The Book Awards Reading Challenge: A New Strategy

As I was joining new challenges in the dawn of the post-dissertation period, it occurred to me (with some degree of shock) that I still have a challenge open: the Book Awards Challenge, which lasts a full year, and which has about three and a half months left in it. I had promised to read 12 books in that year, which means that I have {blush} ten books to read in the next three and a half months. Looking back at my list, I realize it was filled with dense and intimidating chunksters (as well as books that would have qualified for my 2007 Year of Australian reading, which is now over). It sounded like it was time for a reconception of my challenge goals, if I was even to have a small hope of finishing the challenge (or making a valiant attempt at it).
So here is a rather short list of the two books I have already read:

  1. Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guin [Nebula]
  2. Citizen Vince by Jess Walter [Edgar]

And here is a new list of 15 possibilities from which I hope to draw my final ten challenge books:
  • Small Island by Andrea Levy [Orange, Costa/Whitbread, Commonwealth]
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons [Hugo]
  • The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields [Pulitzer, NBCC, Governor General's]
  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson [NBCC, Pulitzer]
  • Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler [Nebula]
  • March by Geraldine Brooks [Pulitzer]
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson [Nebula, Hugo]
  • The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard [NBA, Miles Franklin]
  • The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter [Pulitzer, NBA]
  • Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey [Booker, Miles Franklin]
  • Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee [Booker, Commonwealth]
  • Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje [Governer General's, Giller]
  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin [Hugo, Nebula]
  • Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett [NBA]
  • Them by Joyce Carol Oates [NBA]
  • Mao II by Don DeLillo [PEN/Faulkner]
You can find the blog for the challenge here.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Gilead and The Stone Diaries are two of my absolute favorites. Some suggestions for short books: Hotel du Lac by Brookner, Kaddish for an Unborn Child by Kertesz, The Giver by Lois Lowry (a children's book, but excellent), Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and Life & Times of Michael K by Coetzee are all easily read in a few hours. You've probably read some of these but I thought I'd throw them up to you for consideration.

  2. Ooh - these are very useful suggestions, and the only ones I have read are "The Giver" and "Curious Incident." Thanks, 3m!

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