Firstly, let me start with my favourite one, the reading list. And below it you can also find a lit bit of the history of some of the most famous awards.
- The Power by Naomi Alderman (the winner of the
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2017) - what happens when the world is ruled
- The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride (Longlisted for
the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2017) - an eighteen-year old Irish
actress arrives to London and falls in love with an older actor with dark past.
The book full of passion narrates a story of innocence and its lost.
- A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman (the winner of
the Man Booker International Prize 2017) - a veteran stand-up comic exposes his
hidden wound, while standing in a comedy club in Israel.
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (the winner of
the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2017 and of the National Book Award for Fiction
2016) - about slavery and the escape towards freedom across America. One of the must reads books of this year!
- Hot Milk by Deborah Levy (shortlisted for the Man
Booker Prize for Fiction 2016) - set in hot Spain, the author tests limits of
the mother-daughter relationship.
Sellout by Paul Beatty (the winner of
the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2016) - a book questioning the whole system of
- A Brief History of Seven Killings (the winner of the Man Booker Prize
for fiction 2015) - about the attack on Bob Marley in 1976, the book is a
sort of an imagined oral biography.
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (shortlisted
for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2015, finalist of the National Book Award
2015) - about the physical limits of our bodies and the power of painful and
- How to be Both by Ali Smith (the winner of the
Costa Book Award for Fiction 2014, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for
Fiction 2014) - art, love, gender and the twist between a renaissance artist
of the 1460's and the child of a child of the 1960's.
- Room by Emma Donoghue (shortlisted for the Man
Booker Prize for Fiction 2010, longlisted for the 2011 Orange Prize) - a five-year-old Jack believes that there is only the life with his mom in a
single, locked room. Also an Academy Award-winning film adaptation.
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (the winner of the
Costa Book Award for Novel 2013, shortlisted for Baileys Women's Prize for
Fiction 2013) - a novel looping back in time, describing alternative possibilities
of how to live a life. What will happen to Ursula Todd the next time?
Ready for the history part?
I know that there are more than five literary awards in the world! However, those mentioned below are my favourite one and they usually signify that a book is really good.
Man Booker Prize - if one day you write a book and win the Man Booker Prize with it, then massive congratulations! Because this prize is one of the most acknowledged in the literary world, and notably in Great Britain. It was first awarded in 1969, selecting the best fiction of the year, written in English and published in the UK. In 2005 they also launched a new prize called the Man Booker International Prize, awarding the best book in English translation.
- Reward: 50.000 GB pounds (+ 2.500 pounds for each shortlisted author)
- Longlist announced in July - Shortlist announced in September - Winner (October)
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (until 2012 named Orange Prize for Fiction) - First awarded in 1996, this prize is aimed to celebrate female writers and thus is given to a female author of any nationality who wrote a full-length novel in English and published it in the UK. Interestingly, the Prize also launched a campaign called #ThisBook - a social media campaign to find female authors whose books have touched us most. Here is the full list of 20 most influential books written by women. Have you read all of them?
- Reward: 30.000 GB pounds
- Longlist announced in March - Shortlist announced in April - Winner (June)
Costa Book Award (until 2006 called Whitbread Novel Award) - This award was launched back in 1971 and interestingly, it has five categories - First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book (it is the only prize that puts children's literature alongside adult books). In addition to these categories, it also selects the Costa Book of the Year from the five winners of the above named categories.
- Reward: 5.000 GB pounds for a winner of each category + 30.000 pounds for the overall winner
- Shortlists announced in November - Category winners announced in the beginning January - Costa Book of the Year announced in the end of January
Pulitzer Prize - Established in the USA in 1917, the Pulitzer Prize is awarded not only in literature, but also in online journalism, newspaper, magazine and musical composition. Altogether, there are 21 categories!
- Reward: 15.000 US dollars
- The winners are announced in April
National Book Award - The prize for an outstanding literary work of American writers. It has been awarded "by writers (five judges) to writers" since 1950.
- Reward: 10.000 US dollars (+ 1.000 US dollars for each finalist)
- The winners are announced in mid-November