Happy Booker Longlist Day!
The longlist for the Man Booker is out! And I got to say, I did not predict it at all - other than The Mirror & The Light, none of my predicted titles made it on there (incidentally, I was also waaaaay off on the International Booker).
There are, however, some real juicy-looking titles on there. I've got some of them on pre-order (paperback copy of Such a Fun Age; Real Life; This Mournable Body), but there are some on there that have not been on my TBR list at all that have now piqued my interest: namely, How Much of These Hills is Gold, The Shadow King, and Love and Other Thought Experiments. I'll probably pick those three up as soon as possible and complement them with those on the shortlist when it's announced on 15th September.
There's some other exciting literary prizes announcements all congregating in this latter half the year, as well: 1st September is the announcement of the list of the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, which is like the fore-runner to the Goncourt (the shortlist will be announced on 27th October, which sadly just misses the mark for my birthday wishlist). But the Prix Goncourt du premier roman has been announced, and I've put the winner for that (a philosophical musing on the last days of Samuel Beckett, of Waiting for Godot fame) and the other two finalists in my Fnac shopping cart for my trip to my grandma's in September.
Anyway, here's the full longlist for those of you who are into this kind of thing (which I would imagine is all of you?):
The Mirror & the Light, by Hilary Mantel (my review is here);
Love and Other Thought Experiments, by Sophie Ward (WANT WANT WANT);
The Shadow King, by Maaza Mengiste (WANT WANT WANT);
Shuggie Bain, by Douglas Stuart;
Burnt Sugar, by Avni Doshi;
Who They Was, by Gabriel Krauze (might give this one a pass unless it ends up on the shortlist - the review doesn't exactly strike my fancy and it seems grim as all fucking fuck);
This Mournable Body, by Tsitsi Dangarembga (the paperback of this one doesn't come out till January of next year, but I might have to suck it up and buy it in hardback as I think this one is a shoo-in for the shortlist - but hey, I've been wrong before!);
Real Life, by Brandon Taylor;
Apeirogon, by Colum McCann (think this one might be a bit too fantastical for me but I am intrigued);
Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid;
Redhead by the Side of the Road, by Anne Tyler (I've always been a bit meh on Anne Tyler, but we'll see);
How Much of These Hills is Gold, by C Pam Zhang (WANT WANT WANT);
The New Wilderness, by Diane Cook (might also give this one a pass if it's not on the shortlist. I'm sorry, but I just don't enjoy books about how grim the future is if we don't solve climate change. I don't need that in my fiction, thanks, I already have to deal with that day in day out).
Here are also some other books I've got my eye on: Naamah, by Sarah Blake, a retelling of the story of Noah's Ark from the point of view of Noah's wife (we all know how I feel about Biblical retellings); The Lost Queen, by Signe Pike (high Arthurian fantasy but with badass female protagonists! YASSSS GET IN MY VEINS); and Valentine, by Elizabeth Wetmore (murder and mayhem on a Texas oil field).
Shall we do a readalong of the Booker shortlist when it's announced in September?