Reading the Losers

Nobel PrizePerhaps “losers” is a bit harsh. It’s not so much that I read the losers, but rather the non-winners and, often, the non-nominated.

You see, it’s book award season. I imagine it’s not quite the same paparazzi-fueled-attention-grabber as say the entertainment industry award season, but I bet a few of those authors can pull off some pretty nice formal wear. In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen the Nobel Prize in Literature announced (Mario Vargas Llosa), the Man Booker Prize for Fiction announced (Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question), and the National Book Award finalists announced (too many to name in a parenthetical aside so go here to see them all.)

Needless to say I haven’t read any of these books. They aren’t on my mom’s list, though her list probably doesn’t include recent enough books to qualify for these awards, and my own reading list clearly doesn’t make the prize cut either. The closest I got was Room by Emma Donoghue, a Man Booker shortlist title, which I said I wanted to read and is now sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. Close enough, I guess.

I’m not too hung up on my lack of awardsyness (yes, I just made that word up). I rarely see any of the movies nominated for best picture at the Oscars either. Maybe my taste just isn’t highbrow enough. But my mom usually said she didn’t like things that got too many good reviews either. So at least I’m in good company.

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