The Mum Booker Longlist

You might possibly have an inkling, can’t think why, that today is the day when the longlist for this years Man Booker Award is announced. I have already had a crack at guessing just what books might make the list which you can have a peek at here. We all love a good list of books don’t we? Well, I do so I am assuming there must be more people like me? I really enjoy seeing people’s top ten or top forty books (which reminds me I need to add mine back onto the blog) and thought that today I would share with you my mother’s top ten books as she is a voracious reader and always has been, but more on her in her ‘Grilling’ later in the week.

I said it would be my Mum’s top ten books which she claimed would be ‘really easy’ however after a few minutes I got the look and a slight moan of ‘ooh its really difficult’. There was also some excuse of needing to be ‘standing in front of all my shelves so I can think more clearly’ but soon enough we didn’t have ten books but twenty, and here they are for you delectation with some snippets of conversation that were sparked by them.

  1. Iliad by Homer – “being a Classics teacher you can’t be surprised”
  2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – which she read when on maternity leave before my sister (another book devourer) was born after which reading went out the window unless it was ‘Spot the Dog’.
  3. Lord of the Rings by J.R. Tolkien
  4. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins – ‘much better than The Woman in White’ something we strongly disagree on.
  5. Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  6. Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos
  7. The L Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks – “I worry it has dated terribly by now so have never re-read, would rather have the memory of it being brilliant.” It’s just arrived at Savidge Reads HQ and I will be reading it soon.
  8. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  9. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
  10. Taking The Devil’s Advice by Anne Fine – “possibly the funniest book I have ever read”
  11. The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck
  12. Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon – “a truly original book”
  13. The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
  14. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  15. I, Claudius by Robert Graves – “naturally it’s the classic thing again”
  16. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  17. The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  18. Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver – loves the series and got very excited when I said that Paver’s adult book is out in October.
  19. Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam
  20. The Adventures of Tintin by Herge – “after all these years I still get huge enjoyment from these”

I was really surprised by this list and in particular the fact there was no Jane Austen, no Bronte’s and shock horror no Margaret Atwood. The latter seemed most bizarre as whenever I think of Atwood I think of my Mum. I asked her about these and she said “they are all great writers just no specific one book of there’s has made the top lot… you didn’t ask me for my top ten authors though did you?” I was also surprised no Shakespeare but apparently that’s because “you can’t choose one best Shakespeare play, it changes daily”.

So there you have it, my mother’s favourite books, don’t forget her Grilling will be up on Thursday. Until then what do you think of her list, was it what you might have expected? Which books have you read and loved on the list? Could any of my mothers top books be found in your list of favourites?

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33 Comments

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33 responses to “The Mum Booker Longlist

  1. JoV

    Your mom has excellent taste Simon!!! Tintin?!! My favourite!
    From her list I like to read:
    Iliad by Homer
    War and Peace
    The House of Mirth
    Map for Lost lovers
    Fingersmith
    Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

    6 out of 10. Mom favourite list is my TBR list!

    • Hahahaha thats brilliant JoV. I have to sat out of those books I have only read a couple, she wasn’t too impressed, especially when she heard me say I struggle with the classics.

  2. An interesting, very varied list, from which I’ve read:
    Dangerous Liaisons (for book group, not something I’d normally choose)
    Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (didn’t like it much, particularly as every second person in Kephalonia was reading it by the pool)
    Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (totally agree – this is a highly original book and one I really loved at the time, not sure it would stand up to scrutiny now?)
    The Secret Garden (read it as a kid and I vaguely remember a TV series or movie?)
    The Time Traveller’s Wife (loved it; the movie was woeful though – have you seen it?)
    The Adventures of Tintin (I came to these very late – my OH has the entire set and I’ve dipped in and out of them and always enjoyed them.)

    I have several other books on my wishlist already and a very battered copy of the L-shaped Room which I must read soonish!

    • I think with Mum in part Corelli is the greekness as thats really where she would like to live and is so passionate about the place and its history. In her Grilling she mentions English Passengers which I know you loved.

      My little sister is reading The Curious Incident and Pride and Prejudice at the mo… the mind boggles at her reading it really does.

  3. Great list, I’ve read and loved;
    L-Shaped Room…(serialised on the radio a month or so back..quite good)
    The Time Travellers Wife (have’t seen the film, might give it a miss)
    The Secret Garden (read many, many times as a child)
    Curious Incident of Dog in the Night Time
    Captain Corelli’s Mandolin ( film is dire)
    Fingersmith
    The Moonstone (prefer Woman in White)
    Lord of the Rings

    Want to read War and Peace and The Forsyth Saga both quietly gathering dust on my shelves.

  4. bookgazing

    Yay for Wolf Brother making the list – fantastic book and very excited to see her adult book (or any new book by her) on the way.

  5. Armen

    Very Interesting List indeed.
    I’ve read the following:
    Iliad by Homer i read it years ago and i guess it was too much!
    Lord of the Rings by J.R. Tolkien i was hooked on the book
    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy the only Russian author i liked when i was growing up.
    Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas i love Dumas and have read several of his books.
    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett yaay, a childhood favorite and have seen the movies and TV series and animations too!! 😀
    The Adventures of Tintin by Herge have read all the volumes.
    Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos, didn’t like it!

  6. An excellent and eclectic list! I’ve read:
    Lord of the Rings by J.R. Tolkien
    The L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks
    The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
    The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy (a family favourite – my father actually considered naming me Fleur)
    Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger

    The Counte of Monte Cristo is high on my TBR list, as is I, Claudius. I’ll look forward to them even more now!

  7. novelinsights

    I’ve read and loved:

    The Illiad
    The first book of The Lord of the Rings
    The Moonstone
    Dangerous Liaisons
    The L Shaped room (gave a copy away at the book swap!)
    Captin Corelli
    Time Traveller’s Wife
    The Secret Garden

    And I want to read:

    War and Peace
    I Claudius

    Great list and I do love the title for this post!!

  8. What a well-read mum! I am quite impressed. She has not only books that are older than dirt, but some modern ones, and everything in between. I love it.

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  10. Ash

    Some great stuff on there, Simon. Lord of the Rings and The Curious Incident would probably be in my top 20… both made a very big impression when i read them.
    There’s a few on there I might look at reading, too…

    • She’s not half well read my mother lol. I have to say The Lord of the Rings has never done anything for me, I don’t know why. I think I should have tried it in my teenage years, I am too cynical now… mind you I like Harry Potter.

  11. Juanita

    That bit about her favorite Shakespeare changing daily is funny. I’m a little surprised to see Lord of the Rings on the list, but that’s only because I don’t tend to think of anyone’s mom as being a LOTR fan. (smile)

  12. Favorites of mine from this list would be The Moonstone and The Secret Garden. I would trade The Iliad for The Odyssey though. Great idea! I wonder which books my own mum would choose.

  13. mee

    Nice surprise to find The Time Traveler’s Wife there as it’s my favorite book of all time too ;). Tintin is cheating a bit as it is a series, not just one book lol, but it’s such a cool inclusion. Loved the Curious Incident too. The ones I most look forward to reading are The Moonstone, War and Peace, and Fingersmith. Interesting Steinbeck’s choice there as it’s not his most famous work.

    • In Mums defense we were on a tube to the station whenshe did the list and non of us could think of any full Tintin titles but she was insisting that it was included. I was pleasantly surprised about The Time Travellers Wife too.

  14. What a great selection! I’m happy to see I’ve read some, and have a few more on my tbr. Some do look quite difficult though!

  15. Ed

    I prefer the Odyssey to the Iliad, but this might be because of the translations I have read. I have often read that those who can read Greek prefer the Iliad. I am undecided about whether I prefer “The Moonstone” or “The Woman in White”.

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  17. That is such a great list. You have a very cool mum:)

    I’ve read Lord of the Rings, The Moonstone, Count of Monte Cristo, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Curious Incident of the Dog at Night Time, Fingersmith, The Secret Garden, Time Traveller’s Wife and lots of Tin Tin (although I’m more of an Asterix girl).

    I would love to try and attempt the Illiad, and Anne Fine’s novel looks very interesting.

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