The Man Booker prize, which is not without its politics, controversies and critics has, nevertheless furnished me with some of my most memorable reads recently: Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, which led me to her wonderful The Rehearsal, Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale For The Time Being, How To Be Both by Ali Smith, Niall Williams’ The History Of The Rain. Gorgeous, unique and powerful – occasionally experimental – voices.
The year’s list (the covers for which look amazing) are:
Bill Clegg (U.S.), Did You Ever Have a Family
Anne Enright (Ireland), The Green Road
Marlon James (Jamaica), A Brief History of Seven Killings
Laila Lalami (U.S.), The Moor’s Account
Tom McCarthy (U.K.), Satin Island
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), The Fishermen
Andrew O’Hagan (U.K.), The Illuminations
Marilynne Robinson (U.S.), Lila
Anuradha Roy (India), Sleeping on Jupiter
Sunjeev Sahota (U.K.), The Year of the Runaways
Anna Smaill (New Zealand), The Chimes
Anne Tyler (U.S.), A Spool of Blue Thread
Hanya Yanagihara (U.S.), A Little Life
2015 has not got off to a good start: illness has struck both me and baby daughter. You can tell if you look around the house that things have not been well: mince pies remain uneaten; the Christmas Cake is still chaste in its virginal icing; my reading pile has not decreased at all after a two week holiday.
I guess debilitating headaches and gripey children have that effect!
Anyway, to prove that I still have a teacherly attitude, I have reduced my reading challenge to a spreadsheet. Colour coded. and I am going to try to embed it here.
Oh! That seemed to work! Cool! Does it update itself as I add to the original Google Docs document? I don’t know.
Instead of trying to pre-fill the grid now, I’m intending to generally read what I want and what is lying around already in my To Be Read pile (certainly to start the year) and then work out where I can slot it in once I’ve finished. I’m hoping not to have to buy or read to many books just to complete the challenge.
I’m also intending to do what a number of people may view as cheating: tick off multiple categories with one book which is why I’ve included at the moment three possible books for each category. Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller is a play, banned and Pulitzer Prize Winner,
As an aide memoire to myself – and which may be of help to others too – these links may give options for some of the categories:
Pulitzer Prize Winners
Banned Books (in the UK)
As I finish each book, I intend to update the spreadsheet with links to my reviews of each book.
So many books; so little time.
Even before 2015 starts, there are so many which I still have to read from last year … and then ones I got for Christmas!
I am thoroughly enjoying both David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks and Ali Smith’s How To Be Both, both of which were nominated for the 2014 Man Booker Prize. Not to mention this year’s winner, Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road To The Deep North which I’ve not started yet.
I’m also very much looking forward to continuing C. J. Sansom’s newest Shardlake novel, Lamentation which my gorgeous Mrs P. got me for Christmas.
And then there’s The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton and Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs all three of which I got for Christmas too!
And then there are the books I’ve not had time to read yet this year and are sat on a shelf or my ereader waiting like an unwanted dog in the pens of a dogs’ home: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, We Are Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Jay Fowler, The Martian by Andy Weir, The Book Of Strange New Things by Michael Faber.
And for light relief, I’m still looking forward to Horowitz’ House of Silk and Moriarty!
That is a lot of books lining up… and I’ve not checked yet to see which categories in the reading challenge they might be able to tick off!
Wow. Just. Wow.
Finding this book and its stream of consciousness a challenge at the moment but Smith’s language can be so beautiful.