Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011 Battle of the Prizes, British Version

This challenge pits winners of the English Man Booker Prize against winners of the Scottish James Tait Black Memorial Prize in a British Version of the Battle of the Prizes. (Click here for the American Version.)

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 or four great books!


OPTION ONE: Chose three books that you have not read before:

1) One that won both the Booker and the James Tait Black prizes (here is the short list of double dippers);

2) One that won the Booker but not the James Tait Black (Booker winners are here); and

3) One that won the James Tait Black but not the Booker (James Tait Black winners are here).

OPTION TWO: For those who have already read all three of the double-dippers, or otherwise do not want to read one of those three, pick two Booker winners and two James Tait Black winners for a total of four books.


  • Read all books between February 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012.
  • 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.
  • You do not have to commit to your choices now; you can change your mind about books at any time.
  • Overlap with other challenges is allowed -- and encouraged! The Complete Booker is a logical crossover. 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.
  • As you progress, please let us know by leaving comments with links to progress reports and reviews. Reviews are not necessary, but encouraged. If you do not have a blog, put your reviews or reports in a comment on this post.
  • You can copy and paste the button. Or, if you want me to send you the code, please leave a comment with an email and I will. I cannot figure out the fancy ways of giving directions. 


Participants are listed in order of signing up. Click on the name to get to the each person's challenge page.

Leave a comment with a link to your challenge post to sign up.

Rose City Reader (this is my sign-up post; my wrap-up post is here)
chaotic compendiums
The Tattered Page
Joy's Blog
Remember to Breath
Hotchpot Cafe (wrap-up post, here)


Links go to the reviews:

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, here on Rose City Reader (Booker)

Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd, here on Rose City Reader (Black)

Our Horses in Egypt by Rosalind Belben, on Hotchpot Cafe (Black)

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, on Hotchpot Cafe (Double Dipper)


The list of last year's participants with links to their reviews is here

With the completion of G by John Berger for last year's challenge, I have now read the three double dippers, so I'll be reading four this year.  As with all challenges, my goal is to read books already on my TBR shelves.

My Booker possibilities include:

My Black possibilities include:

NOTE: Last updated on January 13, 2012.


    1. You talked me into it. I'm in right here.

    2. Never get around to reading Zadie Smith's. I hope you'll eventually choose the book.. and let me know what you feel about it =)

    3. Caitlin: Yeah! You are the first to sign up. I'll add your link ASAP.

      PL: I have the Smith book on my shelf and the audio on my iPod, so it is definitely a contender. It just looks so DENSE every time I try to start it.

    4. I'm in, too! After trying the American version, I'm going with the British this year. I've blogged about it here. Thanks so much for hosting.

    5. Yay! I'll be joining as soon as I can pick and post.

    6. I'm going to do this challenge as well as the American one this year.


    7. Here we go again (in a good way): http://hotchpotcafe.blogspot.com/2011/02/2011-battle-of-prizes-british-version.html

    8. Definitely going to enjoy this. I've been meaning to read some of these books for years but never got round to it.
      Here's my link- Here goes

    9. Welcome aboard Mohini! Thanks for signing up. I'll add your link to the list.

    10. My first book for this challenge, and what a good one! I can't imagine I will like any of the others better . . . . Thanks for the push to read it.


    11. Book (and review) #2: http://hotchpotcafe.blogspot.com/2011/11/midnights-children.html

      This one's not my winner, even though everyone else seems to adore it. Oh well.

    12. Yay - thanks for running this again. Here's my sign-up:

    13. My third and final book, with a little time to spare! Sacred Hunger review here.

      I think you will enjoy it and look forward to reading your review.

      Wrap-up post coming soon!

    14. Wrap-up post here: http://hotchpotcafe.blogspot.com/2012/01/battle-of-prizes-british-version-wrap.html

      Thanks for the push to read these! I'll be signing up for 2012 right soon.


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