Shortlist for the Booker Prize

The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced last week and, once again, I feel like the more I read the more I haven't read anything at all. I am only familiar with one of the six titles, and haven't read any. (Had anyone read Wolf Hall before it was announced the winner last year?)

Parrot and Oliver in America - Peter Carey
Room - Emma Donoghue
In A Strange Room - Damon Galgut
The Finkler Question - Howard Jacobson
The Long Song - Andrea Levy
C - Tom McCarthy

One of the judges for the Booker Prize, Andrew Motion, wrote an interesting piece in The Guardian that details the difficulties of choosing titles for the shortlist, let alone the winner. He also touched on a point that I feel is sometimes overlooked by readers: "Too many publishers publish too much. Not nearly enough novels get the editing they need. Some novels are so clearly manifestations of distress, they might be better described as "a frieze of misery" (in Larkin's phrase) than a work of fiction. But for all this, the second-rate books all felt worth reading (as a way of range-finding) and also valuable (as a way of fertilising the ground for those other and better books that rise above them)."

I look forward to hearing who will win October 12th.

Check out the list of past winners here.


  1. Ill read that Andrew Morton article later as Im quite fasinated as to how they choose. I read an interview with a judge from a few years ago who said she had to take 2 months off work and then read just over 100 books for it. I think my brain would get frazzled by the end of that.

  2. Yes Motion talks about all of the reading they have to do. It seems quite overwhelming. I would get frazzled but would love every minute of it!

  3. Yikes. I haven't heard of any of those novels. Must begin my Google search now.

  4. I'm reading Room by Emma Donoghue right now and it's sooo good! I'm also going to her launch tomorrow evening :)