On Reading :: Book Award Winners

Award winning books

Since creating this list, I have come to learn that I neglected a significant number of years from 1918 – 1947 – and hence books – on the list of Pulitzer Winners because originally these had been given the title “Best Novel” instead of “Best Fiction.” I have since remedied the list, and in doing so made sure the other awards didn’t have similar name changes. I found the National Book Award had once been “Most Distinguished Novel” and then “Favorite Fiction” and so I have included those few years (1935-1940) as well. I apologize for my original oversight.

I’ve also kept up with new winners and added them as they are awarded.


I want to read more books that have won book awards. In the last part of 2017, I became much more intentional about what I read. For example, while some would say, “there’s too many good books out there to waste time rereading,” I began to think, “there’s too little time to read bad books, so when in doubt, reread something you know is good.” I think that makes sense.

But I do want to read more new (to me) books that are also good. This is what led to a little exercise putting together a comprehensive list of all the books that had won major book awards – The Man Booker (my personal favorite), National Book Award, Pulitzer and the Women’s Prize for Fiction (previously the Orange or Bailey’s Award). First, I wanted to see how many of these I had read (not nearly as many as I had hoped), and second, I wanted an easy to reference list that would help me pick a quality book in a pinch.

Since I’m into sharing and many of you may be interested in the same list, I’m making the list available to you. Follow this link to access the spreadsheet on Google Docs. When you see it, you’ll notice there are years where some awards weren’t given. There are other years when more than one book was honored, and in those cases, the year is listed twice. So, know that those aren’t errors.

I plan to make significant progress on this list, probably focusing on the Man Booker since it is celebrating 50 years. I’d love to know if you have a similar goal to read more award winners or if you find the list helpful.

Happy reading!


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