For someone who adores books as much as I do, I really spend VERY little time thinking about which book is going to or has one what award.
You would think that this should be something that would interest me - as someone who reads books of pretty much every genre, I have to be fairly picky about the books that I choose to read, and winning an award SHOULD be a marker of quality. And yet, every time I have read a book because it won some award or another, I have been disappointed.
Clearly my definition of quality is not the same as that of the award givers.
Man Booker, for example, has done very little other than disappoint me. While I do think that, in general, the Hugo Award and the Nebula award are a great way to find some quality science fiction, they aren't always consistent. And every time I have decided to read a book because they HAVE won this award, I have been disappointed.
The last time I took an interest in the Nobel Prize for Literature was in 2001, when V.S. Naipul won the prize, and that's only because I already love him. In 1998, Jose Saramago won the prize, and while I adored Blindness, I didn't actually know that the author was a Nobel Literature Laureate until AFTER reading the book.
Choosing to read books because they've won a prize - so not my thing.
And yet, since hearing the announcement this year, I find myself consistently checking out the goodreads and amazon pages for "Aunt Julia and the Screenwriter," and the more I look at the cover and read the summary, the more I want to read this book. And staring at it long enough has of course also led me to the pages for "Death in the Andes" and "Bad Girl" and I'm seriously thinking about giving in reading at least one of his books based on a Nobel recommendation.
So what do you guys think? Do you often pick books based on the prizes they have won? Are there any prizes that you particularly trust?