Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Challenge: Sunshine Smackdown -- Battle of the Prizes

May 1, 2009 to September 7, 2009
No time like Spring and Summer
to catch up on prize-winners!

This challenge pits winners of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction against the winners of the National Book Award. Does one prize have higher standards than the other? Pick better winners? Provide more reading entertainment or educational value? Maybe challenge participants will be able to answer these and more questions – maybe they will simply read three great books!


Chose three books that you have not read before:

1) One that won both the Pulitzer and the National (here is a list of double dippers);
2) One that won the Pulitzer but not the National (Pulitzer winners are here); and
3) One that won the National but not the Pulitzer (National winners are here).

OPTION: For those who have already read all six of the double-dippers, or otherwise do not want to read one of those six, pick two Pulitzer winners and two National winners for a total of four books.

Read all books between May Day and Labor Day. Overlap with other challenges is allowed -- and encouraged! The Pulitzer Project and The National Book Award Project are logical crossovers. The great thing is, for those working on both these lists, completing the challenge means reading three books, but crossing four items off the lists.

Please sign up here by leaving a link to your post in a comment, or the list of your three choices in the comment. I will add the links to the participant list in this post. As you progress, please let us know with progress reports and reviews.

My three choices are:

1) The Fixer by Bernard Malamud as my choice for double dipper;
2) Advise and Consent by Allen Drury as my Pulitzer winner; and
3) Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth as my National.

I chose these three because they have all been on my TBR shelf for quite a while and they all have that Mid-Century feel to them. I plan to "compare and contrast" the three.


Tip of the Iceberg
half of Hotch Pot Cafe (J.G.'s wrap up post is here)
Book Psmith
Obsessed Reader
Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Regular Rumination
It's all about me (time)
Joy's Blog
Remember to Breathe
chaotic compendiums
Living Life and Reading Books

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



  1. This sounds likes fun! And I have several of these books on my TBR pile. I will read:
    1. The Fixer as double dipper
    2. Gilead as Pulitzer
    3. Invisible Man as National

  2. Yeah! My first participant! Leave a link if you post the challenge on your blog, and I'll add it to this post.

    Thanks Terri!

  3. Cool idea, cool button, cool rules (love the 4 for 3 angle)! You've got it going on.

    My 3 will be:

    The Fixer - Bernard Malamud (double winner)
    Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout (Pulitzer)
    The Great Fire - Shirley Hazzard (National)

    I'll let you know when I post the details at the Cafe.

  4. Rats! I like your contest but I don't think I can participate. I have already read all the NBA winners, which would automatically exclude me from two of three categories.

  5. Here's my post with my choices.

  6. Got the Hotch Pot link up.

    Kudos to C.S. for disqualifying himself by already reading all of one contestant's books! I'm impressed that you've read all the National winners, but I am also jealous that you can count a whole book list as finished!

  7. Congratulations on hosting your first challenge. I have posted my list:

    I hope it is ok that I have already read The First Seven Years from The Magic Barrel. I will reread the story so that I will have read the whole collection. But if you would prefer for me to pick another, I will because there are so many great choices. Thank you for hosting.

  8. This sounds AWESOME.

    I'm totally joining in, having my own battle of the books. Will post link soon :)


    I am in...that is the link to my blog post!

  10. This looks fun. So...
    1. The Color Purple cause it is actually on my shelf languishing. I watched the movie not too long ago so hate to read something I already sort of know what is going on but want to do it anyway eventually so might as well be now.

    2. To Kill a mockingbird-I have it on loan from a friend so need to get it read anyway.

    3. Hmm toss up but probably Charming Billy-Alice McDermott. I was trying to find one in my library instead of ordering it in.

    Thanks for this. I'll post to my blog when I get a post made there.

  11. I'm in:

  12. You are such a geek!

    I will take the challenge as well, but I don't have time to pick right now. I'm doing all my blog updating this weekend when I don't have homework.

    I did notice that your dates say May 1, 20009....., so you should fix that. Also, your color code changes from one list to the next. On Pulitzer, it's red=read, blue=TBR, green=eventually, and on National it's red=read, blue=eventually, and green=TBR.

    What are the prizes for those who participate?!

  13. Thanks Sis! I fixed the date.

    I should redo the color coordination. Also, one list startes with the oldest winner, the other startes with the newest. Disconcerting.

  14. Count me in too please! :-)

  15. I'm in!
    Rabbit is Rich for the double dipper (guess I'd better start with Rabbit, Run...), Beloved for the Pulitzer and Paco's Story for the National. Such fun!

  16. What an intesting idea - i love reading pulitzer and booker prize winners - i haven't spent time with the national book award though -- nor have i read any of the double dippers (although am familiar with a few of their stories)

    i'll have to look into these.

  17. This sounds like a great idea, so I'm signing up! Here's a link to my list.

  18. I'm in:

  19. Yahoo! You have participants!

  20. I'm in. Here's my post:

  21. Just finished Sophie's Choice - my review is here -

    I'm so glad I picked up this challenge - I've meant to find an excuse to read this again & I'm so glad I did!

  22. Finished my first book for the challenge, The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty (Pulitzer winner). My review is posted on my blog. This was such a great idea for a challenge!

  23. I'm going to try and read 4 winners by September. Wish me luck. I might have read a National. I have to go check my blog. Sounds like fun.

  24. Guess what! I just finished "Middle Passage" by Doctor Charles Johnson. It won The National Book Prize. My review is on the first page of my blog.

    I'm going to find three more winners that look really good to read.

  25. Tea -- thanks for joining! I added you to the list of participants with a link to your blog.

    I will add your Middle Passage review to the update post.

  26. Here's my review of my Pulitzer Prize winner, Empire Falls:

  27. Here is the review for the Pulitzer winner: Gilead.

  28. Here's my review of my Pulitzer winner, Olive Kitteridge.

    Sunshine Smackdown Review: Olive Kitteridge

  29. Here's my double winner review of The Fixer:

    As you will see, I agree with you that despite all its horrible events, somehow the story itself is not grim. This ia a great one.

  30. Woo hoo! I am finished! I will keep checking back to see what everyone is saying about their choices.

    Review of The Great Fire:

    P.S. Congrats on your first successfully hosted challenge, too! It was really fun, and I hope you do it again next year.

  31. I was having some computer issues but my review is up now...

  32. Last review up! Thanks for inspiring me to read 3 books I wouldn't have read otherwise!

  33. Thanks for the challenge. I have finished. You can find my final review and challenge wrap up here:

  34. Here is a link to my National Book Award winner: Invisible Man.

    I haven't read The Fixer, so will not be able to complete the challenge. But I did get 2/3 of the way done!


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