Newbery Medal for children’s literature:
Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field is a doll story that I never much cared for. However, Amy at Hope Is the Word blog says of Hitty, “I never once grew tired of this story; on the contrary, I was eager each time I picked it up to find out what Hitty was going to experience next. My girls seemed to love it as much as I did.” So maybe I just have an impaired attention span.
Nobel Prize for Literature:
Sinclair Lewis, “”for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humour, new types of characters.” Lewis was the first U.S. writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, and he didn’t turn it down as he had his Pulitzer in 1926. Lewis said in a letter in1926 that “by accepting the prizes and approval of these vague institutions we are admitting their authority, publicly confirming them as the final judges of literary excellence, and I inquire whether any prize is worth that subservience.” I suppose Scandinavian judges of literary excellence are more to trusted/served.
Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Marc Connelly, The Green Pastures. I read this play a long time ago from an anthology I found in a closet somewhere. It’s a black dialect version of the highlights of Bible stories, adapted by a white playwright (Marc Connelly) from a book of stories written by another white Southerner (Roark Bradford). I remember being fascinated by the play, but I would imagine that it would be politically incorrect and maybe even offensive to me nowadays.
Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Conrad Aiken: Selected Poems
Pulitzer Prize for the Novel: Laughing Boy: A Navaho Love Story by Oliver La Farge.
Published in 1930:
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. I’ve never read anything by Faulkner. I keep intending to read Faulkner, but the books seem so intimidating—and dark.
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. Good book. Good movie.
The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene. The first of the Nancy Drew series.
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. Classic picture book.
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.
Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers. The beginning of the romance between novelist Harriet Vane and detective and man-about-town Lord Peter Wimsey. the development of the relationship between Miss Vane and Lord Peter is about my favorite in all of literature. It begins with Lord Peter trying to find evidence that will clear Harriet Vane of the charge of murder.
Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh. A novel “satirising the Bright Young People: decadent young London society between World War I and World War II.” It sounds like something I would like to read someday.