I love books. I spend a ton of money on books, on a monthly basis. Nothing brings me more pleasure, than having a few hours to myself, so that I can peruse Indigo Book Sellers, at the mall. If I don’t have hours to blow, then I resort to more prudent purchases, on the Indigo website.
I love all kinds of books. I read across many lines. I always look for a prize-winning book first. Not so much a New York Times Best Seller, because they are a dime a dozen. I go for the BIG awarded books first. The bulk of my libraries “favorite books segment,” are the books that win the Pulitzer Prize.
I’ve read several Pulitzer Prize winners.
The Best Book I have ever read IS The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. Hands down, The Goldfinch was the best book, as a Pulitzer Prize Winner. It had all the elements that I think needs to be found in a story.
The most important turning point in a Pulitzer Prize Winning book is:
The Holy Shit Moment.
If you have never read a story that takes you on a journey, tells you a story, then turns your world upside down with a serious Holy Shit Moment, you are missing out.
Coming in a close second, to The Goldfinch, is The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen. This story about what happened the day Saigon fell during the Viet Nam war, what happened to the people who were there, and what became of their lives, The Sympathizer is an excellent book.
This second Pulitzer Prize Winner, has all the elements I look for in good story telling. Once again, you get a story, and in one brief statement, as the story unfolds, you get a gut punching Holy Shit Moment, that turned my world upside down.
Another Book that stands out on its own is SHANTARAM, by Gregory David Roberts, and the subsequent MOUNTAIN SHADOW. These two novels, did not win any prizes, but together were two of the best books I have ever read. In fact, I am on a second pass of Shantaram right now. The book is THAT GOOD !
Two other books, that are Pulitzer Prize winners are: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, and The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead.
I just finished reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. I was very disappointed with this story. It just did not have the necessary elements, to bring it into the same class as, A Goldfinch or The Sympathizer.
Olive was missing necessary markers that other prize winners had in spades. Yes, it was a regional story about a particular place in the United States. And the main character is carried throughout the book, and her interactions with other towns people, is the thrust of the book.
I really wanted to know, when I finished the read, why the Pulitzer committee considered this book for its prize, if it had been up to me, I would have passed it by. It just did not have any of the draw or attraction that other prize winners had.
Today, if I pick up a Pulitzer Prize winner, it has to have all those elements, that other prize winners have … A Holy Shit Moment.
Olive did not have a holy shit moment. Unless you consider an old lady having an emotional breakdown at the TSA checkpoint in an airport a Holy Shit Moment, it did not grab me that way when I got there. How often do regular humans freak out at a TSA checkpoint today ?
The other Pulitzer Prize winner I started to read but put down, halfway through was The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. I love reading stories about the past. War stories, Racial Stories, Human Interest Stories. I’ve read several stories about the underground railroad. Within this world of the Underground Railroad, there is language spoken, signs used, particular tools that were used, (everyday items) we usually take for granted, that marked and pointed slaves towards the Under Ground Railroad.
There are several QUILT books, that are Underground Railroad Specific.
I put this book down, mid read because it lost my attention. If I buy a book, and begin the read, we all have expectations of said books. There are many books in my library that I began reading, but for one reason or another, put them down, and never picked them back up.
I have a huge library of books read. If you have books that you have read and loved, I would be glad to hear about them. Share the Love …