Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wishlist Wednesday: The Compleat Pulitzer

"Yo, I'll tell you what I want what I really really want..."

The newest Pulitzer For Fiction is slated to be announced in a few days, so that's what I've got on my mind. What I want doesn't exist: I want some publishing company to re-issue every single novel and short story collection that has won this prize since it began in the late 1910s. Would that be so impossible? Pie-in-the-sky? Oh, probably, but the vision is fixed in my mind and won't go away...beautiful trade paperbacks with tastefully beautiful covers that are unique but also have some thematic design going on, so that their spines look tasty on my shelves. Of course I'd have to have all of them. My Inner Completist Bookworm couldn't rest otherwise.

In this drab reality where there is no such set, when I see one of the winners, I grab it up for future reading. Last year, I added Andersonville (1956) and The Good Earth (1932) to my list of 31 read. What I've got in reserve on TBR Mountain will keep me busy for a while, but eventually, I'll be wanting to track down some of those hard-to-find, kind of obscure ones like His Family (1918) and Scarlet Sister Mary (1929), for example. If there was a Compleat Pulitzer, I'd be ready when the time came.

Why is this list my shiny object? What is it about this particular group of prize winners that mesmerizes me so? If you showed me a Man Booker or a Newbery list, I'd be cold as a stone. Well, maybe not cold as a stone, but...

I really should join The Pulitzer Reading Challenge. I'll be making it 32 read in a couple of weeks, anyway. BOOKLEAVES has The Known World (2004) scheduled for the mid-April meeting. [No, I didn't choose it, but I'm happy with whoever did...Liz?]

Maybe one of these years I'll just whoop it up and have an all-Pulitzer year! The old bookworm adrenalin would certainly be jacked up for thrill of the hunt for winners like The Store (1933) and Early Autumn (1927). Maybe I should wait until I return to the US. Inter-library loan might be helpful with a project like this. On the other hand, amassing all 80+ books...!

Hmmm...mouth-watering as a lovely matched set would be, I have to admit that a DIY sounds like geeky bookworm fun.


Lisa said...

I tend to want to read everything in a series or everything in a list of prizewinners, too.

Les said...

I've had great luck with the Pulitzer Prize books I've read thus far. I should try to go back and read more. I posted a blog entry about this a while ago. You can read it here if you like.

kookie said...

I've always felt that you can't go wrong with a Pulitzer winner. I mean..."The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay"..."The Road"..."Empire Falls"...I could go on forever (well, for a while anyway).

I love that you started a post about good books with a quote from The Spice Girls! So eclectic!! :D

J Scott Savage said...

I am so with you on that. It's got to come in a booked special edition set. I'm clearing shelf space right now.

Bybee said...

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what the next Pulitzer fiction winner will be.

Thanks for the link!

I was also thinking of Courtney Love: "I want to be the girl with the most cake.."

J. Scott,
I'm still wondering if a compleat set of pulitzer would be an impossibility.

Susan said...

I love your idea. then again, your inner bookworm and mine must be kindred spirits, because as much as I love a complete matched set of all those books, it would kind of daunting to read them all, and how could you tell them apart? Because half the fun is finding those rare "I can't believe it" books in odd places! and mismatched covers - how cool is it to have a book published in 1927 (or at least reprinted) alongside last year's winner newly minted off the presses? I love the smell of books! I must be a book junkie as well as a book slut.... and I really really want to complete the Man Booker Prize list because their books are more fun, and then satisfy my inner literary professor by reading the Pulitzer Prize winners... i could hold my head high in any company then!!! So....I'll be officially setting up my Man Booker Prize challenge to myself next year (after I get through reading the 6 chosen for this year!), and at the rate I read, I should be ready for the Pulitzers in oh, say 10 years time..... :-) Wishlist Wednesday, indeed!!!