Booker night, damm I’ve not read any


Tonight sees the booker winner announced and like last year I have not read a single book from the shortlist .I last read the full shortlist in 2009 in the early days of this blog. But my tastes have shift or have they ? I watched the artsnight show presented by Ben Okri about this years shortlist and by the end of the show went damm Stu what you doing . THis years list maybe is the one that I should have tried . I have read Anne Tyler and Tom McCarthy  before and connected with both Tyler writes great family drama and McCarthy is talented writer if a little overrated imho but C was thought-provoking. I was brought A little life by Hanya Yangihara by Amanda for my birthday, but have yet to get to it. When the list was first announced a the longlist stage I would put money on A little life, BUt it is the last three books that Ben Okri really sold me and reminded me of what years ago I loved in the booker .Marlon james has written about the attempt  killing of Bob Marley , The fisherman by Chigozie Obioma could herald a new voice in African writing it seems and draws on the oral tradition of His homeland .Then there is  Sunjeev Sahota book about immigrants in Sheffield from India (I only live ten miles from Sheffield so this appeals on the level I don’t think there is enough immigrant lit ).I wish BBC had shown the Okri show at the start of the shortlist (I know it couldn’t have been done , but they could have done all longlisted writers maybe). Next year I shall take more note and maybe raise my eyes out of my current translated read and look at what makes the shortlist and in the mean time will pick up the three books by James, Obioma and Sahota as and when I see them. I’m not going hazard a guess at a winner but for fun will pick some comparable translated books similar in one or many ways to the shortlist.

A little life by Hanya Yangihara  – The tower by Uwe Tellkamp – another epic book about growing up , not as much about abuse but the abuse of  power that they saw by the state at the time .

A spool of Blue thread by Anne Tyler -When doves disappear by Sofi Oksanen a story that goes back and forth in time like the Tyler story does.also there is a link between the two main characters .

when the doves disappeared by Sofi oksanen

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy A project for revoloution in New York by Alain Robbe-Grillet A challenging  experimental novel from France set in america as Satin island is a play on Staten island in New York .

alain robbe Grillet

The fishermen by Chigozie Obioma – Our Musseque is another tale of African life tough and brutal as well but seen through the eyes of kids .


A Brief history of seven killings by Marlon james – The anatomy of a moment by javier Cercas another book about a moment in history , this was about the attempt coup in the early 80’s in Spain .


The year of runaways by Sunjeev Sahota – She is not me by Golnaz Hashemzadeh  Another story of immigrant life in Sweden not Sheffield thou .


She Is Not Me

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 10:53:48

    I’ve not read any either Stu, and to be honest it doesn’t bother me. I read what I like and what takes my mood, or I don’t enjoy it! 🙂


  2. MarinaSofia
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 11:20:27

    haven’t read any either, although I plan to get around to a couple of these… in my own good time. Interesting comparisons, though!


  3. Claire
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 11:27:22

    I’ve stopped bothering to read the whole shortlist too because there have been so many overrated duds in the past. I picked up Anne Tyler’s book because I’ve always loved her writing and this one doesn’t disappoint – although it doesn’t break new ground either (not unexpectedly for Tyler!). Like you, having seen more about the others this week, I do fancy reading The Fishermen and The Year of the Runaways, too now – and agree more coverage about them earlier would be a good thing. It’ll be interesting to see who wins.


  4. Guy Savage
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 14:53:08

    I haven’t read any of ’em either. Most of the short lists never interest me that much anyway.. grumble, grumble.


  5. BookerTalk
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 17:14:46

    I don’t set out to read the whole list – no way can I read that fast – but I do like to read at least one or two titles just so I know what the winner is up against. The Fishermen is one I really enjoyed. I know it’s not a translated book but given your recent interest in African writing, this could be one for you


  6. Melissa Beck
    Oct 14, 2015 @ 00:26:54

    I’ve only read one of them and the rest really haven’t interested me. So you are definitely not alone! I think I only read one book on the list last year as well.


  7. Melissa Beck
    Oct 14, 2015 @ 00:28:33

    Actually, I take that back. I have read any of the ones on the list this year! But I have read When the Doves Disappeared and really enjoyed it!


  8. Lisa Hill
    Oct 14, 2015 @ 04:12:46

    I read the longlisted The Chimes (because the author is from New Zealand) and I liked The Fisherman, but the rest do not appeal at all. I have a copy of the Seven Killings because some publisher sent it to me, but I’m unlikely ever to read it.


  9. Annabel Gaskell (@gaskella)
    Oct 14, 2015 @ 07:00:52

    I read A Little Life, but wasn’t overwhelmed by it, so glad it didn’t win in the end. Would like to read Marlon James though and have Satin Island in the pile.


  10. farmlanebooks
    Oct 14, 2015 @ 14:22:58

    This is the first year I haven’t read the entire longlist and I feel like I’m missing out as it does seem to be the best selection they’ve had in a while. It’s been nice to select my own reading choices over the past few months though and I’ll pick up books as I fall over them (literally in my house!) Thanks for pointing out The Tower – it sounds like a great book!


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October 2015


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