moon Tiger —> Life of Pi

The link: Booker Prize and tigers

Once again, (the same) two links between Moon Tiger and Life of Pi. And I loved Life of Pi (both the book and the movie).

Life of Pi —> The Alchemist

The link:  fantasy

Well, the next one on the list that I am linking to is The Alchemist. Like I mention in this earlier post, it is a book that I mention many times over on my blog but have never really reviewed it 🙂

Suffice to say, I love it.

The Alchemist —>  Haroun and the Sea of Stories

The link: fantasy

Haroun and the Sea of Stories is one of my favorite reads ever. And it was my first Salman Rushdie book.

Haroun and the Sea of Stories —> Midnight’s Children

The link: author

I am yet to read Midnight’s Children though I believe I did try to get to it once but could not continue because of some other stuff that came up.

Midnight’s Children —> Kairos 

The link: Booker Prize

Circling back to the beginning with the prize in mind!

More Award-Winning Books You Need to Read

Here are more lists of award winning books (and some are books turned into movies that won awards, so that kind of counts too, right!)

And Now, the End of this Post

Dear friends, have you read any of these books? if 👍🏻, which ones and your thoughts on them? if not, which would you pick first?

5 thoughts on “From Book Awards to More Awards and Back Again

  1. I enjoyed seeing the path you took with your choices! I admit I don’t really follow the book awards, although I used to follow the Edgar Awards, but I like that you made that connection. I read the Alchemist years ago and and really liked it. I have a copy of White Tiger on my TBR shelf.

  2. I have read all of these – The White Tiger, Moon Tiger, Life of Pi, The Alchemist, Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Midnight’s Children. And I have enjoyed them all for different reasons. Haroun and the sea of stories was my first Rushdie too and I was bowled over. I read it to my son when he was around 11 or so and loved the humour. I also love Moon tiger. Its death scene at the end, I have never forgotten. So subtly done. Great post. (But can I say that reading this post on my phone and trying to respond to it on my phone was a really difficult experience as ads etc kept popping up all the time obscuring what you had written. Are you aware of this?)

    1. so cool that you have read them all!! and thank you for letting me know about the ads making it hard to view/comment on the phone.. i did not realize it so will look into it to change those ad settings..

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