Booker Booker

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.


4 thoughts on “Booker Booker

  1. You mean you’ve finished reading Wolf Hall? I haven’t started yet haha. I heard Bring Up the Bodies has a totally different style from Wolf Hall.

    1. I’m halfway through and so far I’m completely indifferent! It’s got technical mastery, but I find it sort of clever. I can see why the British are in raptures about it though. It’s their history, rewritten in this wonderfully modern way and with sharp writing. But it doesn’t speak to me…

      I think I’m more peeved about the fact that they awarded the Booker to her twice for two books in the same series!

  2. I can’t imagine The Garden of Evening Mists will disappoint you…I finished it today- and I think it is so amazing- you will be raving even more!
    Narcopolis is also wonderful, I really enjoyed that too.
    I haven’t read the Mantel- I’m still mid Wolf Hall as an audio book, and its great, but so long. And I’m imagining Bringing up the Bodies will be more of the same…as Tuesday said “the same series”.
    Disappointing when the two Asian candidates are so much more original in terms of subject matter…

    1. Hi Mareelouise, I’m so excited to read both those books now! Maybe Mantel’s was just perfect in a technical sense? I don’t know. I’m not sure what the Booker judges look for in a novel, to be honest. Not after this year’s debacle anyway. Still have faith in them though, because they seem to have made some pretty good choices for the shortlist :)

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