Reading with Style discussion

note: This topic has been closed to new comments.
54 views
Archives > Summer 2012 10.8 - Karen GHHS' Task - Pick a Pulitzer

Comments Showing 1-45 of 45 (45 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Liz M (last edited Jun 03, 2012 03:49PM) (new)

Liz M 10.8 -- Karen GHHS' Task -- Pick a Pulitzer
This year no Pulitzer for fiction was identified so for this task, you have a chance to read the books that were nominated for the prize or that you think could have been up for the prize. Here are the criteria you must meet for your book to qualify:
1. 2011 US Publication
2. About American Life: Written by a US citizen and set in the US
3. Must have the genre “Literary Fiction” on the goodreads page listed by at least 5 users.

For example I could read Salvage the Bones by Jessmyn Ward because:
1. Published August 30th, 2011
2. About Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi
3. Literary Fiction genre identified by 11 users


message 2: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melaniethepler) | 81 comments Would The Marriage Plot, The Night Strangers, or This Beautiful Life work? I think I'm a bit confused about what qualifies as "About American Life" - does that just mean it has to take place in America, or does it have to be about a specific/important American event?


message 3: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 4351 comments I'm confused abou #3.Does this mean on one of lists made up by the readers or is it written in the review?


message 4: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 4572 comments Melanie wrote: "Would The Marriage Plot, The Night Strangers, or This Beautiful Life work? I think I'm a bit confused about what qualifies as "About American Life" - does that just mean it has to take place in Ame..."

The criteria for the Pulitzer is stated like this:

1. For distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life,

I was trying to keep away from the "preferably" part for the sake of the moderators. They will have to weigh in here, but I think American author, takes place in America is the easiest definition to work with.


message 5: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 4572 comments Rebekah wrote: "I'm confused abou #3.Does this mean on one of lists made up by the readers or is it written in the review?"

#3 is about the genre shelf categories selected by readers on the right sidebar on the book's page.
Literary Fiction must be on the list and at least 5 people must have chosen that genre. Applying that criteria to the 3 books Melanie listed, only The Marriage plot makes it. It's not listed as a genre for The Night Strangers and it's only listed by 3 people for This Beautiful Life.

I was trying to find ways to limit this to books that could have made the final list and won the Pulitzer.

Moderators, are my answers here ok?


message 6: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Jun 01, 2012 05:23AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 12338 comments Karen GHHS wrote: "#3 is about the genre shelf categories selected by readers on the right sidebar on the book's page.
Literary Fiction must be on the list and at least 5 people must have chosen that genre. Applying that criteria to the 3 books Melanie listed, only The Marriage plot makes it. It's not listed as a genre for The Night Strangers and it's only listed by 3 people for This Beautiful Life."


Since no members actually choose a genre, the listings on the book page are selected from a GR listing taken from shelf names. Just below the genre listing is a "See Top Shelves" link which will allow you to reach more shelves. The Night Srangers has been shelved by 6 people as Literary Fiction, so that does work, but no for This Beautiful Life.

You might have to drill down a little on that Top Shelves page for a more popular book. I was looking at
11/22/63 for a possiblity, and I had to get to the 2nd page of shelves before I (luckily) found 5 wonderful people who shelved that as literary fiction.


message 7: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 4572 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Karen GHHS wrote: "#3 is about the genre shelf categories selected by readers on the right sidebar on the book's page.
Literary Fiction must be on the list and at least 5 people must have chosen t..."


Thanks, Elizabeth! I obviously didn't know that and I wanted to read The Night Strangers myself ;)

Also, will we be going with whether there are at least 5 ratings when you start reading the book like we are for the underrated task? Some books might still make it to the limit if so.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 12338 comments Karen GHHS wrote: "Also, will we be going with whether there are at least 5 ratings when you start reading the book like we are for the underrated task? Some books might still make it to the limit if so. "

This is your task - you can "make it so" if you wish.


message 9: by Liz M (new)

Liz M Karen GHHS wrote: "Also, will we be going with whether there are at least 5 ratings when you start reading the book like we are for the underrated task? Some books might still make it to the limit if so. ..."

That should work because if 5 people have shelved it as Literary Fiction when you start reading, it should still fit the criteria when the moderators check it after the participant posts.


message 10: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 4572 comments Ok, then so be it! The books must be shelved as literary fiction by at least 5 people when you start the book.


message 11: by Jayme (last edited Jun 01, 2012 07:11AM) (new)

Jayme (jaymetheghostreader) | 2290 comments Could we read one of the pulitzer finalists?


message 12: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 4572 comments Yes, all three fit the criteria. I read and loved Train Dreams and it was the reason I set the number of literary fiction shelves at 5 because it had a low number since its not as well known.


message 13: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymetheghostreader) | 2290 comments okay I will pick one of those.


message 14: by Tobey (new)

Tobey | 241 comments 11/22/63 also has combo point potential for 20.9.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

OK how about The Sisters Brothers? I am unclear about whether American author is a criterion here. It is identified as such for the Pulitzer but not for this task as far as I can tell. (Patrick Dewitt is a Canadian living in the US).

PS obviously this is a leftover from Spring :)


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 12338 comments nsfancy wrote: "OK how about The Sisters Brothers? I am unclear about whether American author is a criterion here. It is identified as such for the Pulitzer but not for this task as far as I can tell. (Patrick De..."

I can't help you defining this task, but I know that book is on the 10.6 O Canada list, so it fits for this challenge in any case.


message 17: by Liz M (new)

Liz M Im going to say if it is Canadian, it shouldnt work for the pulitzer


message 18: by Rebekah (last edited Jun 01, 2012 10:09AM) (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 4351 comments nsfancy wrote: "OK how about The Sisters Brothers? I am unclear about whether American author is a criterion here. It is identified as such for the Pulitzer but not for this task as far as I can tell. (Patrick De..."

The setting is mostly in California during the gold rush. Even though Geraldine Brooks is an Australian living in the USA, March becme a Pulitzer winner because the setting is in America. The same thing with The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields, another Canadian author whose book also won Canadian lit prizes. Of course it is up to Karen.


message 19: by Rebekah (last edited Jun 01, 2012 10:14AM) (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 4351 comments Conversely The Shipping News is set mostly in Nova Scotia but the author was American so that qualified that book which also won the Pul. Prize

Anyway, Karen, I'm glad you're letting us pick the Pulitzer this year. I was so, so disappointed that there wasn't a winner for this year


message 20: by Christin (last edited Jun 01, 2012 10:38AM) (new)

Christin (lunaratu) | 267 comments Ok, these are the ones I have found that work thusfar:
Swamplandia! (23 ratings)
The Peach Keeper (8 ratings)
The Language of Flowers (19 ratings)

and these might work:
Girl Reading (just shy at 4 ratings)
The Night Circus (29 ratings)


message 21: by Don (The Book Guy) (last edited Jun 01, 2012 11:24AM) (new)

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) | 865 comments A list from Publishers Weekly

A List of Good Books the Pulitzer Didn’t Pick

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
The Call by Yannick Murphy
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock
Changó’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes by William Kennedy
We the Animals by Justin Torres
Open City by Teju Cole
Someday This Will Be Funny by Lynne Tillman
I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
Ghost Lights by Lydia Millet
A Moment in the Sun by John Sayles
My New American Life by Francine Prose
Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta
The Submission by Amy Waldman
Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell
Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman
The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo
The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson


message 23: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 4572 comments nsfancy wrote: "OK how about The Sisters Brothers? I am unclear about whether American author is a criterion here. It is identified as such for the Pulitzer but not for this task as far as I can tell. (Patrick De..."

Initially, I didn't think the Pulitzer authors were required to be from the US, but that just the setting had to be US. When I went back to the rules again, I found that stipulation. I don't think it matters where the author is born, but it looks to me like they do have to reside in the US. Moderators, could we amend the requirements to state authors living in the US? That would mean The Sisters Brothers would count and it would fit the Pulitzer rules exactly, which is what I was after.


message 24: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Jun 02, 2012 07:56AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 12338 comments From the Pulitzer website:

Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for the Prizes in Letters, Drama and Music (with the exception of the History category in Letters where the book must be a history of the United States but the author may be of any nationality).

This is your task, and it can be whatever you want. I can't edit Liz's post (or anyone's other than my own), so if you want it to say something different, we'll have to wait until late tomorrow/Monday.

(In the case of Carol Shields, born in the US, she holds dual citizenship, while Australian-born Geraldine Brooks became a US citizen in 2002.)


message 25: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 4572 comments Thanks so much to all of you posting the great lists of books for my task!


message 26: by Liz M (new)

Liz M Clarification, changes in bold:

10.8 -- Karen GHHS' Task -- Pick a Pulitzer
This year no Pulitzer for fiction was identified so for this task, you have a chance to read the books that were nominated for the prize or that you think could have been up for the prize. Here are the criteria you must meet for your book to qualify:
1. 2011 US Publication
2. About American Life: Written by a US citizen and set in the US
3. Must have the genre “Literary Fiction” on the goodreads page listed by at least 5 users.


message 27: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 4351 comments citizens of US or residents of US?


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 12338 comments The Pulitzer for fiction is awarded to US Citizens.


message 29: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 4351 comments Ok Thanks. I see now. I didn't realize those facts about geraldine brooks and Carol Shields. I remember reading about some controversy too both the Pulizer and the Canadian Award.

Geraldine Brooks' husband, Tony Horowitz has written some funny stories of his travels.


message 30: by Sara Grace (new)

Sara Grace  (saragrace34) | 141 comments I am having some trouble with this category. So State of Wonder wouldn't work because it takes place in the Amazon?


message 31: by Liz M (new)

Liz M What You See in the Dark almost works -- just one more person has to shelve it as "literary fiction".


message 32: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Jun 06, 2012 05:05PM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 12338 comments Sara Grace ('00-'05) wrote: "I am having some trouble with this category. So State of Wonder wouldn't work because it takes place in the Amazon?"

I think the Pulitzer committee is fairly relaxed about location - I just finished The Bridge of San Luis Rey which takes place in Peru. The Patchett book takes place in both the US and the Amazon. It should be acceptable.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 12338 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I think the Pulitzer committee is fairly relaxed about location -"

A follow-up to this: The Patchett book does have part of its setting in the US (Minnesota) and so would qualify for this task by Karen's definition. The older Bridge of San Luis Rey would not qualify for Karen's task if published last year because none of it takes place in the US. We still need to pay attention to the definition of the task.


message 34: by Sara Grace (new)

Sara Grace  (saragrace34) | 141 comments Yay! Thanks! I wasn't sure if it has enough of the book set in the US or not. I am really excited to read it.


message 35: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 4572 comments Sara Grace ('00-'05) wrote: "Yay! Thanks! I wasn't sure if it has enough of the book set in the US or not. I am really excited to read it."

I'm almost done with it for 10 degrees of separation and it's really good!


message 36: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1552 comments Can someone who has read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern tell me if it is clearly set in the U.S., or is it an unspecified fantasy world? I just put a hold on the book at the library and plan to read it regardless, but would like to know if it would count for this task. Thanks.


message 37: by Liz M (new)

Liz M D wrote: "Can someone who has read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern tell me if it is clearly set in the U.S., or is it an unspecified fantasy world? I just put a hold on the book at the library and plan..."

From wikipedia: "The Night Circus is a phantasmagorical fairy tale set near an ahistorical Victorian London in a wandering magical circus that is open only from sunset to sunrise."


message 38: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1552 comments Liz M wrote: From wikipedia: "The Night Circus is a phantasmagorical fairy tale set near an ahistorical Victorian London in a wandering magical circus that is open only from sunset to sunrise."

Thanks, Liz. I should have gone to wikipedia instead of spending an hour reading reviews. Usually I do, but didn't think of it this time. I had already decided it didn't sound like Pulitzer-type fiction, and the setting does definitely eliminate it. Maybe I can use it somewhere else.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 12338 comments I don't see an immediate place for it, though someone else may know of one. As a last resort, if it indeed doesn't fit anywhere, you can claim it for 10.1 Square Peg.


message 40: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1552 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I don't see an immediate place for it, though someone else may know of one. As a last resort, if it indeed doesn't fit anywhere, you can claim it for 10.1 Square Peg."

Thanks, Elizabeth. I'll do that if nothing else turns up. I'm curious whether I'll like the book. It's got a 4+ rating at this point, but some of its detractors are pretty persuasive.


message 41: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 2955 comments D wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I don't see an immediate place for it, though someone else may know of one. As a last resort, if it indeed doesn't fit anywhere, you can claim it for 10.1 Square Peg."

T..."


We have 16 members who have rated it 5 stars, so you could probably fit it into a TDoS book chain without much trouble :)


message 42: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1552 comments Rosemary wrote: "D wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I don't see an immediate place for it, though someone else may know of one. As a last resort, if it indeed doesn't fit anywhere, you can claim it for 10.1 Squar..."

I can't believe I didn't think of that. Thanks, Rosemary!


message 43: by Deedee (new)

Deedee | 1912 comments My New American Life is on the list from Publisher's Weekly: A List of Good Books the Pulitzer Didn’t Pick: posted by Don in message #21. However, only 3 people have it shelved as "literary fiction" .... and I am one of the three!! Would it fit for 10.8?


message 44: by Liz M (new)

Liz M Deedee wrote: "My New American Life is on the list from Publisher's Weekly: A List of Good Books the Pulitzer Didn’t Pick: posted by Don in message #21. However, only 3 people have it shelved as "literary fiction..."

Unfortunately, no.


message 45: by Deedee (new)

Deedee | 1912 comments Liz M wrote: "Deedee wrote: "My New American Life is on the list from Publisher's Weekly: A List of Good Books the Pulitzer Didn’t Pick: posted by Don in message #21. However, only 3 people have it shelved as "l..."

OK .... I think I've found one ....
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

1. 2011 US Publication -- check
2. About American Life: Written by a US citizen and set in the US -- she lives in Colorado, so check
3. Must have the genre “Literary Fiction” on the goodreads page listed by at least 5 users.
-- 20 users as of today


back to top
This topic has been frozen by the moderator. No new comments can be posted.