And so the days are filled...

13 August 2007

It's that time of year again - get reading!

I'm not sure how this news passed me by, but nearly a week ago, the 2007 Man Booker Prize long list was announced! My annual raison de lire!

In case you've just joined us, the back story to my obsession with the Booker Prize can be found here .

August and September normally find me all a-flutter trying to read at least all the shortlisted books before the announcement of the prize in early October. If I can get a good head start with the longlisted books, chances are I might be able to get through the shortlist. (Though I still have not attained the Holy Grail - to have read all of the 5 or 6 shortlisted books in time to place an educated bet!) At least in the end I've read some good books and have something to talk about at dinner parties for the rest of the year.

This year's long list contains thirteen books, almost all of which are by new-to-me authors. Here goes:
  • Darkmans by Nicola Barker
  • Self Help by Edward Docx
  • The Gift Of Rain by Tan Twan Eng
  • The Gathering by Anne Enright
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
  • The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
  • Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
  • Gifted by Nikita Lalwani
  • On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
  • What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
  • Consolation by Michael Redhill
  • Animal's People by Indra Sinha
  • Winnie & Wolf by AN Wilson
The only one I have read already is On Chesil Beach, which is an eminently beautiful composition, but which is garnering some media attention over the question of whether it's a novella (which would make it ineligible to win) or a "short novel" (as the publisher describes it). Currently the bookies are giving it 3-to-1 odds to win.

For the record, last year I managed to read 4 out of 6 shortlisted books prior to the announcement of the prize (a tie with my previous best record in 2005), and have now read 12 of the 19 longlisted books (including all 5 of the shortlisted books) and am currently reading my 13th from the 2006 longlist.

Time to look forward to some Booker prize book reviews to come, and why not check out your local library or bookshop to see if you can't get your hands on one of these titles this week! (But not if your local library is the City of Sydney, I bags all those books for myself first.)