Belatedly narrowing down my reading choices from the Booker longlist (I never like to restrict myself to just the shortlist):
- Skios, Michael Frayn – seems like a good read for summer. I’m partial to things set on the Greek islands, and I don’t even mind if they’re twee or or a bit cheesy (like Mamma Mia). The cover does make it look like supermarket chick-lit, but I’m trying to get over my atrocious habit of literally judging books by their covers.
- The Garden of Evening Mists, Tan Twan Eng – fo sho, the type of book I enjoy and adore and will possibly be disappointed by, but I really doubt it at this stage, because it looks wonderful! (I’m already raving)
- Swimming Home, Deborah Levy. Heard some fantastic things about this one. Sounds a bit like a modern Tender is the Night, though perhaps it won’t be as glamorous as the jazz age world Fitzgerald paints.
- Narcopolis, Jeet Thayil – some readers I know have snidely dismissed this as the ‘token’ Indian novel, but come on people! If it’s a good book, it’s a good book so just give it a chance. Perhaps this also applies to this year’s winner, which I’m really just dubious about.
This brings me to my next point. Yes, you may have noticed that a certain prominent book by a certain prominent author is missing; namely, the winner, Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. But I’ve decided not to read it, because dear Booker judges, I didn’t like your 2009 choice Wolf Hall that much! And (somewhat childishly, I know) I’ve decided not to even give the second book a chance.