Not The Booker 2015

I am back online, and just in time as the Not The Booker shortlist has been announced which I have been very excited about for the last week. Yes, you heard me right ‘Not’ The Booker. If you haven’t heard of it before it is an annual prize that The Guardian run around Man Booker Longlist time, the difference is that book lovers get to vote which I think makes it all the more exciting, and in past years all the more controversial as I discovered when I joined in and then judged back in 2013. This year people nominated a 70 strong longlist, which if you want a list of corking sounding books then do go have a look. Now almost 1,000 people have voted on which books go through (voting for two books the books with the most votes go through, sounds simple never quite is) and the shortlist of six books has been announced – and I am going to read them all. Oh yes, here they are…

  • Shame – Melanie Finn
  • The Artificial Anatomy of Parks – Kat Gordon
  • Fishnet – Kirstin Innes
  • Things We Have in Common – Tasha Kavanagh
  • Dark Star – Oliver Langmead
  • The Good Son – Paul McVeigh

I am very excited for two reasons. The first is that I nominated The Good Son in the first round as I was just at the end of it and think it is an utterly marvellous debut novel that cleverly deals with the recent violent history in Northern Ireland through a wonderful young (and not precocious, amazing) narrator who I will remember for a very long time – it got through, I am thrilled. Secondly just look at that list, isn’t it brilliant. Firstly these are six (almost) new to me books (I knew McVeigh’s as I voted for it, I also have the Kavanagh on the shelves) as well as six (almost) new to me authors. This is exactly what I loved about judging Fiction Uncovered and ticks many of my ‘reading outside the box’ boxes. Yes, there is an irony to those boxes, anyway…

It is a real mix of books. There are tales of Africa, surburban thrillers, science fiction, tales of escorts and prostitution, family dramas and tales of the IRA in Ireland, there is also a really interesting sway towards debut novels and independent publishers. It is a list that I find really exciting, so I have already been and bought two (no, not on that awful river based site) and Kat Gordon and Oliver Langmead will be in the post shortly. Finn’s editor has already tweeted me and is winging a copy of that over which will be the first book to be discussed around the 17th of August. So I thought I would let you know in case you wanted to join in with the fun.

Anyone else joining in? Have you read any of these books and if so what did you make of them?


Filed under Book Thoughts, Not The Booker Prize, Random Savidgeness

8 responses to “Not The Booker 2015

  1. An old school friend, Colin MacIntyre, was in the list with The Letters Of Ivor Punch, so obviously I had to vote for him! My other choice was In My House by Alex Hourston. I did no

  2. -tice The Good Son and Dark Star getting a lot of votes. I think the only one I have is The Artificial Anatomy Of Parks, but The Good Son appeals greatly. As for the Booker, I’ve got Andrew O’Hagan and Arundhati Roy’s books to be read.

  3. Jim

    Planning on getting hold of ll six of these one way or another and hopefully contributing to the discussion.

  4. David

    Honestly, this is a “prize” I’ve never quite understood the reason for (doesn’t the Fiction Uncovered thing essentially cover the same ground?), and when I’ve looked at it in the past I can never figure out how voting works. Plus it’s on the Guardian’s site which means you end up reading the comments and thinking “Crikey, I thought comments on YouTube could get nasty, and these are Guardian readers!” and, really, life’s too short et cetera. Still, I have ordered copies of ‘Shame’ and ‘The Good Son’ as a result, though I’m not inspired by the others.
    Ah, just call me Mr. Negativity, why don’t you? 😉

  5. Some interesting titles here. I love these prize lists because they always make me read books I might otherwise have passed by or never known about. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Pingback: It’s Monday and Singapore turned 50! | Olduvai Reads

  7. Pingback: Shame – Melanie Finn | Savidge Reads

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