Oranges Are Not The Only Books…

I think I mentioned the other day that I was starting to feel the beginnings of Orange Overload. I am fully aware that I gave myself the challenge of reading every word of the longlist and so really I shouldn’t be moaning, and actually you will see once I get back on track and stop rambling that I am not. I love the Orange Prize, in fact I love book prizes in general, as it opens my eyes to lots of books and authors that I might not have come across before or maybe ones I have in the TBR and not yet got around to. I think though so far with the Orange Longlist 2011 reading I might have been at fault with the method I have used to attack the challenge (maybe the use of the word attack is a little strong but until earlier this week it was the way I felt) itself.

Rather than read the ones that I really, really fancy reading first, I have saved them up until the end. I do this with dinners too, eat all the bits I am less of a fan of and then reveal in all my favourite flavours at the end, this isn’t just something I am alone in doing I don’t think, or is it? Yet this isn’t working, instead I am finding that I have been looking longingly at the ones I really wanted to read instantly whilst reading the others I didn’t know of or, if I am honest, didnt really fancy that much. My head started to feel like exploding orange!


You might think this has made me harsher on the books that I have read so far (and I must change the currently reading image as I haven’t started ‘The Invisible Bridge’ by Julie Orringer yet because, despite how great everyone is telling me it is, the size of it intimidates me along with the subject of The Holocaust, I will read it in due course though) and actually its not been the case, I have found some absolute corkers so far I wasn’t expecting, such as ‘Great House’ by Nicole Krauss and ‘The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives’ by Lola Shoneyin a review of the latter is coming soon, and I think have enjoyed them all the more because they have surprised me.

In fact maybe this is time to let you know what I have read so far, I have linked the reviews already up though some are coming soon. I’m not putting the marks out of ten given to each one as I think I need a rethink as some have grown on me and some have faded faster overtime…

So only another nine to go, but this is where things have changed. After finishing of ‘The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives’ I thought to myself ‘hang on a minute, this is the fun you can have reading, stop reading the ones you don’t know or don’t fancy so much and just head to the ones you do, hence why ‘Annabel’ was next.  I also reminded myself that ‘oranges are not the only books’ and so I have been reading a random book I fancy between them, or even two if the mood takes me. This is working much better so far and gives me high hope I might just have read them all (especially with the third operation of four tomorrow and lots more recovery time after) by short listing day. Though if all the reviews of them haven’t quite gone up by then… so what? I have decided though, no more long list and short list challenges in the future though.

Have you read any of the Orange Longlist this year? Are trying to read them all? Are you just not bothered about The Orange Prize or longlist and if not why not (so sorry if you aren’t, normal service will be resummed soon)? What are your thoughts on reading challenges be they self set or a collective venture?

9 Comments

Filed under Book Thoughts, Orange Prize

9 responses to “Oranges Are Not The Only Books…

  1. I’ve read 14.5 of them now, and hope to get through another 3.5; I don’t have Tigers Wife or Lyrics Alley though so may not be able to complete the list before the announcement 😦

  2. I don’t care at all about the Orange list, the Man Booker list or any other literary prize list and I do not intend to take part in any “reading challenges” either. Haveing declared my hand it is not so easy to tell you WHY I feel this way but I guess it is partly that these days I read for maximum variety (including the occasional random pick from a library shelf) and that lack of structure gives a lot of freedom. In particular I am happy to stop reading a book that isn’t working for me after 30 pages and put it back without a second thought.

    I thus completely support the decision that you articulate in your statement “… I have decided though, no more long list and short list challenges in the future …”

  3. Susan E

    Sometimes folks love the challenge of a list, and it seems a good way to find new authors, be up on what’s going on in the literary world, and broaden ones reading beyond ones own picks/tastes. A list to me though right now would be just one more thing I have to do, and I treasure my reading time to read as I please. One exception: This year I’ve got a list of 7 or 8 books/authors I’ve always meant to read and never gotten to and want to read by the end of the year (as long as Dec 30th doesn’t find me starting on Crime and Punishment or the Grapes of Wrath…)

  4. Louise

    The Orange Prize is my favourite,i think the selection is more readable and down to earth uinlike others…

    I have the following left to read

    The Invisible Bridge
    The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives
    The Memory of Love
    The Tigers Wife (i feel this will be like marmite with me)
    Jamrach’s Menagerie

    I left these til last as i think i will enjoy these more 🙂

  5. just half tigers wife ,I m working through the IFFP longlist at the moment ,all the best stu

  6. Really want to hear your thoughts on Annabel, so I hope you have time and strength to get them up in between all the sad hospital visiting you’re having to do. Good luck with the last couple of visits and recupperating.

  7. Bet

    I couldn’t even think of beginning a longlist challege: first of all, I don’t have the time to read them all before the short list is published, and even if I did, many of them are not available on this side of the pond yet and I couldn’t afford to buy all the ones I couldn’t get at the library.

    However, I am smack in the middle of Great House and enjoying it immensely! When I am doing other things I can’t stop thinking about the characters and wondering where it will got next, backward in time, or forward, or what? Fantastic book!

  8. Pingback: Annabel – Kathleen Winter « Savidge Reads

  9. What do you mean, Oranges Are Not the Only Books?!
    ::looks confused::
    (She says, being only two books away from the end of the longlist reading.)

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