LT Orange Prize Shadow Jury
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Just wondered if there's any interest in forming an LT Orange Prize Shadow Jury? I plan on reading all six titles. I thought members of this group who plan on reading all the shortlist titles might want to choose our own winner. All that would be required is reading all six titles and writing a brief writeup of which book you would choose as the winner and a sentence or two on your runner up. I would compile the votes and do a blog post on the Orange Prize Project blog as well as my own blog. Any other members of this group could post about the results on their own blog as well.
I thought a simple 1-6 ranking of the six titles would be best, with the book receiving the fewest points being chosen as the winner.
If you're interested, please give your ranking and a paragraph or so on your winner and runner-up choice in this thread.
I think if we at least get 4 people who've read all six titles that should be sufficient, but the more the merrier.
Count me in. I'll finish my fourth shortlisted book in the next day or two, which gives me two weeks to knock out the other two books, which I already have.
I won't get 6 read, but I'd love to see what gets picked on a shadow jury.
I know. I should have suggested it way earlier than this so more people could have participated. I only have Half Blood Blues to go. It's kind of ironic in that it was the only shortlist title of the Bookers that I was unable to read last year so it will be fun to make that comparison as well.
I'm excited that we have at least 4 jury members. Remember, anyone can be on the shadow jury who has read all 6 titles. I would ask that your rankings and writeups be here by 9 am Eastern time on May 28th so we can announce later that day or the 29th.
Also, if you could write a simple sentence or two about yourself that would be great as well.
I've been thinking about the selection process and how real prize juries select the winner. At first I thought that a simple ranking as I've described above would be the way to go, but what if, for instance, we all had different first choices, but we all ranked one title as second. Would it make sense to declare that title the winner as we could all get behind it, or do you think the point ranking is sufficient?
I do admit I have a bias in this as one of my least favorite titles seems to be many of others' favorite. However, it does seem that one particular title is second on almost all our lists so far. We'll tally the points in either case.
I think prize juries rarely have a unanimous first choice. Joanna Trollope said when they met to decide the shortlist, there were two titles unanimously selected. I'd love to know which titles those are, but we probably never will!
I think a simple ranking makes sense as a first step. If there's one title (and only one title) represented in everyone's top 2, then it's a clear winner.
Are we posting our ranking and thoughts in this thread?
Are we posting our ranking and thoughts in this thread? Yes, please post your thoughts here.
I would love to know as well. I guess we'll find out at least one of them, though, right?
I am in! I am 1/3 of the way through my last Orange nominee, Foreign Bodies.
Another way to vote - add a point value to each selection, and the book with the most points win.
Your first choice - 50 points
Your second choice - 45 points
Michelle, you're much better at math than me, so I won't be offended if you say it won't make a difference if we count up points or ranks. LOL!
I was hoping you were going to finish all 6 titles, Jill!! I'm about 1/3 through Half Blood Blues and am enjoying it a lot so far.
I noticed that Kevin from Canada, Kimbofo, and others on the shadow jury for the Giller used a 100 point system. Each member divided 100 points among the shortlist titles however each saw fit. Still not sure how we'll do it, maybe use 2 or 3 systems just to explore all possible outcomes and whoever is on the jury can voice their opinions on method of choice and winner then.
Oh, I like that 100 point idea. We could definitely try different methods to see which one works the best - this could be our "trial" year. =)
Dang it.... no way can I get to all the short listers, but I'm still reading along with y'all and anxious to see who wins the LT OJ prize!!
>17 Same question here; I'll be done with the shortlist by this evening.
Why don't we do it both ways and see how it shakes out, just a simple 1-6 rating and then a 100 point allocation among the 6 books. We can decide amongst ourselves then which method was best and choose the winner. It ultimately should probably be up to you since you're the owner of the group, Jill.
I'll be finished with Half Blood Blues tonight or tomorrow and will put my votes in then.
Ok, sounds like a plan.
We have two methods:
1) A simple ranking of books (put the shortlisted books in order of who you think should win; numbers 1-6)
2) You have 100 points. Divide these 100 points among the six short-listed books. You should give your "winner" the highest total of points. It doesn't have to be evenly divided. However, each book must garner at least one point (no zero points!).
1) State of Wonder
2) Half-Blood Blues
3) The Song of Achilles
4) Painter of Silence
5) Foreign Bodies
6) The Forgotten Waltz
State of Wonder - 35 points
Half-Blood Blues - 25 points
The Song of Achilles - 22 points
Painter of Silence - 9 points
Foreign Bodies - 8 points
The Forgotten Waltz - 1 point
(for a total of 100 points)
Let's strive to have our lists posted on this thread by May 28, and then I can tally our votes on the morning of May 29 (I live in the Eastern time zone).
I also encourage discussion! Ask why someone ranked your least favorite book first. Convince people to change their minds. It's a jury, right? =)
Dang, I wish I had completed all six. This sounds like so much fun. But I must honestly say that while last year's long and short lists wowed me, this year's sadly left me feeling as though something was lacking so I didn't read most of them all the way through. But still and all I will be following you.
Great idea 1morechapter! I think this rocks!~!
And here is my ranking:
1) Foreign Bodies (27 points)
2) Half Blood Blues (25 points)
3) Painter of Silence (21 points)
4) The Song of Achilles (14 points)
5) State of Wonder (8 points)
6) The Forgotten Waltz (5 points)
Darryl, you and I share the same last one! =)
Why I think Foreign Bodies should win? It's probably one of the more literary books in the bunch, it features a female lead character and Cynthia Ozick is an established author who hasn't won the Orange Prize yet.
And a side note: Gillespie and I should have been on the short list. I think the judges missed.
>23 I completely agree with you, Jill. I'm gobsmacked at the omission of Gillespie and I from the shortlist, as it was my favorite of the eight longlisted novels I've read so far.
I wouldn't be surprised or overly disappointed if Foreign Bodies came out on top. I did like it, and I suspect that I would have liked it more if I had already read The Ambassadors. I gave a slight edge to The Song of Achilles over Painter of Silence, as Miller's novel was clever, unique and inspiring, on top of being a cracking good read. Her novel has already spurred several LTers to read or plan to read The Iliad, which in itself is a laudable accomplishment. I found Painter of Silence to be evocative and powerful, and its two main characters were richly portrayed and unforgettable to me. Even if The Song of Achilles wins, I'll be disappointed to see Painter of Silence lose out, but I hope that it is selected for this year's Booker Prize longlist, as it is certainly deserving of wider attention.
Here's my final ranking:
1. State of Wonder (50 points)
2. Painter of Silence (40 points)
3. Foreign Bodies (4 points)
4. The Forgotten Waltz (3 points)
5. Half-Blood Blues (2 points)
6. Song of Achilles (1 point)
It was hard for me to rank these, as I rated four of the six 4 stars. I'd be pleased if any of the titles win, which is refreshing, as I do believe they are all of high quality. The points come from my level of enjoyment. State of Wonder is one of my all-time favorite novels and is as close to perfection as a novel can be. Painter of Silence, which I awarded 4.5 stars, is a step above the rest, and if I were making a prediction of which will win, it would be Painter of Silence. Ozick's writing narrowly bested Enright's. I enjoyed many things about both novels but had issues with both too. Half-Blood Blues wowed me more with story than writing, and the story dragged too much for me in the middle. Song of Achilles was a thoroughly enjoyable novel, but I'm not convinced it has the literary chops of the others, even though it's one I'd recommend to most readers.
And I concur Gillespie and I should have made the shortlist. I would have put The Pink Hotel on too as both were 4.5 star reads. I still have four titles to finish from this year's longlist, but over all, I've been quite pleased with it.
1) Foreign Bodies (30 points)
2) Painter of Silence (25 points)
3) State of Wonder (20 points)
4) Forgotten Waltz (12 points)
5) Half Blood Blues (8 points)
6) Song of Achilles (5 points)
I really wish I would have read Gillespie and I as well so I'd have it to compare to the rest of the shortlist. I have a feeling it would have been in my top 3.
If you know of anyone else who has completed all 6 shortlisted books, please ask him/her to stop by this thread for their selections. Thanks to everyone who has posted their choices so far!
I had a difficult time deciding between Foreign Bodies and Painter of Silence for my top spot. It came down to the fact that I read Foreign Bodies in a single day and I kept thinking about that book for days afterward. I loved the lovely writing in Painter of Silence but it didn't make me think about it as much as Foreign Bodies did.
I really thought State of Wonder was going to take the top spot 3/4 of the way through the book, but then I didn't really care for the ending. I love Patchett's writing and stories, but her endings are flawed for me.
The Forgotten Waltz was very well written in my opinion, but I didn't love the characters, or ultimately the book. It was still a 4 star read, though, due to her writing. She really gets into the heads of her characters.
I liked the story of Half Blood Blues but not so much the writing. As for Song of Achilles, I just didn't feel it added anything to the other retellings out there, and I didn't like the writing at all, either.
I sure wish Gillespie and I would have been on the shortlist. I'll probably read that for Orange July.
Here's how I would rank these six:
1. Song of Achilles (32 points)
2. Painter of Silence (29)
3. Foreign Bodies (15)
4. Half-Blood Blues (12)
5. The Forgotten Waltz (7)
6. State of Wonder (5)
For me Song of Achilles takes first place because Miller has managed to make The Iliad accessible to more readers. Harding's writing is subtle and emotionally wrought.
Obviously, all six writers are gifted, but Song and Painter will end up being more memorable to this reader.
Gillespie and I would have been right up there with my top 2 choices. I rated all three as 4.5 star reads . . .
The results are in!
Our first method was to simply rank our Orange Prize winners in order from numbers 1-6. Here's the final ranking after considering everyone's votes:
1) Painter of Silence
2) Foreign Bodies
3) The Song of Achilles
4) State of Wonder
5) Half Blood Blues
6) The Forgotten Waltz
Our second method was to assign a numerical value to our selections so the total points would equal 100 (with the "winner" given the highest amount of points). Here's the final ranking after tallying the points:
1) Painter of Silence
2) The Song of Achilles
3) State of Wonder
4) Foreign Bodies
5) Half Blood Blues
6) The Forgotten Waltz
So, the winner in both methods is the same....Painter of Silence - our official selection from the LT Orange Prize Shadow Jury!
Isn't it interesting that #5 and 6 on both lists are the same books?
Thanks to everyone for playing and voting. We'll see tomorrow if our selection is correct!
The people have spoken! I'm so glad the shadow jury chose Painter of Silence. I read it last week and loved it. Next year I'm going to get my act together and read the entire shortlist so I can cast my votes.
Maybe we can have an LT Shadow Jury for the upcoming Booker Prize as well. Are you listening, Darryl?
Thanks for doing this, everyone! I've been lurking with great interest. I'm looking forward to reading Painter of Silence when it's available in the US.
I've only read two so far, and I really liked both - and they are the bottom of both lists! This bodes well for the rest of the books, once I get to them.
>33 An excellent result. I suppose that an argument could be made for selecting The Song of Achilles, as it received more first place votes (3) than any other book. However, more of us held high opinions about Painter of Silence, even though it didn't win any first place votes, which makes it a great consensus pick as the best book from the entire jury, IMO.
>34 I'm listening loud and clear, Donna! I had planned to do the same thing in the Booker Prize group after Michelle came up with the idea of an Orange Shadow Jury. I've already acquired a half dozen books that seem to be good candidates for this year's Booker Dozen, and I'll start by reading Bring Up the Bodies this weekend.
>35 I hope to see Painter of Silence in this year's Booker Prize longlist. Hopefully Bloomsbury USA will release it ahead of time, particularly if it wins the Orange Prize tomorrow.
Great job, jury! I'll start *Painter* as soon as I can.
Darryl, I'd be interested to know what you have so far in anticipation of the Booker. Maybe I could copy you.
I'm in for a Booker shadow jury. There are several book bloggers who read the entire shortlist (and longlist) too. I've really enjoyed discussing the list with them in the past few years!
>38 Peggy, I've been watching the posts on the 2012 Man Booker Speculation thread in the prize's official web site, where members of the Discussion group have talked about books that are eligible for consideration (as their authors' previous novels were Booker winners or were shortlisted for the award) or ones that they feel are worthy of being longlisted. So far I've acquired these books (and my copy of Bring Up the Bodies should come from Amazon UK any day now):
Pure by Timothy Mo
Scenes from Early Life by Philip Hensher
The Coward's Tale by Vanessa Gebbie
Trapeze by Simon Mawer (published as The Girl Who Fell from the Sky in the UK)
Capital by John Lanchester
The Coward's Tale and Trapeze are currently available in the US.
Painter of Silence has received mention by multiple members, along with Absolution by Patrick Flannery, No Time Like the Present by Nadine Gordimer and The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey. There are several other intriguing novels that haven't been published in the UK yet, including NW by Zadie Smith, Lionel Asbo: State of England by Martin Amis, Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan, Mo said she was quirky by James Kelman and The Yips by Nicola Barker. The books that have received the most praise so far are Bring Up the Bodies, The Coward's Tale and Pure, so I'll plan to read those first. Another title that I'm very interested in is Our Lady of Alice Bhatti by Mohammed Hanif, which will be released in the US today. I loved his debut novel A Case of Exploding Mangoes, which was longlisted for the Booker in 2008.
I've started a 2012 Booker Prize longlist speculation thread in the Booker Prize group, where several of us have been talking about possibilities for the Booker Prize longlist, which will be announced on July 25.
>40 ETA: Excellent! I read 12 of the 13 Booker Dozen novels last year, all but Far to Go, and I intend to read all of this year's longlisted books.
Sorry to hijack your group, Jill!
We're not alone in selecting Painter of Silence as our Orange Prize winner:
Warwickshire Libraries Reading Groups announce their unofficial Orange Book Prize winner
I am very happy with our pick of Painter of Silence. I do hope it at least gets longlisted for the Booker.
Count me in on the shadow jury for the Booker, Darryl. I read 5/6 last year but didn't get Half Blood Blues in the mail in time.
This was a fun endeavor and I'm already looking forward to it next year as well!
Painter of Silence is supposed to be available in Canada on June 5- I just put in an order with my favourite book store for ordering.
I do hope if Painter of Silence wins the Orange, it's U.S. publication date will be moved up, as The Sense of and Ending was after last year's Booker! It's such a shame for a book to have such great buzz and still be months away from publication.
>45, I agree, Carrie. I was able to order a copy through alibris.com at a reasonable price, but it can be hit or miss there. It certainly would be better for the publisher to release it in the US sooner than later (they should have released it when it made the short list, IMHO).
>37 Darryl, yes, I see your point about The Song of Achilles. I did an average (1-6) of each book, and the book with the lowest average (closest to 1) was the "winner." Painter of Silence averaged 2.17 while The Song of Achilles averaged 3.17. I hope that helps explain where my head was! LOL!
And how exciting to have a Booker shadow jury. I look forward to what everyone decides on, when the time comes!
Bookfinder.com is another place I use. I bought mine from The Book Depository for $11.05 new but they don't have it anymore.
>46 I completely agree with your rating scheme, Jill. I looked at the point totals last night, during a quiet period of work, and thought about how I would handle the data, in anticipation of having to do the same thing in October for the proposed Booker Prize Shadow Jury. I came to the same conclusion, that the book with the lowest average (Painter of Silence), rather than the one with the most first place votes (The Song of Achilles), best represented the consensus of the jury. This was also borne out by the total number of points that Painter of Silence received using the second method.
>42 Interestingly, the Warwickshire Libraries Reading Groups, whose shadow jury voted for Painter of Silence as its favorite book, also decided that Half Blood Blues, which was #5 on our list, would be the most likely book to win the Orange Prize tomorrow. If I had to cast a similar vote, I would choose Painter of Silence first, followed by Foreign Bodies, The Song of Achilles, State of Wonder, Half Blood Blues and The Forgotten Waltz. What do the rest of you think?
>48 I don't think these books will win for the following reasons:
State of Wonder -- Patchett has already won before
Song of Achilles -- another American debut author, same as last year
Half Blood Blues -- has already gotten recognition for winning the Giller
None of these would matter to me if I were on the jury and I thought a particular book was the best of the lot, though.
I truly think Painter of Silence will win simply because it is a great consensus pick. Harding also is not American, which the last few winners have been. Foreign Bodies might win not only because it was great (IMO), but also because of Ozick's age. However, she's American. I guess Forgotten Waltz would be my third choice prediction. It might have better odds than Ozick's though, just because she's Irish.
Mine too! Though painter of silence was a close second and I would have been happy to see it win.
>53 This is what happens when you let guys serve as jurors. When their favorite book wins, they strut around like, um...
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