American Battle of the Prizes


2012 will be the fourth year I've hosted this Battle of the Prizes Challenge here at Rose City Reader.

This challenge pits winners of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction against the winners of the National Book Award in the American Version of the Battle of the Prizes.

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.

  • The challenge runs for 13 months (I like having an extra month to finish up). Read all books between January 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013. Signing up now is the most fun, but signing up any time before the end is permitted.
  • Sign up here by using Mr. Linky under the "PARTICIPANTS" heading below. If you do not have a blog, please list your three (or four) choices in a comment below and I will add you to the list. 
  • 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 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. 
  • As you progress, please let us know by leaving comments with links to progress reports and reviews and I will add them under the "REVIEWS" heading. 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. 

Sign up here by using Mr. Linky. If you do not have a blog, please list your three (or four) choices in a comment below and I will add you to the list.

Please use Mr. Linky to list your review by adding a link to your review post, not your main blog address. If you do not have a blog, please post your review in a comment.


You can find lists of past years' participants and links to their reviews here (2009), here (2010), and here (2011).

I finished the 4-book option because there are only two double-dippers that I have not read yet -- The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter and A Fable by William Faulkner -- and I do not own either one of them.  Since I try to read only books on my TBR shelves for challenges, I choose to read two Pulitzers and two Nationals that I already owned.

I finished both of my Pulitzer choices:
Other possibilities include:
I finished both of my National choices:
      Other National possibilities include:

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