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So: 2017 Tournament of Books Long List. Whaddya think? I think it's not very edgy (though is it ever?), but it's an interesting array of popular and slightly under-the-radar stuff. I've read I think eight of those, but jeez I have a lot more unread... this looks like a good excuse to start working through some of what's been languishing on my shelves.
Never read any, the majority of the titles I've never even heard of, and many of the authors even.
In case you're interested: http://www.librarything.com/topic/243063# the thread discussing the list in the group specifically made for that subject.
My choices in lists tend to be about those that've stood the test of time, like the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die or whatever the title is, though naturally I don't agree with all their picks, heh. But that's a list I actively try to work on. :)
Thanks for the heads up on that, Monkey! I'll go see what they're talking about over there (though this is a good thread to have floating around the BB group anyway).
I'm also thinking I'll apply for a guest judge spot this year again. Like they say in the lotto adds, Hey, you never know.
For some reason that book about the woman watching the ships being torn down appeals to me. I wonder what that says about me.
I've only read a couple of them though -- I seem to be several years behind the rest of the world on "new" fiction, edgy or otherwise. I think it has to do with the way I "discover" books now. I'm paying attention to authors, not new titles, and so books tend to make my radar when they are being recommended by an author on my radar.
I do know that all the booksellers have been talking about The Mothers, and quite a few of them have also been excited about The Pond.
I rarely read anything new, unless I get it from ER, but most of my ER picks are nonfic so generally not the kind of thing that makes lists. One of my rare exceptions being Han Kang's Human Acts, which I imagine will make lists like The Vegetarian did. Anyway, I mostly only learn about new titles from LT, and I don't have a library where most are available, so unless they're ones everyone is talking about I tend to forget them just as quickly.
>5 .Monkey.: Since I work in the book industry, my shelves are awash in review copies and ARCs of books that won't be released for months. Perversely, this has dulled the pleasure and the meaning of "new" for me, taking most of the anticipation out of the equation. So yes, I am excited to have a galley of Tim Gautreaux's new story collection, Signals, due out in late January. But not because it is "new" so much as because it is Gautreaux. I'm also very happy to have Michael Knight's Eveningland --due out in March-- in my TBR stack but once again, not because there is anything new about it, but because a bookseller friend read it in manuscript form last summer and actually called me to talk about how much she loved it.
I suppose I'm more tuned in to "new to me" than "new to everyone"
I also work in a place that sees galleys of pretty much every new book. And where I'm also into the "new to me" over what's hot, there's also a certain amount of what I guess you'd call workplace water cooler gossip about books going on all the time, which is really delightful to me and definitely keeps "what's hot" on my radar. (Although, happily, the new-to-me aspect and even the old-but-apropos enter into the mix.)
It's fun -- I've never been this up on the industry before and I do enjoy it. Especially since I'mnot actually on the side of the office that's writing reviews for a living.
That list has a lot of books on it that I've never heard of or am very unfamiliar with. Then there's also a bunch that are the current "hot" books. I've read 3 and own another 3. I'll be disappointed if only the hot books make the final list, but it is usually half big sellers and half trendy books that hipsters want to read.
Speaking of lists, I also haven't liked this year's NPR Book Concierge.
I've read 6 1/2 and own 6 others. I'm very disappointed that spill simmer falter wither isn't on the long list. I did see it's on NPR's Book Concierge, though.
>4 southernbooklady: SBL, I read the Bones of Grace this year - it's the third book in a trilogy about Bangladesh. I had really mixed feelings about it - the novel not the trilogy - it seemed very unfocused to me and kind of wafty. But I think that had more to do with my expectations of how the trilogy should end than the actual book.
That said, the first book in the trilogy A Golden Age is fantastic.
>10 laurenbufferd: Good to know. I'll find the first in the trilogy to start with.
>9 AprilAdamson: April, I wish I'd seen how much you liked spill simmer falter wither earlier, because it was a Kindle deal recently and I passed on it. I have bought like 4000 recent Kindle deals, though, so....
But I'll wait for the shortlist to see if I'm going to actually keep up with TOB too much. I have more of the books now (Thanks, Santa Julie!), but I don't feel confident about getting them read in time.
The list of submissions for the 2017 Edgar Awards has been out for a while and it is massive. It is a great introduction to what has been published in the field in the last year. The short list will be released in about two weeks as will the new short list for the Story Prize.
I wish the Lanbda Book Awards put out a complete list of submissions because it is almost impossible to know what is new out there.
I dunno. I think I've officially lost interest in book awards. They're so uninspired that I barely even pay attention to them anymore.
The 2017 Edgar nominees have been announced! I love this list. I looked up all of the titles on amazon and they all sound riveting. Yet there is this theme that seems to be so popular in crime fiction these days of a missing child from years back that has reprecussions years later. I think Tana French was one of the first people to do this (unsuccessfully I thought) and now it is popping up everywhere. Also if someone can enlighten me, why is there a Mary Higgins Clark award. Did she bequeath this award? Isn't her crime fiction kind of-----common,pedestrian,lame?
I like these lists, and I (probably alone) appreciate hearing about decent True Crime books I can listen to. (I'm a weirdo and I really like to listen to true crime when going to sleep. I have weird dreams sometimes, but the books are somehow much easier to follow and remember where I fell asleep so I can back it up the next night. But there are way too few good true crime books and authors.)
I assume you are talking about In the Woods by Tana French re: the missing child from years back, etc. I love that book, and I've actually reread it a couple of times, which is very unusual for me. I thought The Likeness was far less successful, but I still read all her books and usually love them. But I agree that it's a very common trope nowadays. I've read/listened to probably 5 or more books like that in the last year.
I think the Mary Higgins Clark award was just named after her, because she used to be super popular. But I personally find her books pretty, yes, "common, pedestrian, lame." But I'm obviously smarter than most people reading bestsellers. HA! Kinda kidding. Sadly, kinda not. ;)
Julie I am also a big lover of true crime and I'm sorry we can't purchase true crime magazines anymore because I would lap them up like crazy. I'm not sure if you are aware but the Edgar
cmttee. posts a list of all titles submitted in the past year and so you can see tons of true crime titles that have been published in the past year. What do you think of Ann Rule? Is she cool or
is she kind of-Mary Higgins Clarkish. And if you could recommend a few great recent true crime titles I would love to hear about them. I'm terrified of crime, and the city I live in is getting worse all the
time although sadly it tends to be gang crimes and sadly black people against black people crime-but even though it terrifies me I love to read about it. I also love watching true crime on tv. I hate
the way they restage events but I find the stories fascinating.
I liked all of Into the Woods except-spoiler alert!-the ending where she resolves nothing. A lot of people complained about that in Readerville and I have no idea why she ended the book that way.
As far as I know the only other big book awards list coming this season is the Lambda Book awards nominees sometime maybe next month. It bugs me that they don't publish a complete list of
submissions like the Edgar does-I mean don't they want us to know what is out there? When you do a search on amazon for new male gay fiction all you get is total crap. It's all this romance garbage or erotica which I am fine with....but I also want quality fiction and until the lambda list comes out-with only the finalists, I have no idea what is being published in the last year. I live in a city with one of the last exclusively lgbtq bookstores probably on the continent, and one of the oldest, incredibly they even moved recently to new spiffy digs which in this day and age is a wonder,
and they have a web page which lists some of their titles, but they don't tell you a lot nor do their shelves in the store. Lots of Edmund White, lots of David Leavitt, but is no one writing gay serious fiction today? So until the Lammy list is posted, I almost have no idea what is out there. Having said that, it was a Canadian who won the top male book prize last year and I thought it had to be
one of the worst written novels I had read in a long time. If I was the publisher, I wouldn't have even published it it was so juvenile and pathetic. Really poorly written. Called God in Pink-just
terrible and an embarrassing read.
Julie did you listen to the one about the yogurt shop murders? That one sounds so sad.
The Story Prize listed their three finalists last week and their debut honourable mention. The head of the Story Prize, a lovely man,Larry Dark,was active on Readerville for a while.
I love The Story Prize, both because I'm a big fan of short stories and because there are only three books, so when they announce the finalists you have a fighting chance of actually reading them all. The big announcement, in March, is one of my favorite literary events because each author reads and talks to Larry, and I find it really informative and comprehensive (easy when there are three). Plus Larry is a great guy. This will be the first year I don't have my own blog, so I probably won't be covering the event... not sure if I'll get a press pass or not, but I might even pay my own way just to go.
OLM is still going strong. I let Like Fire go—no time to blog anymore.
alanS: So until the Lammy list is posted, I almost have no idea what is out there.
Alan, http://www.lambdaliterary.org/ publishes queer book reviews throughout the year.
Alan, I'm not Julie, but I'll chime in on Ann Rule. I have stopped reading true crime, but I read several Ann Rule. I wouldn't call her Mary Higgins Clarkish. She puts in the work and tells a good tale. Julie may have other thoughts, but I would recommend her.
I haven't seen it mentioned here, but Sebastian Barry won The Costa for Days Without End (the only novelist to win it twice). It's nice to see a deserving winner. Doesn't seem to happen much these days.
Sebastian Barry's Second Costa win crowns a singular career
Ooooooo, Pat! That's exciting. That book is so gorgeously peculiar -- I read it the minute (plus one day) it arrived from my Guardian Secret Santa but am waiting to read it again before weighing in; it's strange and incredibly beautiful and I don't think I have quite a handle on it yet -- maybe because I read it so fast.
I often feel on the outside looking in re: book success with this community (but, hey, that's what keeps us just a little bit diverse), but I *knew* that one had deeg written all over it.
My only complaint, and, please, those who have not read it, do not read any further in this post because I don't want to even slightly taint this little gem:
As in command of the English language as Barry is, and despite his uncommon and acute skills of observation, this is the only book by him where the dialog felt a bit stereotypical rather than authentic... more like valiant mimicry. It's something that struck me from almost the first page, and not just because all of his other books contain impeccable dialog. However, it's also not long before you can just put that aside, forget it even, because everything else is so good.
I love this writer and it's a damn shame he's not way more popular over than he is. His deep abiding humanity and Irish bardic skills enhance every reading experience I've had with his books. Maybe a second Costa will help that along.
"it's strange and incredibly beautiful and I don't think I have quite a handle on it yet -- maybe because I read it so fast."
It's also a purposeful and loving gift to his son. Normally authorial tributes and dedications kinda/sorta make me roll my eyes. But when you read why he wrote it... well, it's just so damn poignant that you know it comes from a real, rather than obligatory, place.
I finished The Patriots last night, and next I'm cracking open All the Birds in the Sky. I liked The Patriots a lot, but after a while it just started to feel long. It clocks in at 538 pages, which is long, but not looonng. Reading on a Kindle can make books seem longer because I can't physically see the progress I'm making. All the Birds in the Sky has been on my TBR since it first came out, but now that it's on the short list for the Tournament of Books I'll dive in.
Alans: Sorry I disappeared there! In answer to your questions...I'm not sure about Ann Rule. I haven't read a ton of her stuff, because maybe I don't like her style, or I already know all the stories she covers. I'm not a great fan, but I really need to read more.
As for some good ones...I like Jack Olsen's books a lot. There are several, all rated highly, and I have enjoyed them. Particularly Son and The Misbegotten Son. And I love stuff like John Douglas 's books. FBI guys talking about serial killers, profiling, etc. Gregg Olsen has some good ones too, I think. Bogeyman by Steve Jackson. Kitty Genovese by Kevin Cook. Most of the ones I find are just middle of the road.
Oh, and I haven't read a book about those yogurt shop murders, but they were in Texas, I think. Austin, right? At a TCBY?
Thanks Julie-I'll add your list to my list. I'm not sure about the yogurt shop murders, haven't
picked it up yet...sounds really bleak. Apparently a great one now is the one about the Victorian
child murderer, I think it was written by a woman who wrote a book on the invention of criminal
investigations in Victorian England.
Fortunately, lately I have been finding a lot of true crime in little free libraries-you know Mothers
killing their children,that sort of thing.
Probably that book by Kate Summerscale. I have a couple of her books, but I haven't read more than the Kindle sample of any of them yet.
April The Patriots was long but I loved it, in part, because it was such unexplored territory. Also, it was funny. Well, as funny as a book on Stalinist Russia can be.
Lauren, it was refreshing to take a look at a topic that I really didn't know anything about. My current read is taking me to the grasslands of Inner Mongolia during the Cultural Revolution--also something I know nothing about.
The Baileys Women's Prize long list has been announced. Interestingly not what it would look like if this was a U.S. prize... no Zadie Smith Swing Time, for one, even though she's British.
I'm off tonight to The Story Prize award event, which I go to every year and always enjoy. This year I've read 2-1/4 of the three finalists—I'm still on Rick Bass's For a Little While, which is longish, but I've got enough of a sense of the collection that I'll know where he's coming from when he speaks (all three authors read a story from their book and then do a little Q&A with Larry Dark). I'll be covering it for LJ so I even have a work-like purpose, which is always a good thing.
The Story Prize evening was fun, as always—here's my writeup.
Aside from the fact that I always enjoy hitting up the event every year—three finalists, so I can actually read them all!—there's also the satisfaction of having been at most of them since 2009, going from a somewhat hesitant what-the-hell-am-I-doing blogger (a huge thank-you to Karen Templar, wherever she is, for putting me on the beat) to a working journalist.
I've been waiting for that link.
Readerville was responsible for a lot of good book memories, eh? I'd never been to a book fair, or an author reading until I drove down to the Miami Book Fair to spread around the first issues of the R'ville Journal. I think the folding of the magazine was the saddest part of that whole online community experiment.
Yes - lots of good book memories, and lots of sadness at the magazine's demise. Still have my copies somewhere.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whithead wins Pulitzer for fiction.
I really like this year's National Book Award finalists. Diverse authors, women very well represented (eight out of ten in Fiction!), and lots of small presses. In other words, Lisa Lucas's fingerprints all over this list, and I'm happy to see them there. She's smart and she has a good mandate, plus I just like her taste. I really liked The Leavers (as I know Lauren B did too) and I have a few others of those in my virtual pile.
The long list is amazing. For those of you into poetry, I was over the moon that Layli Long Soldier's WHEREAS is on the list.
I am also very excited by the National Book Awards list unlike previous years. I think every fiction title sounds fascinating but it will be a while until I get to them because the Giller longlist was announced today and it is full of complete surprises. I thought for sure five of my predictions would make the list and out of twelve, I only got three right. The list is almost entirely made up of
unknown writers, which is a good thing, but a lot of very high quality fiction has been published in the past few months and none of them made the list.
For readers of Canadian lit who don't live in Canada-and even for Canadians because this is a very
obscure list of writers-you may be familiar with the following authors who made this year's list-
Eden Robinson, Josip Novakovich and the beloved Michael Redhill. Everyone else is just not known and I follow Canlit very very closely. Again there is some bitterness on some of our parts because these Canadian top awards have a tendency to nominate people who are just not true-blue Canadians. This year Rachel Cusk was nominated for the second time. No one in the world would consider Cusk a Canadian but because she was born here and moved away as an infant and never returned her latest book is nominated. This practice really stinks and pisses off a lot of fans of Canadian fiction because not only do our 'young' authors have to compete with the behemoth south of the border and the massive publicity machines that come from there,but it is virtually impossible for a new writer to get much recognition up her when treasured spots are idiotically given to people like Rachel Cusk. You can sense my anger with the entire process.
There is another writer on the list whose name I can't recall-he was born in Canada and has spent almost his entire life in Ireland and speaks with an extremely pronounced Irish accent(Someone I know heard him speak a few weeks ago) and his book was also included.
The nomination process was also really skewered against up and coming writers and publishers this year. Because the Giller organization had received so many submissions in the past (I believe there was something like 113 this year) they not only had to expand the committee but they changed the rules so that if you are a publisher which has never had a book nominated in the past twenty years-the history of the prize-you could not submit one this year. The idiocy of this is beyond belief. There are the big (American and German owned)houses in Canada like Harpers Collin and Random house,but there are also many many very tiny presses that have been locked out. An article published today said that even under these crazy stipulations, half the list still comes from smaller presses.
Finally Nathan Englander was on the nominating committee this year. I have less issue with his inclusion then I would in the past because the committee feels an "outsider" is needed to make the prize more international. So there we go-no Barbara Gowdy, no Wayne Johnston, no Heather O'Neill, etc. So for me the reading begins.
Some of you have mentioned in the past week that you are fans of Canadian fiction,if you would like to know what is current both the Giller Awards and the Governor General Awards (their nominations come out October 5)publish lists of all of the books submitted in the past year. For the giller you go to the site's home page and click on Crazy for Can lit-they haven't included 2017 yet but I'm sure they will soon. For the Governor General's award all of the submitted titles are already listed and you get to see the lovely covers too. Just google their site, pick your genre (they
deal with many more categories than the giller) and your year, and you will see all of the titles that
have been submitted/published in the past year.
Me too - about he Canadian lit.
I don't think Cusk is my cup of tea. The most recent New Yorker profile confirmed that. But I'm sure I'll give her a try one of these days.
She's not my cup of tea, if that's any help, and I have read her.
I've read Cusk (as noted), Redhill, and Robinson before but none of the others. Michael Redhill, using a pseudonym, Inger Ashe Wolf, wrote a mystery series that I quite liked. And Robinson is a lovely writer plus she has the best laugh, so I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.
The GG list is from last year and the GG website is awkward at best, but I will say that Madeleine Thien's book Do Not Say We Have Nothing will top my best-book list this year.
>57 mkunruh: I have the Thien on my Kindle; I'm dying to get to it.
miriam, I just read the Thien in preparation for reviewing an older book by her that just got published n the US Dogs at the Perimeter which was incredible. Did you read that?
I sped thru DNSWHN and so have kept it to read again - I feel like I missed something because I read it so fast and something about Marie's story got lost.
Marie's story does get lost. It's an issue with the book but there were so many other elements that I loved, particularly with language and art and character, that I let it go. It's too bad though, because Marie is a really intriguing character as is her relationship with Sparrow's daughter, which is also dropped. I read it slowly, and put it down for quite a while before the Tiananmen square period because I was overwhelmed, but I'm glad I went back.
I haven't read Dogs at the Perimeter but want to. Good to hear that it gets props from you.
The list of nominees for the Writer's Trust Fiction Awards were announced today-they aren't as big as the Gillers or the Governor General's Award (which comes out next thursday)but what is interesting is that the brand new book "Brother" has made both lists. The book was just released last week and this is my guess that it will win the Giller now that poor Heather O"Neill has been eliminated, shockingly from both awards lists. Brother will be my next read, I'm almost finished my first Giller nominated book-an exceptional collection of short fiction by a Calgary writer (Deborah Willis) whose
title is The Dark and Other Love stories. It's just a sensational collection and Willis even has a blurb from Alice Munro on the front cover. Well if God wishes you well-what more can you ask for. Willis
was friends with Munro's husband who used to run a bookstore in Victoria. It's just a sensational collection and deserves to win, but I still have eleven more to read.
For fans of Canadian literature, and there seems to be a few of you here, there is an exceptional group at Goodreads called Canadian Content. Every month we have a group read (October is a memoir by a Cree woman)and there are lots of folders that deal with topics like the Giller prize,Canada Reads, etc. The moderator of the group is excellent and the participants are normal and into very serious Canadian literature of all types. There are a few non-Canadians in the group and for you Giller
followers, one of our members who happens to live in New Orleans, wrote that she found six of the Giller nominees in her public library catalogue. it's a great group and a good way to keep up with what is going on up here.
Nobel season -- any thoughts?
The past year was a very poor reading year for me, so I'm just not in the loop enough to make any predictions.
Murakami seems to be a yearly candidate. I've read a couple of his books. For me, he's one of those writers I admire but don't enjoy.
This may sound too out of left field, but has Joyce Carol Oates ever been considered? The woman is practically literature personified.
No comment about the Nobel. Their committee is white and old (and Swedish) and in no way reflects the zeitgeist of "literature," whatever that might be. Not even Western literature. I really have zero interest in this prize, which is why I have no comment. Did that article actually mention Trump? I'm out.
Two English speakers in the last five years -- Munro and Dylan -- so no way will it be anyone who writes in English. Sorry Roth, DeLillo, Oates etc. They do seem to have something against Murakami; his name is near the top of betting lists perpetually but it never quite happens.
But like Capote said: if they gave it to Pearl Buck, they'll give it to anyone, so who knows.
The NBF Short List is out:
I'm very happy to see Sing, Unburied, Sing made it. The book is wrenchingly beautiful. And I was also very pleased that my three favorites in the poetry category also all made it to the shortlist:
Don't Call Us Dead
Strangely enough, I haven't read any of the shortlist nonfiction. It's not that I'm not interested, exactly, but something about them fills me with a kind of looming dread:
The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
I'm having trouble as it is figuring out how to live in a country that seems to be so enthusiastically cruel to its own people. So I've been a bit of a wimp and avoided reading too closely into how and why we got here.
I am thrilled to be wrong about the writing-in-English thing-- it's hard to argue with Ishiguro winning the Nobel.
Yeah, can't argue with that choice. I just think it's such a deeply weird prize, and can never get my head around what the point of it is.
I have never read anything by Ishiguro. Places to start?
I am still mighty chuffed about Lisa Ko being on the NBA list. I think The Leavers might be my best of the year.
It's been years since I read it, but The Unconsoled has a special place in my memory because it was the most (and possibly only) really successful book club meeting I ever attended -- we talked about the book the entire time!
I haven’t read Remains of the Day either. I know, I know! I think I have Nocturnes too. Better fix that.
DO NOT PASS GO! Drop everything and read Remains. I can't believe that neither of you have read it. It's feckin (as a colleague of mine likes to say) brilliant.
(And then keep reading him)
Ramains of the Day is just perfect, like a high opera note held impossibly long, and you think it just can't end as beautifully as it began and then you're just thrilled that you were wrong.
I like The Unconsoled quite a bit too -- I was iffier on Never Let Me Go, but I did think it read like a movie and then the movie left out all the things I didn't like about the book, so I was fine with it. I felt like the book was trying to be more allegorical and I couldn't quite figure it all out, what he really meant, and then the movie just told the plot parts.
Those two early ones, A Pale View of the Hills and An Artist of the Floating World are good too -- slimmer!
BBC National Short Story Award goes to Cynan Jones for "The Edge of the Shoal."
A kayaker with a purpose gets caught in a harrowing test of survival.
You can read it here:
The GG literary prize list is up (probably for awhile, but I just remember to check today.
All the Beloved Ghosts – Alison MacLeod (Brighton, UK)
Lost in September – Kathleen Winter (Montreal)
The Water Beetles – Michael Kaan (Winnipeg)
Uncertain Weights and Measures – Jocelyn Parr (Montreal)
We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night – Joel Thomas Hynes (St. John’s, N.L.)
All the Names Between – Julia McCarthy (Upper Kennetcook, N.S.)
On Not Losing My Father's Ashes in the Flood – Richard Harrison (Calgary)
Selah – Nora Gould (Consort, Alta.)
Slow War – Benjamin Hertwig (Vancouver)
What the Soul Doesn't Want – Lorna Crozier (North Saanich, B.C.)
1979 – Michael Healey (Toronto)
Indian Arm – Hiro Kanagawa (Port Moody, B.C.)
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams – Robert Chafe (St. John’s, N.L.)
The Virgin Trial – Kate Hennig (Stratford, Ont.)
Within the Glass – Anna Chatterton (Hamilton, Ont.)
All We Leave Behind: A Reporter's Journey into the Lives of Others – Carol Off (Toronto)
The Handover: How Bigwigs and Bureaucrats Transferred Canada's Best Publisher and the Best Part of our Literary Heritage to a Foreign Multinational – Elaine Dewar (Toronto)
The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State – Graeme Wood (Connecticut, U.S.)
Where I Live Now: A Journey through Love and Loss to Healing and Hope – Sharon Butala (Calgary)
Where It Hurts – Sarah de Leeuw (Kelowna, B.C.)
These look really interesting, but I din’t Know any of them. Any recommendations?
I was just going to ask the same thing, Lisa. Have you read any of those, Mir?
Within the glass is a wonderful play, funny and insightful. I hope it receives many more productions. I'm just about to start The Water Beetles tonight on audio. We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Someday
is fantastic. He was long-listed for the Giller but didn't make the short list. A wonderful romp of a novel, funny, very sad, very very foul. One critic compared it to Irvine Welsh who I've never read,
but it's a great book.
The book that won the gg in Canada today was the one I was raving about two weeks ago-well all get burnt in our beds. It’s a rough ride of a book so maybe not for everyone but it did blow me away and I’m so thrilled for the author who until now was a very unknown writer of numerous books. The sad thing is that there is virtually no bump from the ggs. Everyone who wins either the giller prize or Canada reads become bestsellers,usually top of the list,but not many people pay attention to the ggs which is unfortunate because this book is a gem. He was long-listed for the giller this fall,the only writer nominated for both awards which almost never happens(last year Madeleine Thien won both prizes but that is very rare) but he didn’t make the short list. The narrative pull of this short novel is just breath-taking.
It's still only available through third parties here in the U.S., Alan ($22). I added it to my alert list.
Nice to see upthread that Kathleen Winter's Lost in September has been nominated for the GG award
I really loved her Annabel:
SO sorry for awful linking. I've totally forgotten how. I'll work on that.
Same address, Mir. Is your address the same? I'll trade you an ARC for The Immortalists (it's very good).
Washington Post today published its Best of 2017. Can't wait til I have time to read it more closely; there's some interesting things there.
(Not sure if this link works if you don't have a WaPo subscription.)
Largehearted Boy aggregates all the Best-of lists every year. Here's the page so far--he keeps updating as they come out.
>98 lisapeet: I was SO PLEASED about that.
Also, the Frank Bidart poetry book Half-Light is incredible. I've been making my way through it for months:
If I Could Mourn Like a Mourning Dove
It is what recurs that we believe,
your face not at one moment looking
sideways up at me anguished or
elate, but the old words welling up by
two weeks before you died in
pain worn out, after my usual casual sign-off
with All my love, your simple
solemn My love to you, Frank.
Doesn't it seem like these lists are coming out earlier and earlier every year? Didn't we always post our own lists after Christmas? Maybe I'm misremembering, but, jeez, there are still weeks left in 2017 to read.
>98 lisapeet: I arrived in New Orleans late yesterday afternoon and turned to find myself face to face with Jesmyn Ward at baggage claim. I said nothing to her, not my way, but it was one of the few times that I felt a bit fangirlish. She had a small cluster family/friends with her and as they left I noticed that one held a “congratulations” sign. Sweet.
I think I may be missing the gene for Ward but I'm going to try again. Really happy about Bidart winning.
As for lists, the Guardian lists will be out soon and if anyone is into it, I'm glad to coordinate again this year.
>100 Pat_D: Pat, I'm sure it's just to increase sales. I love all the end of the year lists, and I've been looking at several of them today (including old Brain Pickings lists) and trying not to buy them! Found a bunch at one of the library branches I drive by on my way home, so I'm getting a bunch for Thanksgiving reading. (Not that I need any. I have hundreds of books at home and on my Kindle to read. But, look! Shiny!)
Also, I'm in for Guardian swap, whenever those lists come out. I'm done ordering from the UK, because I always seem to be the person who doesn't get their books for 3 months. But I'm in anyway!
Michael Redhill won the Giller Prize last night for his novel Belvue Square. I started reading it but gave up after the first four pages-wasn't in the right frame of mind. Kind of a strange mystery about a doppelganger.
>108 Nancy_Sirvent: Hm, interesting list. I've read a dozen of those, and am sitting on seven more... doubt I'll read 'em by the time the shortlist is announced, but at least I'll have something to argue about if any of them are picked. Maybe this will be the year I follow along in real time and kibitz. I always think I will but then it falls off my radar.
Jeez. I've only read five of the ToB list. And only six others have even made their way to my "I need to pick that up" list. and only two others are in hand and TBR. I've really just walked a different path in the land of fiction these last few years.
I think this is the first year I've read so much contemporary fiction. Partly a feature of my workplace, because there are always current galleys around, and partly because Edelweiss has been very generous with the e-galleys even though I'm not really reviewing for an outlet these days (though I'm thinking hard about either bringing back Like Fire or starting up an actual lisapeet.com website, since I miss it).
But I think it's mostly due to the fact that New York Public Library has an awesome ebook-borrowing interface which lets me "click" impulsively the way most folks buy books—if something catches my attention I can check to see if it's part of NYPL's ebook collection and place a hold or borrow with zero friction, and I've been doing so a LOT this year. For instance, I subscribe to Penguin Random House's "Season of Stories" series, where a short story or excerpt is serialized and emailed over four days each week during the fall and winter. I read the first installment of Lesley Nneka Arimah's When a Man Falls From the Sky yesterday and thought, Well gee, this is an interesting sf premise and the excerpt was well written and I'd read that. So, click, it's on my holds list, along with a few other books that appealed to me for a fleeting second. This is such a great degree of indulgence for me, and I'm really grateful for it.
(NYPL has backlist books too—right now my current checkouts are The John McPhee Reader and The Remains of the Day.)
I think the ToB longlist is out a little early this year. I'm pretty sure it was posted in December last year, but I'm very happy about its arrival.
Ho ho ho, it’s Guardian Swap time!
What it is:
Each participant chooses, purchases, and orders/mails a book carefully selected from the Guardian Best Books of 2017 lists (see below) to another participant, round-robin style. This is a long-standing BookBalloon tradition, full of ritual and mystery. Not really! It’s just lots of fun!
How it works:
1.Indicate your interest in participating in the designated thread OR
2.Send a message to me, the Designated Swap Organizer (DSO). I have a highly scientific method of matching gifters to giftees. You can reach me via private comment or email me at fufferdatcomcastdotnet. I need your email address and shipping address. Please include books that you have already read or authors that you really have zero interest in. For me, this year, it would be Joshua Ferris.
3.Once you receive your person, peruse the Guardian lists, make your choice, and send it along. Since many of the books on the list are British, it’s often the case that they arrive after the holiday season is over and call potato chips “crisps.” This is not a big deal.
4.Once you receive your book, rush back to this thread to report what you got and how excited you are to read it. This won’t be hard, because you will be very excited!
The Guardian Best of 2017 list:
Refrigerator is the mother of invention. I'm going to be cooking browned chicken breasts sauteed with thin-sliced Brussels sprouts, shallots, thin-sliced carrots, minced garlic, red wine, brandy.
Tournament of books short list is up! Exclamation points aside, because the coming of ToB is both bookish and a harbinger of spring—and spring can't come soon enough this year—I thought the long list was a lot more interesting. But maybe it's always that way, and I'm just paying more attention this year.
Anyway, I've read a good bunch of those—not quite half, but enough to play along like a boss—so I'm looking forward to it.
The long list for Canada Reads was posted today and it’s a wonderful mix of fiction and memoirs,split between female and male authors and one transgendered author. If you’re a fan check out the wonderful list at cbcbooks.ca
I think Moshfegh is terribly over rated. I just don't get it at all.
She’s also really into presenting herself as being weird. I think she calls herself a witch.
I thought Eileen was a good uncomfortable read, but beyond that kind of slight. I didn't think she really accomplished the Hitchcockian vibe she was obviously going for.
I have the Alarcon, and am looking forward to that one. I'll probably read all three if I have time, just because it makes for a fun event when I know the books.
I've just finished Her Body and Other Parties. It's quite a book.
The 2018 Edgar nominees short list may be announced this Friday and I can’t wait. They say they do it on or around Poe’s birthday which will be this Friday. They have already announced this year’s grand masters and I have no idea who these people are.
The Pluto Prize for best biography:
Grant by Ron Chernow (Penguin Press)
Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Richard Nixon: The Life by John Farrell (Doubleday)
Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan)
Milosz: A Biography by Andrzej Franaszek, translated by Aleksandra Parker and Michael Parker (Belknap Pres)
Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel by Francine Klagsbrun (Schocken)
Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast by Megan Marshall (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray by Rosalind Rosenberg (Oxford University Press)
Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror by Victor Sebestyen (Pantheon)
Gorbachev: His Life and Times by William Taubman (Norton)
Of course the big question is, how in the hell did I miss Megan Marshall's book? I blame Trump.
Also, I clicked to order Jane Crow before I even finished reading the list.
The Golda Meir book just won a big Jewish book award. I can’t believe how many bios there are of Tricky Dicky. I want to read one but which one? I thought they were calling the Pearlstein definitive.
For you, alans (and anyone else into this prize): Elizabeth Strout Wins 14th Annual Story Prize.
It was a fun evening. And because I was hanging with Stephanie S., who was the total rock star of the moment, we got to schmooze with Liz Strout at the afterparty. She's really lovely--you know how some authors you have no idea how they got their book and others it's so obvious? She's the latter, very genuine and heartfelt, but droll rather than goopy.
Thanks Lisa, I was actually thinking whether or not you attended. Even though I only read the Moshfegh book I was pretty certain the Strout would win. Looking forward to reading the other finalists and the long list. I'm sure it's a wonderful event to attend-will watch their video feed of the
ceremony. It seems as if everything Strout writes turns to gold.
Lambda Literary Awards 2018 Finalists:
>134 Nancy_Sirvent: How about that! I've actually read a bunch of those for once.
I kind of love that Lincoln in the Bardo got knocked out on Day 1 of the Tournament of Books. It's a good candidate for the zombie round, though.
>134 Nancy_Sirvent: I follow Lambda, but I continue to find many of their finalist selections genuinely baffling. Sometimes I wonder if that reflects a massive gap between queer experience in Australia vs the US, or whether I'm just completely out of sync with what they (as an organisation) like.
I think their nominees are all published in the US. That might be part of your disconnection. The thing I notice now, compared to the 80s when I was more connected to them, is the amount of gay lit from mainstream publishers. It used to be rare.
>136 DG_Strong: I'm pissed that Stephen Florida was eliminated first thing. It was such a great and deeply weird book, and I was so hoping that people would go to the mats (heh—it's about a wrestler) for it. Maybe it'll come back in the zombie round, though actually I think there's a better chance of that happening with Lincoln in the Bardo.
>138 Nancy_Sirvent: Yes, I think the culture gap is probably it. I don't think that the chosen books are lacking in quality in any way, I'm just rarely particularly interested in the finalists.
Regarding mainstream pulishers: I'd noticed the shift too, which I think is somewhat positive in terms of the growing reach of LGBT+ authors. Hopefully it won't also come at the cost of some of the small presses that continue to publish more transgressive work than what's currently accepted by mainstream publishers.
The LAMDA genre candidates in science and mystery often are very good indded. I usually am more interested in the nominations lists than in final winners.
I haven't looked at the TOB really, because I was really underwhelmed by their choices. But, one of these days, I'll read all the decisions and find a bunch of books that sound really good. I've tried to turn my book club friends onto the TOB for finding books, but I don't think they bother looking at it. I can't quite figure out where they all get the book recommendations they choose (other than Amazon).
Sarah Schulman Wins Whitehead Award
Sarah Schulman is the 2018 recipient of the Publishing Triangle's Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement, named in honor of the legendary editor of the 1970s and 1980s. Schulman is a novelist, nonfiction writer, playwright, screenwriter, and AIDS historian. Among her novels are The Cosmopolitans, The Child, and Rat Bohemia (winner of the 1996 Ferro-Grumley Award for Lesbian Fiction). Her works of nonfiction include Conflict Is Not Abuse (winner of last year's Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction), The Gentrification of the Mind, and Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences. Schulman's nineteenth book, the novel Maggie Terry, will be published in September 2018 by the Feminist Press.
She is on the advisory boards of Jewish Voice for Peace, Research on the Israeli/American Alliance, and Claudia Rankine's Racial Imaginary Institute, and she is faculty advisor for Students for Justice in Palestine. Besides her two earlier Publishing Triangle Awards and many other prizes, Schulman has also won a Guggenheim in playwriting, a Fulbright in Judaic studies, and two American Library Association Stonewall Awards. A fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University, she is distinguished professor of the humanities at CUNY/College of Staten Island. She also teaches in such non-degree community-based programs as Queer Art Mentorship and Lambda Emerging Writers Retreat.
The Bill Whitehead Award is given to a female-identified writer in even-numbered years and to a male-identified writer in odd years, and the winner receives $3000.
Schulman will accept this prize at the Publishing Triangle's annual awards ceremony on April 26, 2018. It will be held at the New School's Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue, in Greenwich Village, New York, starting at 7 p.m.
(From the Publishing Triangle's website.)
DEElighted by Schulman's Whitehead win. Her novel The Cosmopolitans was much acclaimed here.
Kat, Have you read SHIMMER?
Andrew Sean Greer wins for Less. It's not my favorite Greer - that would be The Story of a Marriage - but I'm really glad a comedy won.
Wow. That's great, but somehow surprising. Really nice also to see Kendrick Lamar win it for music.
I really like Greer too. My favorite is The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells but it’s hard to choose.
I haven’t read Less and just went to check it out and I see Amazon has jacked the prices way up, I’m presuming since it just won.
I had to Google Kendrick Lamar. I guess I live in a music bubble along with all my other bubbles, thanks to Spotify and indie radio.
But I like Greer for the fiction win. He’s not one of the usual suspects this year.
Kendrick Lamar is brilliant -- well worth listening to, even if you do not enjoy rap -- focus on the words.
Another middle aged white lady happy about the Kendrick win.
Are you calling me a middle-aged white lady! The nerve. Kidding aside, I'm working in the UM Indigenous Student Centre, and so describe myself as this on a daily basis.
I got serious cool points from the guy at the record store for buying my youngest the vinyl version of Damn.
I'm glad the Greer won. I'm a fan of his, though I haven't read this one yet. I forgot about it when I made my final pick for my book club yesterday, and now this! If I'd known, I would have picked it for sure! Oh well. And my favorite Greer is The Confessions of Max Tivoli (although that might change if I read it again, because I was at the beginning of a long-term relationship when I read that book, falling in love, and it was PERFECT for that point in my life, just beautiful. Now I'm all cynical and don't expect to ever have another relationship in my life, so I refuse to reread that book with my newfound hatred for love...LOL).
I can't call myself middle-aged any more. Unless I plan to live to the age of 122 (which I don't).
Ha! Two foodie books I really liked made the James Beard Foundation 2018 list:
The Sioux Chef won for best American Cookbook. I wrote about it on the Cooking thread. In an era where reclaiming immigrant influences is all the rage in the kitchen, it makes one step back a moment and think hard about the cultures already here that were relentlessly buried.
Michael Twitty's The Cooking Gene won for both Writing and "Best Book of the Year
I'm really glad about Twitty -- I loved that book, much more than John Edge's Potlikker Papers, which got tons more attention down here in the South. Mostly because I think Edge is, well, more palatable. Something that has come up more and more frequently in Southern foodie circles.
Nashville local Lisa Donovan won one for her essay “Dear Women: Own Your Stories” and it's terrific.
Scandal roils Nobel lit committee; may potpone 2018 deliberations.
Plus, the Pussy Bow!
Women throughout Sweden on Friday wore pussy-bow blouses, known as knytblusar, in a show of feminist solidarity with the deposed head of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius.
Or, you know, in solidarity with 1985.
Alternative (?) Lit Nobel
In response to the Swedish Academy's decision not to award a Nobel Prize in Literature this year in the wake of a scandal, more than 100 Swedish writers, actors, journalists and other cultural figures have formed the New Academy, which will hand out its own award this autumn, following the same timeline as the Nobel, the Guardian reported. The winner will be announced in October and presented December 10 at a formal celebration. The New Academy will be dissolved December 11.
"We have founded the New Academy to remind people that literature and culture at large should promote democracy, transparency, empathy and respect, without privilege, bias arrogance or sexism," organizers of the new prize said in a statement. "In a time when human values are increasingly being called into question, literature becomes an even more important counterforce to stop the culture of silence and oppression. The New Academy regards this as so important, that the world's greatest literature prize should still be awarded in 2018. This is the sole purpose of why we have founded the New Academy."
Calling the effort "a protest," the New Academy wrote: "We want to show people that serious cultural work does not have to occur in a context of coercive language, irregularities or abuse. The New Academy, whose members are extremely driven and knowledgeable individuals, will work according to the time plan of the traditional Swedish Academy."
The New Academy is inviting all of Sweden's librarians to nominate authors, the Guardian reported, adding that "contenders can be from anywhere in the world, and must have written at least two books, one of which was published in the last 10 years. They are looking for a writer who has told the story of 'humans in the world.' "
Once nominations have been received, the New Academy will launch a public vote, with the top four authors put before a jury led by editor Ann Pålsson and including Gothenburg University professor Lisbeth Larsson and librarian Gunilla Sandin.
Hello Joyce Carol Oates, Louise Erdrich, Peter Carey, Russell Banks, T.C. Boyle
Lauren Groff took The Story Prize on Wednesday for Florida. It was a good collection, though it moved me the least of the three finalists—the other two were Jamel Brinkley's A Lucky Man and Deborah Eisenberg's Your Duck Is My Duck. I was rooting for Brinkley, since I thought it was a knockout book and a great debut, and I'm all for debut authors getting a little boost (though I know this isn't necessarily that kind of prize). And I'm a longtime Eisenberg fan, though I didn't think this was her strongest. But what the hey, I'm always happy to see short stories getting some solid attention.
I was sitting up front with all the authors and their plus-ones at the event—I forgot my glasses so I just plunked myself down in the second row, and would have innocently asked, "Isn't this the press area?" if anyone had challenged me (I've learned a thing or two in my years at LJ). But nobody did, and it was fun to be in the middle of everyone (and given my lack of glasses, fun to see them at all).
I haven't read the Spotlight recipient, Akil Kumarasamy’s Half Gods—has anyone here?
I can't believe no one has yet posted about the fiction Pulitzer, The Overstory. It's a beautiful win. I've been reading it for a while. It's dense and beautiful. Gone are the days that I could have read that in one swell foop; I've been needing to learn to read more slowly and in more pieces. Also trying to learn to appreciate the positive aspects of that kind of reading--still working on it. Anyways, Richard Powers can really write and I have an affection for writers (and people in general) who can talk about magic and provide real science and history to back it up. He certainly does that.
>171 Nancy_Sirvent: I've had that galley for ages but haven't read it yet. But hearing everyone's accolades for it is bumping it up my invisible pile.
Delighted by Audrey Schulman's Philip K. Dick award for Theory of Bastards.
That's exciting. I own it but haven't read Theory yet, but I do love her work in general.
I have it too, and this bumps it up a little on the impossible pile... Notice how many books I say that about. That's what makes it impossible.
LOL. I have it too. Will also "bump" it up.
Nancy, I'm reading Overstory right now, and loving it. I'm a die-hard Powers fan, and been holding on to this one for awhile, not sure why.
That's a lovely one. My fav is Goldberg Variations, but that's for sentimental/time of life reasons more than anything else.
Do some of you like Miriam Toews? I've tried two of hers, and they just don't work for me.
No, and I feel bad because she's a lovely woman, but I don't love her books. The only one I read through was the one about her dad. There's a great profile of her in the New Yorker this month (or last?).
Isn't it funny how there are writers that you know are good writers, it seems that you would like them, but you just can't catch the magic? I'm that way with TC Boyle and Louise Erdrich.
There are many writers I feel that way about, sadly. But I read one by Toews and liked it, so I will try more.
I usually post these nominees when they are announced, but I think I missed it this year (apologies if I'm just not remembering). But, the Lambda Literary Award nominees are really amazing. Lots of books in translation, which means that lots of good gay lit is being published in other countries. I've read only a few of them this year, but have filled my TBR list with many others today. https://www.them.us/story/2019-lambda-literary-awards
Nancy, I love that you cited Boyle -- he's such a peculiar writer in that he really does write a completely different book each time. It makes him tough to pin down and I find that trait a little tricksy as a reader (Jane Smiley is similar). I think if you hit him on the right book for your tastes, he works. But if you pick up the wrong one first, you'll never go back to him. I lucked out with Riven Rock as the first, but if it had been something tiresome (to me) like Drop City or The Terranauts, I would have never given him a second chance.
You might try San Miguel.
I haven't read anything by Toews. This last one didn't inspire me, but where should I start if I wanted to?
DG, that is delightful advice. I've heard a few NPR interviews with Boyle, and I love him, which has made the book disappointment more, well, disappointing. I know what you mean about Jane Smiley, but I love everything she writes. Except I'm totally intimidated by The Greenlanders as well as her recent trilogy. I'll eventually get past the trilogy thing and read them, but the Greenlanders is probably beyond the pale in this life time. I will try Boyle's SAN MIGUEL, which I've never looked at before. Thanks for the insight.
I really like Boyle but I think all his novels are the same,just each one is set somewhere different. And see, I LOVED Drop City. I like hippies.
And I've only read his short stories, which I liked. I have a few novels of his here and there.
Tiger Flu looks interesting. I also have Disoriental and looking forward to reading it. Not listed on that page (I assume because they're just listing genre books) is Winnipeg writer, Casey Plett's Little Fish, who won for transgender fiction. I'm reading Little Fish right now, sort of. It's a bit grim, in directions I didn't expect, so it gets read when I have the energy for it.
I'm looking forward to Disoriental too. Let me know if you're reading it, Mir—maybe I'll read along.
Tuesday morning is the announcement of this year’s Giller long list. The only possibility I can gather this year is the new Atwood,although previous juries have ignored her. There is a new Michael Crummy-perhaps,a new Lynn Coady-an undeserved past winner,a new Sean Michaels-winner two years ago..but it’s really an open field. They usually include one collection of short fiction and I think Waterworks has a good chance this year. But it’s really impossible to guess this year unlike previous years.
I am eager for the new Crummy and interested in the new Atwood which is a sequel to “Handmaid’s Tale.”
I have the Crummey and am looking forward to it, but no interest in the Atwood until I see more reviews. That kind of sequel is almost always pretty wan, and though I trust her as a solid writer that's just a little too much hype to live up to. We'll see. And we'll see what the Giller folks come up with—they always manage to pull out a few interesting dark horses.
I have the Crummy too, I am reviewing it for BookPage. I loved Galore so am very excited.
Yes to the Crummy, no to the Atwood. I thought Handmaids Tale was a masterpiece, but I don't see this one saying anything new. There's already been a tv series that's gone beyond the book and the dystopian thing is being done over and over again these days (for obvious reasons). It seems like Atwood had to do it--easy money.
I doubt Atwood needs the money but agree sequels often go amiss. But I’ll try this one.
Having money doesn't stop people from going after it. Nothing against Atwood, just saying. Let us know what you think, K.
You would think that with all of the attention her latest novel is getting, that Margaret Atwood would
have made the short list for the Giller Prize. But not this time. I think Michael Crummy is going to win
the prize. Apparently Margaret was pushing her book on the Seth Myers show two days after her
long-term husband died.
We all deal with loss differently. Atwood's super controversial in Canadian literary circles, so it's not a huge surprise she's not on the list. I'm pleased that Crummy's listed though.
Has Crummey won a major prize? Maybe the feeling is that it's his turn.
And yeah, I don't think Atwood's partner Graeme Gibson's death was unexpected—he'd had dementia for a while and was in declining health. The Canadian Press quoted her: "Atwood said Gibson was suffering from dementia and feared further decline, and his family was grateful he had the 'swift exit' he wanted." So I'm guessing it was a planned exit, and more power to them both if that's what he wanted.
the information on Atwood's guest appearance on the Seth Myers show two days after her husband's
death came from a newspaper article. Today in the same paper there were many letters complaining that the tone of the article was inappropriate and nasty. A friend of mine teaches Canadian Lit at
a university and he's taught one of Atwood's books-Cat's Eye for years. He said he read the first four
chapters and then gave up, what was the point in returning to the same story.
I agree-it's Crummy's year.
Jo Lloyd wins BBC national short story award for 'timeless tale.' Welsh writer takes 15,000-pound prize for "The Invisible," based on a real 18th-century woman who spread tales in her village.
I'd have awarded it for its use of language alone:
"Mr Ingram’s mansion, Martha tells us, stands on the other side of the lake, at the foot of the mountain. We have inspected the spot she indicates and confirmed it is in no way remarkable. Cold eels of water slide among rushes and sedges and tumps of starry moss. Cat-gorse and furze cling to rafts of drier ground. Spearwort and flag dip their toes and shiver...."
"Others say her wits are failing. We’ve known her put her clothes on back to front and summon her cow with the call meant for hogs. She will stop for minutes on end to watch rooks or lapwings tumble about the sky, as if they bore porridge and dates and the answers to life’s mysteries in their beaks...."
"Tell us more, we say, and Martha dimples like a girl...."
You can read it in its entirety at the link above. And you should. It's special.
The two (2018 and 2019) Nobels go to Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke. You got me, I dunno.
I feel like I read and reviewed Flights so you don't have to. I don't think I'll be going back for more. Not that it's bad. It's just really not my thing.
My of my RL bookclub friends just gave me Flights because she loved it. I'm now very curious about it.
Looks like I won't be reading Handke https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/oct/10/troubling-choice-authors-criticise...
The Handke choice is amusing. The nobel lit prize often is alleged to be awarded with PC considerations.
I wasn’t expecting this: Atwood, Evaristo share Booker.
“The Testaments” is sufficiently readable but not Booker worthy.
I find it very tone-deaf, to say the least. “You’re the first black woman to win. Here’s half a prize! The other half goes to an old rich highly celebrated white woman who’s already won before.”
My first thought was that Atwood has a terminal disease and the Booker committee knows and we don't.
It’s her second Booker; the first was for “Blind Assassin” which I did not like. Spot on, SP.
My first thought was, why haven't I heard of Evaristo, dammit? My second thought was Atwood? Really? For a what happened next novel? Couldn't they have just given it to Evaristo if they felt she deserved it?
That's interesting - I kind of like that they are sharing it. Maybe I am just relieved that Otessa Mossafegh didn't get it.
But SP's remark is resonating.
I have read some Evaristo and really like her. This will definitely get her on more people's radar.
I don't think Atwood should have won the Booker, and agree with SP. Reviewers are guessing its to compensate for Handmaid's Tale losing to Amis.
I've heard very good things about Evaristo and look forward to reading her book. Too bad she didn't win on her own.
The other book on the short list that I've looking forward to reading is Ducks, Newburyport
The short lists for the Giller and the Governor General are up and Atwood isn't on either. Crummey, though is on both! And Joan Thomas, whose writing I really like (and a Manitoban) is on the GG list. According to a friend, Five Wives is her best so far.
Immigrant City -- David Bezmozgis (stories & he's high on my to-read list)
The Innocents -- Crummey
Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club -- Megan Gail Coles (this is the first I've heard of it, but want to read just because of the title)
Dual Citizens -- Alix Ohlin
Reproduction -- Ian Williams
Lampedusa -- Steven Price
Governor General Fiction List
The Innocents -- Crummey
Five Wives -- Joan Thomas
Eye -- Marianne Micros (short stories)
Late Breaking -- K. D. Miller (linked short stories about the artist Alex Coeville)
The Student -- Cary Fagan (main character has a great name)
Thanks for the Joan Thomas tip, Mir.
Someone described the Ducks, Newburyport book as a thousand pages long and one sentence.
You're welcome Kat. I've also heard that the Duck book is one sentence. And, 6 pages in, I haven't seen a period, so it's very possibly true. Reviewers say it's quite readable though, and although they were sceptical it won them over. I'm not a reviewer, and don't have to read it, so I'll see how it goes.
"Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club"
Great title. It'd at least make me check it out.
I'm not reading that Ellman. I don't mind if I sound cranky - one thought by anyone for 1000 pages and no punctuation gives me a small pain.
I am excited for Crummey - I thought that book was amazing and may be the best thing I'd read all year. And I read Curiosity years ago and really loved it. I'm eager to read more by Thomas.
Lauren, I'll bring a copy of her newest when I come.
Pat, I agree. The description didn't win me over, but I love the title.
The Lampedusa book has been in my "save for later" cart forever -- it was on preorder for what seems like fifty years -- time to move it.
Hold off DG. I'll check to see if our local bookstore has it, and if it has I'll bring a copy.
edit: it does. If you can wait till next week, I'll bring you a Canadian copy.
>234 laurenbufferd: I will sit on the cranky bench with you. A thousand pages and one sentence is about 3k paragraph breaks too few for me.
Oh god, Miriam is coming and she's bringing books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Heart emoji.
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