Monday, September 09, 2013

Booker Prize.

Screw the Great British Bake Off. The X-Factor can do one and Strictly Come Dancing can Flamenco Off. 
This is what the whole nation has been waiting for. 
The Man Booker Prize shortlist is announced tomorrow! 
Expect London to be at a standstill as hoards of screaming fans spill into town, hoping to catch a glimpse of the judges, as they prepare to tell the waiting millions which six books have reached the final stages of the competition. 
..and media attention couldn't be more intense. Special security services have been brought in to ensure the Longlisted authors protection as Booker frenzy continues to sweep the nation. 
So, who is it going to be?? Only the judges know, but we hear from an anonymous source that the six shortlisted authors are all likely to come from the list of 13 on the longlist. They are;

  • Tash Aw (Five Star Billionaire)
  • NoViolet Bulawayo (We Need New Names)
  • Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries)
  • Jim Crace (Harvest)
  • Eve Harris (The Marrying of Chani Kaufman)
  • Richard House (The Kills)
  • Jhumpa Lahiri (The Lowland)
  • Alison MacLeod (Unexploded)
  • Colum McCann (Transatlantic)
  • Charlotte Mendelson (Almost English)
  • Ruth Ozeki (A Tale for the Time Being)
  • Donal Ryan (The Spinning Heart)
  • Colm Toibin (The Testament of Mary)
The Big Green Bookshop, as ever, has been swept away by booker fever, so it's going to be running it's annual Booker Book challenge. 

As soon as the shortlist is announced, we’ll order copies of each of the books, which we’ll hopefully get by Thursday September 12th. 
Over the next five or so weeks the idea is to make a concerted effort to read as many of the six shortlisted books as you can.
We'll meet on October 15th, the evening the winner is announced, to discuss each of the books. After a heated debate, and a glass or two of wine, 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.
We realise that the cost of buying six books, some of them hardback is somewhat budget busting. So for our local customers, rather than asking you to buy all the books at full price we’ve come up with a few solutions;
•For a one off payment of £25, 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 discount of 20% on the shortlist for Book Group members. 
•A group of you could share the cost, so for example 3 of you could buy 2 books each. 
However you decide to do this, we will do everything we can to make the books accessible to you. The important thing is that you're able to join in. 
It's a challenge to read six books in five weeks (especially books you wouldn't necessarily read), but if you think you're up for it, get involved!

We're also going to be involved in a weekly Twitter chat, discussing one book a week leading up to the final. There will be a hashtag for these conversations, #TWEETBOOKER, so anyone can join in. 

For what it's worth, here's my guess as to the six shortlisted books, based on who the judges are and pure guesswork.

Jim Crace
Charlotte Mendelson
Colm Toibin
Colum McCann
Eleanor Catton
Jhumpa Lahiri

I've read 3 of the longlisted books so far, so my guess is based on nothing. 
Let's see how close I am. 

PS,  I wish that there was some interest in books in the media, but i'm also very pleased that no authors so far have resorted to eating kangaroo testicles or dressing up as a cat in order to gain publicity. 


Anna said...

It's going to be #tweetbooker... :)

Simon Key said...

Oops, thanks.