The Booker long list has just been announced and I think it is fair to say that it is as surprising as Susan Hill promised it would be.
The list is packed with titles from independent publishers and I was pleased to see a few titles that I hadn’t heard of. It is refreshing to see a list so clear of the usual suspects and I’m looking forward to trying them all.
The only downside is that I have tried reading three of the titles already and wasn’t bowled over by any of them.
The 2011 Booker Long List
I was surprised that this was selected as I had it down as a novella and therefore not eligible for the Booker.
the story of one middle-age man coming to terms with the mutable past.
I think I’m too young (and the wrong sex) to fully appreciate it, but I look forward to being proved wrong!
This isn’t released until the 4th August, so not much is known about it yet.
Spanning nearly seven decades, it is a novel of memory, war, family-ties and love….
I can see myself enjoying this one.
A blackly comic witty noir version of Don Quixote
This book was already high on my TBR pile after I read Gaskella’s very positive review. I can’t decide whether to dip into it straight away, or save it until last.
1930s Berlin, the threat of imprisonment and the powerful desire to make something beautiful despite the horror.
I hadn’t heard of this one, but it sounds as though it could go either way for me.
I hadn’t heard of this one either and since it isn’t released until September it will be a while before we do.
Jinx is forced to confront her past, and with the pain of remembrance comes the possibility of redemption.
I’m not very excited about reading this one, but my expectations are often proved wrong.
An epic story of two families and two houses spanning the entire 20th century.
As a previous winner of the Booker prize Hollinghurst is now the favourite to win this year. I had mixed feelings about The Line of Beauty, but am interested to see how this compares.
A story of innocence and experience, hope and harsh reality.
I wasn’t a big fan of Pigeon English, but it does seem to divide opinion. Don’t believe the “if you love Room, you’ll love this” quotes on the book though!
The socialist state is in crisis, the shops are empty and old Bucharest vanishes daily under the onslaught of Ceaucescu’s demolition gangs.
I have heard nothing at all about this book, but it sounds different. I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like.
…an intensely riveting psychological drama that unfolds over the course of one Moscow winter.
I suspected this would turn up on the long list, but I struggled to see its charm. If you like slow, gentle thrillers then this may be for you.
One family’s epic journey to flee the Nazi occupation of their homeland, and to save the life of a six-year-old boy.
I have read so many books on WWII that this one will have to be very special to impress. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!
Anyone who becomes pregnant will automatically develop a form of CJD which ultimately kills them.
I hadn’t heard of this one, but I LOVE the sound of it. I ordered a copy straight away and am looking forward to diving in.
…an unputdownable Victorian romp.
I love the sound of this one too! Who can resist a good Victorian mystery?
…brings alive the smells, sights and flavours of the nineteenth century.
I had mixed feelings about this book, but others seem to have more luck.
My thoughts on the list
This is the most interesting Booker long list that I’ve ever seen. It contains a good range of books and many of them sound as though they will not only be well written, but engaging too. I will withhold final judgement until I’ve tried them all, but for now I’m too interested in reading them to worry about the fact that I only predicted two correctly.
What do you think of the Booker long list?