Friday, July 22, 2011

PRIZES and the Final Recap

Thanks to all of you who participated in International Anita Brookner Day. I had a lot of fun seeing what you all came up with and was gratified that so many of you had a positive experience. And I still have hope for those who weren't instant fans. Many of the qualms that some had with the Anita Brookner novel they read and reviewed didn't stem from Brookner's writing ability but rather from disappointment in her characters. And therein lies my reason for hope. When I first read Brookner I was not just disappointed with ther characters I was frustrated as all get out. I mean really, who are these passive, depressed people. But I found that those people kind grew on me. I never wanted to be them, and still don't, but I became fascinated in reading about them.  This isn't to suggest that those of you who wrote less than positive reviews are all going to become fans, but it is to suggest that your journey with Anita may not be over.

And speaking of that journey. Anytime you post a review of a Brookner novel, just let me know and I will include it on the IABD blog and archive.

On to the prizes:

Best Review: Danilo Abacahin
He doesn't blog, but based on this review he should. I particularly liked the way he organized his review around the reactions he had recorded in his diary while he read Undue Influence.

Best non-Review: Peta Mayer
Peta's list of 10 Things to Expect from a Brookner Novel was insightful and funny. It confirmed some things I already thought (the walking) and made me ponder some things I hadn't (eros).

Best Picture of a Pet Reading Brookner: Julia at Pages of Julia
Of course all of the pet pictures were cute as can be. But the one that really stood out was Julia's. Her cute pooches are clearly Brookner fans.

Participation Prize: Ted at Bookeywookey

Special Prize for inspring the judges to come up with another prize: Jack at The Windy Sea of Land
Simon suggested that Jack deserved a prize for starting a blog just to join in IABD. I totally agreed and so we created another prize category just for him.

You have until August 8th to pick a paperback (any paperback, it doesn't have to be Anita Brookner) and email me with your choice and your mailing address. onmyporch [at] hotmail [dot] com

If you are outside the US you can make your choice from The Book Depository. If you are in the US you can choose from TBD or Barnes and Noble.

The Recap
We ended up with 33 reviews of 14 novels. Did you ever see that skit on Sesame Street where everyone ended up bringing potato salad to the picnic. Well, Hotel du Lac was the potato salad of IABD.

The Bay of Angels (2001)
Michelle Foong
Wendy Mayer

A Closed Eye (1991)
My Porch

Family and Friends (1985)
The Truth About Lies

Hotel du Lac (1984)
Another Cookie Crumbles
Boston Bibliophile
Fig and Thistle
Novel Insights
Pages of Julia Blog
Savidge Reads
Stuck in a Book
The Reading Life

Incidents in the Rue Laugier (1995)
Books and Chocolate
Erich Mayer
Roses Over a Cottage Door

Leaving Home (2005)
A Book Sanctuary
Luvvie's Musings

Lewis Percy (1989)

Look at Me (1983)
Nonsuch Book
Savidge Reads

The Next Big Thing (2002)
Luvvie's Musings

A Private View (1994)
This Windy Sea of Land

Providence (1982)
My Porch (May 15, 2010)
My Porch (July 15, 2011)

The Rules of Engagement (2003)
Park Benches & Bookends
Silencing the Bell
Telecommuter Talk

A Start in Life (1981)
Citizen Reader
My Porch
Savidge Reads

Undue Influence (1999)
Danilo Abacahin


  1. Excellent choices!!! I thought Danilo's review was fabulous too. And I'm so pleased to have discovered Peta's work through this exercise...what an amazing woman!! Julia's puppies are just gorgeous and I'm off to read Ted and Jack's contributions. A big thank you to you both for organising it all. It was great fun :)

  2. Hi-great choices-I knew the pet pick you liked would be the winner-you forgot in your summery my review of Hotel Du Lac

  3. I've so enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on Anita Brookner. This was a great idea - well done!

  4. I was hoping Julia would win; that picture is so wonderful!

  5. Thanks to Thomas at My Porch and Simon at Savidge Reads for encouraging all of us to keep reading and writing no matter how “profoundly eccentric” our thoughts may be.

    Congratulations to Peta, Julia, Ted, Jack, and all the other IABD contributors! I tried blogging a few years ago, but after a few posts I ran out of steam. So I’m glad IABD has given me links to your sites, where I’m finding great examples of ways to keep blogs exciting and useful.

    And thanks, Alex at Luvvie’s Musings, for your kind words. I’m so glad that in your (July 14) comment, you highlighted one purpose of storytelling that I couldn’t squeeze into my review. Yes, telling stories, as you say, is our “attempt to connect to one another.” Some might think that’s trite or sappy, but as I get older and read more, I begin to appreciate what those attempts really mean. And we also try to fulfill what you so aptly call “the promise of self-knowledge” amid those glimpses of “our inevitable uniqueness and alone-ness.”

    Jonathan Franzen and his friend David Foster Wallace, just before the latter’s tragic death, agreed on the function of fiction: “A way out of loneliness” ( Yes, Luvvie, you’re right: through storytelling, we get our share of “dire warnings or a bit of fun.” We find a way out of our lonely heads. We try to make sense out of all the chaos and pain. With this community of bloggers and story-sharers, I’m grateful I’ve made a few connections and had A LOT of fun.