It’s time for another adventure in Kate’s 6 Degrees of Separation Meme from her blog, Books Are My Favourite and Best. We are given a book to start with, and from there we free associate six books.
This month we begin with Sally Rooney’s best seller (and now a TV series), Normal People. I’ve had this novel on my TBR shelf since it first came out, and I had every intention of reading it before working on this month’s challenge.
However, unlike the people in Rooney’s novel, these times (COVID-19 pandemic and, here in the U.S., racial injustice with associated protests) are not normal, and I didn’t get a lot of reading done over the past month. Since I therefore am not ready to deal with Normal People thematically, I’ve had to look for another approach to this month’s challenge. A check on Goodreads revealed that Normal People received a lot of accolades:
- Booker Prize Nominee for Longlist (2018)
- Costa Book Award for Novel (2018)
- Dylan Thomas Prize Nominee for Longlist (2019)
- Women’s Prize for Fiction Nominee for Longlist (2019)
Further digging revealed that I also have on my TBR shelves several novels that in the past received these same awards.
1. Normal People was on the long list for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (2019). The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is a former winner of this annual prize.
2. Normal People was on the long list for the 2018 Booker Prize. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes received this award in 2011.
3. Normal People received the Costa Book Award for Novel in 2018. Days Without End by Sebastian Barry won the same award, plus the Costa Book of the Year Award, in 2016.
4. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton won the Booker Prize in 2013.
5. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders also won the Booker Prize, in 2017.
6. A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson won the Whitbread Award, which later became the Costa Novel Award, in 2015.
It’s comforting to know that I have so many good books still on my TBR shelves. And I also discovered that I’ve already read several past prize winners:
- Booker Prize: Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner (1984), Possession by A.S. Byatt (1990), and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (2000)
- Women’s Prize: We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, A Crime in the Neighborhood by Suzanne Berne
- Costa Award (formerly Whitbread Award): The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The moral of this story is that I should pay more attention to literary prizes in the future.
© 2020 by Mary Daniels Brown