So, tonight's the night that the winner of the Man Booker Prize is announced. This is all very exciting for book fans. As a fan of books I am very excited.
Each year in the shop we run a Booker Prize Book Challenge. This is how it works.
As soon as the shortlist was announced, we ordered up copies of each of the books. Those who wanted to take up the challenge were invited to meet on an evening in September to say hello, take home one or more of the titles, and enjoy some rather lovely wine.
Over the next five or so weeks challenge was to make a concerted effort to read as many of the six shortlisted books as possible.
The group will meet again, tonight to discuss each of the books. After a heated debate, the group will vote for whom 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.
Take make things more affordable, for a one off payment of £25, people could borrow each of the 6 books and get to keep their favourite at the end.
This year I've managed 4 and a half (I will try and make it 5 by this evening) of the books. The one I haven't read is Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel. I remember, when reading Wolf Hall (the book that precedes this one), how difficult it was to read quickly. I adored Wolf Hall and wanted to savour the rich language and immerse myself in the story. I suspect the same applies to this one, so i'm going to read it without feeling any pressure to do so quickly.
So, of the 4/5 books i've read, I thought 3 were excellent. I am struggling to decide who I want to win (although I know who I really don't want to win).
My personal success at picking the winner is not great. I did choose Wolf Hall, but last year I was a big Jamrach's Menagerie fan and the year before I wanted The Room by Emma Donoghue to do the biz.
I have set up a poll on the side of the blog. It is purely unscientific. You can vote on who you think will win. We shall see if it corresponds with either a) the actual result or b) who the Booker Book Challenge group think should win.
Whichever book is leading at 8.00pm BST, I shall bet £10 (TEN POUNDS) on, at my friendly local online bookies*.
Don't let me down.