The British Battle of the Prizes pitches a battle between winners of the English Man Booker Prize and winners of the Scottish James Tait Black Memorial Prize, with books that won both prizes as a sort of tie-breaker. The challenge asks interesting questions, such as whether one prize has higher standards, or chooses better winners, or delivers more entertainment or educational value.
If all that comparison stuff takes the fun out, it is also possible to draw no conclusions other than picking the best books from your very do-able cross-channel sampling of 3 or 4 books.
All the official rules are here, if the spirit moves you to join up. You will have a great time!
I've read all the double-winners so I am in 4-book territory this year. Here's my list:
1. White Teeth - Zadie Smith (James Tait Black winner)
3. The Ghost Road - Pat Barker (Man Booker winner)
4. True History of the Kelly Gang - Peter Carey (Man Booker winner)
Wish me luck!
Update: Wouldn't you know it? Just after this post, I stumbled upon a blurb about The Lotus Eaters, a James Tate Black winner that the New York Times describes as "tough and lyrical." Having always been partial to the tough and lyrical, see switch above!