Award Winning Books, 2009, National and International Prizes
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Keep Your Bookshelves Full With Some Award Winning Books
There's nothing better than to know from page one, paragraph one, sentence one of a book, that you have just started a book which is destined to become one of your all-time favorites.
It is unlikely that you will feel this way about every book that has won a major national or international literary award. On the other hand, if you use literary prize lists to choose your future reads, you will likely increase the chances of opening up one of those 'great ones' with every new book you read.
This Year's Winner Is . . .
There are several major national book awards, as well as many international prizes, that offer terrific lists of books to choose from each and every year. Combined with the shortlists and finalists, the book winners for the prizes covered here total over 29 books.
Unless you are a speed reader, 29 books will get your reading off to a pretty good start each year. And even if you are a speed reader, it should be enough to get you through . . . the week.
So charge up your Kindle and kick the cat out of your reading chair, it's time to dive into some seriously amazing books.
Man Booker Winner, 2009: Wolf Hall
The Man Booker Prize
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
Mantel's lyrical prose and great research into the details of the every day life of the period join to create a sweeping fictional account of Tudor England, focused around the right-hand man to Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell.
Man Booker Prize Shortlist, 2009
The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters
The Glass Room, by Simon Mawer
The Quickening Maze: A Novel, by Adam Foulds
Summertime: Fiction, by J.M. Coetzee
The Children's Book, by A.S. Byatt
Costa Book Awards, 2009
Costa Award Shortlist, 2009
Family Album, a Novel, by Penelope Lively
Wolf Hall: A Novel, by Hilary Mantel
The Elephant Keeper, a Novel, by Christopher Nicholson
Costa Book Awards
Costa Novel Award
Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin
Ellis Lacey leaves her mother and sister in Ireland for a boarding house in 1950s Brooklyn. With very subtle writing, Toibin shows the young immigrant's struggles in her new world and eventually brings us back to Ireland when Ellis receives a letter from home.
Book of the Year Award
A Scattering, by Christopher Reid
Award-winning poet Christopher Reid creates a beautiful and moving peace with this poetic tribute to his wife as she lay dying.
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner, 2009
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
In this terrific work, Kitteridge links thirteen tales of everyday residents from coastal Maine, spanning a period of 30 years. Loneliness, loss and grief fill the pages of these stories with the occasional flashes of hope, joy and beauty. A collection that the Pulitzer judges said packs, "a cumulative emotional wallop."
Pulitzer Fiction Finalists, 2009
The Plague of Doves, a Novel, by Louise Erdich
All Souls, a Novel, by Christine Schutt
PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill
In his third novel, O'Neill takes Dutch-born equities trader Hans van den Broek to London and then New York, where he and his wife Rachel must abandon their downtown loft after the attacks of 9/11. They wind up moving into the Chelsea Hotel, until Rachel abandons Hans for London. Hans soon finds that cricket is played in NYC, and thereafter becomes involved with a Russian mobster.
PEN/Faulkner Finalists, 2009
Ms. Hempel Chronicles, by Sarah Shunlien Bynum
A Person of Interest: A Novel, by Susan Choi
Lush Life: A Novel, by Richard Price
Serena: A Novel, by Ron Rash
Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for Fiction, 2009
Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award
A Gentleman's Guide to Graceful Living, by Michael Dahlie
Fly-fishing Manhattanite Arthur Camden's marriage is falling apart at just about the same time he is ruining the family business. What follows is Camden's reluctant look inward, as he navigates his emotional landscape while venturing across the old money landscape that he has always known. A Gentleman's Guide is a funny and poignant debut.
Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for Fiction Finalists and Honorable Mentions, 2009
One More Year: Stories, by Sana Krasikov
Personal Days: A Novel, by Ed Park
Alive in Necropolis, by Doug Dorst
The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel, by Matthew Quick
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction Winner, 2009
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
Mantel examines Tudor England through the story of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's right-hand man. The tumultuous period in European history, due largely to Henry VIII's want to divorce the queen and his challenging of the church's power, is told from Cromwell's perspective with wonderfully descriptive detail. Also won the Man Booker Prize for 2009 (see above).
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction Finalists, 2009
American Salvage, by Bonnie Jo Campbell
The Book of Night Women, by Marlon James
Blame: A Novel, by Michelle Huneven
Lark and Termite, by Jayne Anne Phillips
Enjoy all of these amazing displays of storytelling, and always remember the words of Lily Tomlin, when she said, "If you read a lot of books, you are considered well read. But if you watch a lot of television, you are not considered well viewed."
Read these already and need some more? Check out the 2010 Book Award winners.