Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More on Reading the Best

Here’s another way of unearthing some of the best books published, ones that will help you irrigate and fertilize your inner landscape: check out the major award winning books over the past years.

While I don’t for one moment suggest that only prize winners are worthy of reading, or that superb books don’t get overlooked for prizes, it is a reliable place to start. And it’s a great way to discover writers whose work is unique and invigorating, writers who may well become your favourites.

So here are some sites to check:

The Governor General’s Literary Award Winners from 1936 to 2010

NOTE: Children’s Literature was not included in these awards until 1987

The Newbury Award winners, from 1922 to present

Lately, there has been some discussion as to whether the Newbury Award winners appeal sufficiently to children, or whether they’re overly slanted to adult tastes. I happen to disagree – I find the winners consistently excellent and eminently readable. Not all award winning books go on to become best-sellers and I believe that awards should focus on the best, not just the most likely to be popular books.

– There are several children’s literature prizes in the UK and I find these winners are always of a quality, and splendid reads.

Happy reading, and may you discover new treasures.

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