Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Challenge Wrap Up: Battle of the Prizes

The Battle of the Prizes Challenge ended yesterday on Labor Day. This was the first challenge I hosted and I want to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated. To recap: This challenge pitted winners of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction against the winners of the National Book Award. The goal was to read one Pulitzer winner, one National winner, and one that won both prizes; to read all three books between May Day and Labor Day; and to post reviews and comments here. A list of all the reviews follows (if I missed one, please leave a comment with a link). Also, a couple of people did wrap up posts with some comparing and contrasting of the prizes. For those who signed up but did not finish the challenge, I am still so pleased that you participated -- good intentions definitely count when it comes to reading challenges. REVIEWS Sophie's Choice on Chaotic Compendiums The Optimist's Daughter on Joy's Blog Middle Passage on Living Life and Reading Books Advise and Consent on Rose City Reader Empire Falls on Chaotic Compendiums Gilead on Tip of the Iceberg Olive Kitteridge by J.G. on Hotch Pot Cafe The Fixer on Rose City Reader The Fixer on Hotch Pot Cafe The Great Fire also on Hotch Pot Cafe The Magic Barrel on Book Psmith The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter on Chaotic Compendiums The Fixer on Book Psmith March on Remember to Breath The Fixer on Remember to Breath Sophie's Choice on Remember to Breath Invisible Man on Tip of the Iceberg WRAP UP POSTS J.G. on Hotch Pot Cafe Mine here on Rose City Reader Remember to Breath Book Psmith THOUGHTS? IDEAS? COMMENTS? Hosting this challenge was a lot of fun for me. It helped focus my attention on a couple of the lists I am working on and it was fun to "hang out" with other list-obsessive readers. I plan to host the same challenge again next year (there are still many Pulitzer and National winners I haven't read yet). But I might expand the dates. This was "the Sunshine Smackdown" this year because I didn't think of the challenge until the spring and tried to contain the dates somehow. But I might make it a year-long challenge in 2010. Also, as Psmith guessed in her wrap up post, this was "the American version." I have plans for the British version of a Battle of the Prizes Challenge. That one would pit Booker Prize winners against . . . I don't know yet. Costa winners? Too short and too dissimilar to the Booker, I think. Probably James Tait Black winners. But I can't launch that challenge until I get the JTB list added to my List of Lists there in the right hand column. What are your thoughts and suggestions? .

7 comments :

Lezlie said...

You did a really nice job on this challenge! I enjoyed seeing the other participants' reviews even though I wasn't playing along myself. I'm banning myself from official challenges next year, but I look forward to seeing what others read! :-)

Lezlie

jlshall said...

Great job! This was a fun challenge. I haven't finished reading my last book or put up all my reviews yet, so I'm saving my wrap-up post 'til I get that done. But I can already say I think this was one of the most worthwhile challenges I've joined - it nudged me into reading three wonderful books that I thoroughly enjoyed and probably wouldn't have read otherwise. I think that's real success! Thanks so much for hosting.

Caitlin said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Thanks for sponsoring it. One thing I wondered is if you'd want to expand your list to include non-fiction since both Pulitzer & National Book Award give awards in non-fiction categories, including a general non-fiction cateogry. (not sure if there are cross-overs). It's another interesting sort of time capsule ...

Rose City Reader said...

Lezlie -- Thanks! You can count as an Armchair Participant! I know what you mean about challenges. I love the idea of them, but then I feel the pressure! Silly, since they are supposed to be fun and they are voluntary. Nothing happens if you don't finish.

Joy -- Please post more links when you get finished. i am looking forward to your reviews and thoughts.

Caitlin -- I like the idea of the non-fiction books. I'll mull over adding them to this challenge or doing a separate challenge, or maybe a combination. Hmmmm . . . .

Terri B. said...

Thanks for hosting this challenge! I finished 2/3 of the way -- whoo-hoo! I still plan to read The Fixer; I'm just in my own time zone :o)

jlshall said...

Just posted my challenge wrap-up (better late than never, I guess). Thanks again for hosting, and I'll be checking back to see what's up for next year.

jlshall said...

OK, looks like that link's not working. Try this:

http://jlshall.blogspot.com/2009/09/battle-of-prizes-challenge-completed.html

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