On being well read

I came across this post on one of my favourite blogs and it roused something in me about, what truly makes one well read. I have always grappled with this even more so because in my formative years, high school and all though my undergraduate years I was exposed more to the western classics; from Shakespeare, Brontë and Austen, to the Huxleys, Wells’ and Orwells of the literary world. Mandated rather than pleasure reading to be sure, but I still read them.
My foray into African literature however came late in life – call it the result of a purely British school curricula and a lack of awareness of the literary treasures just beyond the borders of my country, but it was only in graduate school where my eyes were opened to a whole new world.

Does award-winning always mean good?

Twice in the last month I have had discussions around the issue of whether ‘award-winning’ necessarily equates to good. Different audiences, different situations. The discussions were around books, and what enhances or detracts from their enjoyment. More concisely: does the fact that a book is listed as an award-winning work mean that, after we all rush off to buy our respective copies, due to its elevated status as a literary work, we will necessarily find it a good read?