The Bailey’s Prize, Some Final Thoughts…

Tonight is a very exciting night. Not just because I will be in conversation with Maggie O’Farrell about her latest wonderful novel This Must Be The Place at Waterstones in Liverpool, before heading to Waterstones Manchester with her tomorrow – do come if you can. It is also the finale of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, which is very exciting indeed. Having read the whole longlist this year, and by default the shortlist, I have decided to share my thoughts on the six novels that have made it through to the penultimate place.

In a change to the normal format of me rambling on for several paragraphs I have decided to share the video I made (I have mentioned I have reignited my YouTube channel, so do please have a gander and subscribe) about them all below. So now you get to see and hear me rambling instead.  I hope you give it a whirl…

So those are my thoughts. Yes, I am being mean and making you watch all it to know my thoughts. I would love yours. Which of this tears Bailey’s prize shortlisted novels have you read and what did you make of them? Which one would you like to win? (And if you are reading this after the winner is announced, what do you think of the winner – you will probably know before I do, ha!)


Filed under Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction, Baileys Bearded Book Club

5 responses to “The Bailey’s Prize, Some Final Thoughts…

  1. Fiona

    Thank you Simon for your YouTube video – it was lovely to see you talking about these books. I have read three of the shortlist ( Portable Veblen and the Improbability of Love just didn’t appeal – I have a copy of Glorious Heresies which I am keen to read – just need to find the time) Of the three I have read here goes -The Green Road – I agree with you that the New York section is compelling and beautifully told. For me it was the outstanding section of the book. If she had maintained this level throughout then who knows….but, although I think this was a good book, overall I didn’t feel it was great. I don’t know why but I just don’t quite get Anne Enright and I have read others. A Little Life is a brilliant book – an epic really, incredibly and devastatingly moving. Written with utmost love and sincerity. I don’t think any book has made me cry so much or so often. Particularly, perversely, it was the “happy” moments in this book that really made me sob. This is a book I will never forget. I recommend it to people but always with a bit of a warning – if you think you’re tough enough….This brings me on to my winning recommendation. Although as I haven’t read them all I guess my views do not count. Ruby, all I can say is wow, wow,wow! A dark tale, but so exquisitely told. For me this is literature at its best. Bond’s use of language is just outstanding – it is music, it is poetry, it is incredible. I wish I could write like that. I hear this book took a long time to write – I can believe it.

  2. Love that you’re back on YouTube and tickled that you enjoyed Ruby. I was absolutely pulling for Cynthia Bond. Here’s the video review I filmed a long while ago.

  3. I’ve really enjoyed watching your BookTube videos today – So sad I’m missing both Liverpool & Manchester. I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for when you are doing a NW event again.

  4. Loved watching your video this morning. Very interesting watching after knowing who the winner is. I agree with you, I felt “My Little Life” was just
    special in so many way, and it was my front runner. The other books that I did read were, “Ruby” and also “The Improbability of Love”. As you, I thought that Ruby might be the winner. I haven’t read the winner but as soon as I can find the book here I will be reading it. I hope you are able to do a video with Maggie O’Farrell. I can’t wait to read that one as well.

  5. Julia Rice

    Thanks for making your video, Simon, I enjoyed watching. I haven’t read all the books, but will look forward to reading the winner. I can’t believe any of them were better than “A Little Life” though; that book absolutely blew me away – there were times my children went hungry because I could not put it down, and I found myself crying in public places! It was a shame for every book I read for a while subsequently because NOTHING measured up. Can’t believe it did not win this prize or the Man Booker. I liked the Anne Enright book a lot too, which surprised me because I too have had difficulty liking her earlier work, even though I’ve really wanted to. Just discovered your blog and really love it.

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