Tuesday, July 29, 2008

ETC: Man Booker Award Lists

The long list has been announced for the Man Booker Prize, and I'm so surprised to see I've already read two of them - A Fraction of the Whole, and A Case of Exploding Mangoes. Other than the Rushdie, I haven't heard of any other ones. The two books I read I would rate about the same: humorous, longish, well written, but didn't make me rave. Both have good parts but I didn't inhale them. I see my libray has a couple others I can look into: The White Tiger, Child 44, and The Enchantress of Florence. It would be great if those made the shortlist, then I would be guaranteed to have read the winner.

Do you read the Booker long/short list books? Do you pay attention, or even care? The Complete Booker is a long term project where readers try to read all the winners, eventually. I've read nine winners so far, so I have quite a ways to go.

Aravind Adiga The White Tiger August 15/08
Gaynor Arnold Girl in a Blue Dress
Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture
John Berger From A to X
Michelle de Kretser The Lost Dog
Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies
Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs
Mohammed Hanif A Case of Exploding Mangoes June 23/08
Philip Hensher The Northern Clemency
Joseph O'Neill Netherland
Salman Rushdie The Enchantress of Florence
Tom Rob Smith Child 44 Sept 28/08
Steve Toltz A Fraction of the Whole July 23/08

Have you read any? What do you recommend?


  1. I do pay attention, but I've usually found I like the runners-up better than the winner.

    That said, I checked out the Barry and the de Kretzer from the library and didn't finish either--they simply didn't grab me.

  2. Haven't read any of these and have only heard of a handful. I've had pretty good luck with Booker Prize winners before (liking the books, that is). I loved Rushdie's Midnight's Children.

  3. amy - my library didn't have those two yet, but thanks for the heads up in case.

    trish - I tend to like the Bookers too, sometimes the shortlisted ones are even better than the winners. I haven't read The Sea yet, but it beat Arthur and George, and Never Let Me Go and I thought they were both excellent. Do you have any favorites?

  4. I really like The Bone People, Atonement, and Midnight's Children. Wait...did Atonement win the Booker? if not, scratch that and add Remains of the Day. :) Ohhhh, and Atwood. Geez, I think I've liked all the ones I've read...

    Any others you'd recommend??

  5. I really liked The Bone People too, and Remains of the Day. Hotel du Lac was cute, and I loved The Life of Pi. Definitely The Life of Pi. I haven't read Midnight's Children, but it's the best of the Bookers, right? Rushdie scares me a bit, I don't know why.

  6. I almost wrote "nah--don't be scared of Rushdie" but I've been kind of hesitant to read his other books as well... Not sure what that means. I read Midnight's Children for a college course a few years ago (along with The Bone People and incidentally Things Fall Apart--it was a post-colonialism course). I really enjoyed it, but I guess it wasn't *light* reading--maybe equivalent to The Bone People?

    Didn't love Life of Pi. eeeks, did I just say that outloud? :) I'll have to put Hotel du Lac on my list!

  7. I would recommend "Child 44" off of the list for this year - loved it!

    Also read "The Enchantress of Florence" and it was ok - worth reading.

  8. I don't read all of them.....actually, not many of them....though my eventual plan is to read all the Bookers that interest me! lol there are some!!


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