Good But No Snow Child……..Col’s Costa At Victoria Station Prize for 2013 goes to………

Capture………….Last year, choosing my book of the year was really straightforward for Eowyn Ivey’s “The Snow Child” was the stand-out book of the year for me by some distance! This year I’ve not read anything that comes near to that but I have read some great books.

In addition last year I set up my own “Col’s Costa At Victoria Station Prize” for my book of the year. I offered the winning author a coffee at the Costa Coffee Stall in Victoria Station – what a place! Having announced to great fanfare and much media coverage that Eowyn Ivey had won the free skinny latte, I waited patiently for her day after day throughout 2013 – she never showed! So in spite of twelve months of fervently hoping “this will be the day”, it’s been a constant round of coffee for one! Sad I know!

To be fair to Eowyn she may have turned up and not spotted me - sometimes I find it hard to stand out from the crowd!
To be fair to Eowyn she may have turned up and not spotted me – sometimes I find it hard to stand out from the crowd!

Anyway to this year! As I mentioned I’ve read a lot of good, even great stuff. I loved John Le Carre’s “A Delicate Truth”, Matthew Hollis’ story of the poets Edward Thomas and Robert Frost in “Now All Roads Lead To France”, the wonderful “Silent House” by Orhan Pamuk and the fantastic poetry of Sharon Olds with “Stags Leap”! But during the summer, lying on a Greek beach, I read a truly great novel. And so………………………the winner is………..

Canada by Richard Ford

CanadaEven though I read this back in the summer, it’s powerful enough to have stayed firmly in my memory – I loved it! However I never reviewed it as it was during a time when I’d fallen out of love with my blog – now that we’ve patched things up and are reconciled, I’ll make sure I get around to reviewing it. But if you’ve not read it – I thoroughly recommend it!

The heart means so much to a man who seems to be always drinking alone!
The heart means so much to a man who seems to be always drinking alone!

Alas I don’t expect Mr Ford will be at Victoria to collect his prize because (a) he lives in the US and (b) he might not be too enamoured in hearing that while his book was my book of the year, it wasn’t anywhere near as good as The Snow Child! (It’s a bit like the Booker announcing that Eleanor Catton has won for 2013 but only because there wasn’t a Hilary Mantel option this year!). So it’ll be “latte for one” again when I go back to work. Ah well…….there’s always the excitement of seeing who will win for this year to look forward to!

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6 thoughts on “Good But No Snow Child……..Col’s Costa At Victoria Station Prize for 2013 goes to………”

  1. What a prize! What a crowd! What a book!

    I really enjoyed reading Canada this year too, he created such a unique voice and the depth of the narrator’s thoughts still have me somewhat in awe of his talent. This was my first Richard Ford novel and a delight it was indeed.

    I know what you mean about The Snow Child, the year didn’t reach those heights for me either, despite many fabulous reads. Her new book should be out this year, though what a standard to have to live up to, I do hope she pulls it off, wouldn’t that be a treat.

    I do hope we”ll be reading more of your presence on here in 2014 and if not, just make you keep reading and letting us know what’s tearing you up on that tube ride. And do keep an eye out for Phillipe Claudel’s Brodeck’s Report, I’d love to know what you think of it.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Canada was a first Richard Ford for me too. Strangely enough though I loved the book it didn’t leave me with a desperate desire to read more of his work – I think I will go with the flow on that! However like you I am really looking forward to Eowyn Ivey’s next book – I’m with you in that it would take something wonderful to even come close to living up to The Snow Child but I hope she pulls it off!

      1. I hate to make comparisons, and I enjoyed Ford’s book, but I finished it with a similar thought, the reason being I didn’t highlight many passages, which means it lacked something in terms of the kind of language I like to be immersed in, which for me is the difference between a good book and a great books. So rather than another Richard Ford, for me, from that band of brothers, it will be a Cormac McCarthy every time. Bleak or not, his writing is astonishing and it makes me brave worlds I thought I would never wish to enter.

  2. Spreading the news about this fantastic new book prize to all my contacts in The Netherlands via Twitter. In this land of great thinkers “Denkers des Vaderlands” like Erasmus ( prof of Divinity at Cambridge) there must be people who still read! I hope to find them!

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