Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Read this if you can be bothered

The Man Booker Prize is probably regarded as the most prestigious literary award in the UK. It’s awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of either the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe.
A couple of weeks ago the 13 book longlist was announced, of which 6 will make it through to the shortlist, announced on Tuesday September 8th. This is 4 weeks before the winner is revealed to the watching millions on October 6th. Last year it was White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, and this year’s longlist includes some real heavyweights, including Hilary Mantel, William Trevor and Sarah Waters, aswell as newer authors such as Samantha Harvey and James Lever.
We think this is a really exciting list and as such we’re going going to be hosting a Booker Prize Book Club which is open to everyone. This is how it’s going to work;

As soon as the shortlist is announced, we’ll order copies of each of the books, which we’ll hopefully get by Thursday September 10th.
The group will meet on that evening to say hello, take home one or more of the titles, and enjoy some rather lovely wine (I might even get some Pimm’s in).
Over the next four weeks, the members of the Book Club will make a concerted effort to read as many of the six books as they can.
The group will meet once again on October 6th, before the winner is announced, and discuss each of the books. After a heated debate, and a glass or two of vino, the group will vote for who they think should win. We’ll then watch the televised ceremony, and hopefully cheer as our choice and the actual winner is one and the same. Or more likely, shout and curse as our least favourite book takes the glory.

We realise that the cost of the shortlist is likely to be in the region of £80-£90 and we don’t expect you to pay this much for books that you might otherwise not buy. So we’ve come up with a few solutions;

•For a one off payment of around £20, we will be a lending library, where you can borrow each of the books for a week each. You can also keep your favourite book after the ceremony.
•We will offer a minimum discount of 20% on the shortlist for Book Group members (this may be more depending on how successfully we can negotiate with the publishers).
•A group of you could share the cost of the books and each buy a couple of books to pass around between you.

We’ll do whatever we can to help but the important thing is that you all get a chance to read the books… and you all come along.

Please contact us if you’re interested, with an email address and /or your phone number. We’ll be in touch to finalise details nearer the time.

For the full longlist and more information about the Man Booker Prize please follow this link.

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