Monday, August 2, 2010

August: She reads the Booker Prize Longlist

image from the Official Website of the Man Booker Prize
As noted below, the Booker Prize longlist is out. Each year I set aside the months of August and September  to read as many books as I possibly can before the winner is announced in October.  This is no easy feat, and I always want to get them read prior to the announcement of the shortlist -- which rarely ever happens. And I stink at predicting the winners, except for last year when I had a personal two-way tie between Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and The Glass Room, by Simon Mawrer and Mantel's book won. Had it gone the other way, I would have been just as happy -- The Glass Room is excellent. If you haven't had the opportunity to read it, definitely go get a copy. In many ways, it is much better than Mantel's book -- and it's unforgettable.

This year, also noted below, I've already read two that appear on the list, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (which I loved) and The Slap, which I thought was good but not great.  That leaves 11 to go:

in my library
Peter Carey Parrot and Olivier in America
Emma Donoghue Room
Andrea Levy The Long Song
Lisa Moore February
Rose Tremain Trespass

on its way:
Damon Galgut In a Strange Room
Tom McCarthy


Paul Murray Skippy Dies
Left to buy
Helen Dunmore The Betrayal

Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question
Alan Warner The Stars in the Bright Sky

The books by Dunmore and Warner are sequels, so I also felt compelled to pick up the earlier ones so that I don't start in the middle of a story somewhere and feel lost. Call me anal, whatever, but I hate that feeling in the back of my head that I might be missing something.

As always, so as not to feel guilty about books I already own and haven't read, I'll be continuing to read through my tbr pile a little at a time. This also helps clear out my brain, which by October tends to be very tired to the point where I just want to read junk afterwards. I'll be posting each book's review as I finish.

wish me luck!


  1. Wow -- good luck!

    I've only read The Long Song, which was ok but I prefer Andrea Levy's other novels. The Slap is on my to-read list, the rest currently are not but I'm sure they will be soon....

  2. Thanks, Suzanne. I read Levy's Small Island when it first came out and liked it until the very last -- where I got mad at how she chose to end it. So I'm hoping for good things for The Long Song.

    My biggest hurdle is getting all of these books in place so I don't have to wait for them to get here. Most of them I had to buy from Book Depository, but since they offer free shipping, it wasn't bad at all. I wish we could get books just as quickly in the US!

  3. I have a copy of the lass Room at home and had no idea it was shortlisted which is a pleasant surprise (I brought it because it sounded quite interesting)

    I may playalong for the shortlist this year.

  4. Oh, Arhs, between no glasses and my phone I accidentally rejected your comment! So sorry!!!


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