I'm stopping my previously announced challenge to read all 19 books on the Booker Prize longlist. Why, I hear you ask. Well, because the shortlist blows. David Mitchell, who really should have won, hasn't made the cut. Claire Messud, whose utterly wonderful The Emperor's Children I am currently loving every page of, has been similarly dismissed. Edward St Aubyn, who I was sort of underwhelmed by and stated that I would be surprised to see him on the shortlist, is indeed on the shortlist. I mean, fine you were raped by your father from age 6 to 8 and then you had a massive heroin habit through college and into your 20's so it's a miracle you can even string a sentence together, but come on. So once I'm done with Ms Messud, I'll be reading something else. Probably Stephen King's new one, after the return to form of Cell.