Shadow winner is for the last time for me


For the first time I have read but haven’t reviewed our winner it has been a strange year. We have spent time discussing books I had time to read the list as I was off work with stress but my focus hasn’t been around for months so I feel upset I hadn’t covered the winner we choose and still have books to review from the list. I will get to them but as time is over to review them we choose as our winner

Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung translator – Anton Hur

A collection of stories well written but just not my thing I loved a couple and will mention in my review as I have never been a horror fan but a couple I loved. It was a close winner and the other book that just got pipped at the post is

`Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree Translator – Daisy Rockwell For me this was my personal favourite by a head and shoulders of all there books and will long be a favourite read for this reader just stunning a woman lives on after her husbands death and starts to open up about her life it is just such a great book on so many levels. So I reach the end of another year and this will be my last with the shadow jury as I feel it is time to change things round I will be doing something else next year with some new people. I look forward to see who Frank and his pals have chosen I miss the old iffy days when I was there but its amazing how big this prize is now!!

What has been your favourite read from the lists this year and who do you think will win ?

The booker international diaries 2022

Edited in Prisma app with Watercolor image from booker

Well it is time for the second part of the booker international diaries. its has been over a week since I posted the first part and am starting to work my way through the pile of books this year has been one where I have had to read more than others so it has been a new challenge to get through the book and indeed getting the books I still couldn’t find my review copy of Cursed bunny’s I ordered one from Hanford star but I was a little late as they sold out which is great news anyway it would be here and then next week Paradais comes out. I have read four books so far and reviewed two Happy stories, mostly , which i had and is one of the most refreshing collection of short stories I have read the story of a mother going abroad after her son had taken his own life struck me  and Heaven a novel about two bullies connections and a horrific suffering of bullying. Then I read The book of Mother by Violaine Huisman which is the one book I knew nothing about when the longlist came out it and is an intriguing piece of auto fiction about her mother that is one of those figure that is memorable and deserved to be written about. The I read the David Grossman which as some one that has read his other books was one I probably would have read at some point it is the sale of the generations of family that settled in Israel after leaving Yugoslavia over three gernrations of the females in the family it took its inspirations from a documentary that Paul one of the fellow shadow jurors pointed us in the direction of when we started discussing each of the books which we are doing all the time as we read them. I hope to post reviews this week of the two books I have just finished in the next week. I have just turned 50 a few days ago so have been spending time with Amanda over the weekend. I have also invested in a new laptop which I am using as my old Chromebook had only a couple of moths of software updates left as they only cover the software for 5 years anyway as I am wanting to do more on my laptop I invested in the whistles and bells MacBook Air my first Mac it will take me time to get use to the OS of this but that said I have had iPhones for years so shouldn’t be that much of a struggle I am reading the other book that was on my radar at the moment after the sun which had passed my by and I decided to start my reread of tomb of sand which I am still loving as much as the first read it has  a style that draws you in as a reader as it sometimes seems to take down the fourth wall and talk to you the reader which I like also it is seems to capture that juxatapose between generations well between the mother and her favourite son Sid as he has flown not just the Nest but also India I always like this sort of family insights the way time and just the speed of the world know drifts people apart and also takes them from that community and small world they live in I was remind of stories like Please look after mother and also one of my favourite films Tokyo story that show that generation gap as well as the world shrinks and people move and leave their home villages. I will leave you there it is another insight into the world of me as a reader, blogger and  shadow juror. Have you tackled any of the longlist this year o planning to if so which books ?

Stu’s Booker international longlist guessing list for 2022

I wasn’t actually going do a post this year and have left it to the day before which is the last possible day before I always feel that I haven’t read enough to do a guessing post but that is just me and I have read enough although I have a couple that I am reading that I will mention and a few at the end that I haven’t got or read that I think will be on the longlist this time round. I will be interested to see what Frank and his gang choose as I have met Frank on a couple of occasions years ago on the old IFFP prize days I am delighted to be on the shadow jury for another year. Anyway, as ever this is the list for today the day before it might have been different any other day.

Liquid land by Raphela EdelBauer

Translator – Jen Calleja

I enjoyed this novel that saw Ruth trying to get back to her home village where she grew up after the loss of her parents and discovering there is a huge web of secrets there. just a little quirky.

Special needs bu Lada Vuckic

Translator – Christina Pribichevic

Our narrator has special needs and is on the autistic spectrum. As someone that has worked with Learning disabilities patients on the Autistic spectrum for more than twenty years for me, the voice of the narrator caught the characteristics and some of the thought processes similar to how I have seen people I worked with talk about their own worldview.

Painting Time by Maylis de kerangal

Translator – Jessica Moore

A trio of friends on the cusp of entering the world of work after being at art college faces the choice between what is Art ie creating and Craft making in a way as one of them makes Trompe L’oeil for a set design company.

Love in the big city by Sang Young Park

Translator – Anton Hur

Part of my Tilted Axis subscription this was one I really enjoyed a story of a young mans coming of age from coming to the big city to his first lovers and then a big romance and then the aftermath of that failing also this must be the best cover this year !!

Marzahn, Mon Amour by Katja Oskamp

Translator – Jo Heinrich

A poorer area of Berlin is told in little vignettes of a writer turned podiatrist as she works on there feet she talks about their lives and we build a picture of the locals a gem from Peirene.

Lemon by Kwon Yeo-suh

Translator – Janet Hong

Another book from Korea I liked this it is about a high school beauty death and is told when it happened and years after think back this is almost like a podcast in a book one of those true crime ones where we get different glimpses of what happen and every few pages change our mind about whether it was the poor boy or rich boy that did it or someone else.

Red Milk by Sjon

Translator – Victoria Cribb

I have always loved his books and this is a historic book that starts when a man that is found dead on a station platform in Englans we look back on the events that lead him to end up dead on a platform a million miles from his Icelandic home.

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

Translator – the writer herself

This is the first novel she has written in Italian and translated into English her self its lead character is a middle-aged and we look into her life very very short vignettes with title like in the shop etc.

Have read or am reading books but not reviewed I fancy on the list

Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree

Translator – Daisy Rockwell

I struggled to write the review for this as it is a subtle book not much happens but it is so beautifully written and an insight into a world not often written about widows and being old. an old woman becomes alive when she is a widower and surprise her family with the changes and people she meets.

The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk

Translator – Jennifer Croft

I decided to read and then reread it which I am just a hundred -pages in I may just review it if it is pon the list it is a melting pot of the time when Jewish, Catholic and others lived in Poland a time gone this is the story of prophet call  Jacob of the title. but maybe a wider story and that is of what happened in the years from the 1700’s to know using the past a prism to the present in a way maybe I,m trying to reread it to unlock it more.

Morning Star by Karl Ove knausgaard

Translator – Martin Aitken

A series of lives told after a star appears in the sky and a number of strange events happen in each of their lives as ever he captures the little events in people’s lives but here has added a little of a surreal nature to his work.

Planet of clay by Samar Yazbek

Translator – leri Price

A journey of a young refugee Remi and her escape as she reads the little prince and she views the world with a child’s eyes which makes the horror more poignant in a way as her world and the real world are different and you have to read between the lines and see the true horror of events.

Last, not sure if it is eligible but I am just reading it

Something strange like hunger by Malika  Moustadraf

Translator – Alice Guthrie

A series of short stories nearly lost to use that talk about being a virgin and needing to get the check before their marriage, sex workers having to get by having to sell themselves these stories lift the lid on life in Morroco.

What are your thoughts on the longlist this year? as ever I plough my own path on books as a reader it is all our own journeys over the last year? I have only chosen books I read or am reading this year.

March 2023


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