Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I love a challenge

So I decided that as my life has no direction and I have no money or social life to speak of right now, I needed something to stimulate and challenge me. But I couldn't think what. And then yesterday the Man Booker Prize longlist was published. Two years ago, I tried to plough through all 19 of the titles. I failed. While there were some amazing books in the mix (I'll Go To Bed At Noon, Cooking With Fernet Branca, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Cloud Atlas to name four and if you haven't read any of them, I strongly suggest you do), there were some unholy duds and after giving up on my third book in a row, I abandoned the idea. But having looked over the titles this year, they seem much more of an eclectic and interesting bunch, so I thought what the hell. Plus, I've already read two of them, so I have a head start.

The List:

Theft: A Love Story by Peter Carey
The Inheritance Of Loss by Kiran Desai
Gathering The Water by Robert Edric
Get A Life by Nadine Gordimer
The Secret River by Kate Grenville
Carry Me Down by M.J. Hyland
Kalooki Nights by Howard Jacobson
Seven Lies by James Lasdun
The Other Side Of The Bridge by Mary Lawson
So Many Ways To Begin by Jon McGregor
In The Country Of Men by Hisham Matar
Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud
The Perfect Man by Naeem Murr
Be Near Me by Andrew O'Hagan
The Testament Of Gideon Mack by James Robertson
Mother's Milk by Edward St. Aubyn
The Ruby In Her Navel by Barry Unwsorth
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

The two that are crossed out are the two that I have already read. The fact that I count them to be two of the best books I have read in the last 12 months gives me hope for the remaining 17.


Grouchbutt said...

Please please please tell me that Be Near Me is all about Mark White. I must have been in a coma for the past year. I recognize none of these, but some of the authors look familiar. Isn't everything Barry Unsworth writes usually longlisted?

Popcultureboy said...

Be Near Me is actually about a priest who may or may not be a child abuser. The review in the Sunday Times was resoundingly average so I am surprised to see it on here. Some of them, like Barry Unsworth, aren't even published yet, which is a bit sneaky.