Tag Archives: Libby Cone

Guessing The Orange Prize Longlist 2010

I do like a good guessing game, I can almost guarantee I will always be pretty much wrong but I still like to have a go anyway. The last bookish year saw me trying and failing (though I did better than the previous year) to guess the Man Booker Longlist (I did guess the winner though) and the winner of the Orange Longlist both of which I got wrong. It is my dream to one day be on a book prize panel of some sort and as it will never be the Orange I thought I would list you what I would put forward before the actual 20 are announced tomorrow. I haven’t read them all but really want to, all bar two I haven’t read are on my TBR.

It was quite hard choosing though as the books can’t be translated, have to have been published in the UK between the 1st April 2009 and 31st March 2010 (one book in my list is due out on both the 31st of March and 1st of April depending where you look so it may not make it, I went under the assumption that the 31st was correct) and all must be novels, no novellas. 

I have popped them all alphabetically in order of author surname so as you can’t guess my favourites…


Ms. Hempel Chronicles – Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
The Rehearsal – Eleanor Catton
War on the Margins – Libby Cone
Isa and May – Margaret Forster


How To Paint A Dead Man – Sarah Hall
Blueeyedboy – Joanne Harris
Dog Boy – Eva Hornung
Small Wars – Sadie Jones


The Long Song – Andrea Levy
Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
The Confessions of Edward Day – Valerie Martin
A Gate At The Stairs – Lorrie Moore


White is for Witching – Helen Oyeyemi
Where The Serpent Lives – Ruth Padel
The Boy Next Door – Irene Sabatini
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson


The Help – Kathryn Stockett
Trespass – Rose Tremain
Dancing Backwards – Salley Vickers
After The Fire, A Still Small Voice – Evie Wyld

I will say another two titles were fighting for a place in the top twenty and they were ‘Black Mamba Boy’ by Nadifa Mohamed and ‘The Rapture’ by Liz Jensen so if the judges pick either of these then I will be kicking myself. I also originally had ‘A Beginners Guide To Acting English’ by Shappi Khorsandi not realising it was a memoir (have now seen the very tiny word on the back of the book, thank you Justine! You see it started off being quite tough and then I kept thinking of ‘just one more’ several times.

You might notice some big contenders of last year are missing from my list, titles such as Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood’, Sarah Water’s ‘The Little Stranger’, Audrey Niffenegger’s ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’ and A. S. Byatt’s ‘The Children’s Book’ (though I don’t think she allows hers to be put forward) all four of which I read last year and thought were very good I just think they have had enough publicity already. You could say the same for Wolf Hall but I adored it more than very much liking it so it made my selection. It wouldn’t be a shock or a scandal to see any of those on the list though. 

So will I be anywhere near right? Quite unlikely, would be hilarious if I was though. What about all of you, what do you think might be seen on the Longlist this year? I am not planning on intentionally reading whatever the final twenty or even the short listed titles are, is anyone else?

Note: This was a post I scheduled the other week and I didn’t realise Jackie was doing one too which you can see over at Farmlanebooks if you havent already. Let me know if any more of you are doing this!


Filed under Book Thoughts, Orange Prize

Latest Library Loots & Publishers Parcels

I haven’t quite finished ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’ which is hard to believe as it is so gripping but I spent last night watching The Rocky Horror Show in Wimbledon and so didn’t get a word of reading done in the evening. Will crack on and finish at lunch as have to read The Law and the Lady by Sunday, which I don’t think will be difficult as am sure will be another of Wilkie Collins books that leaves you hooked and unable to do anything other than turn pages, well and maybe make a cup of tea or two! 

So instead of doing anything on either of those thought would share not what I have bought of late as I did that the other week (and been on a book buying ban ever since). Instead what I have recently pilfered from the library. Pilfered is the wrong word as I am borrowing them, it just sounds good, maybe I have been spending too much time in the fictional 1880’s? 

Latest Library Loot

  • Kill the Grief by Caroline Rance – I have wanted to read this ever since I saw Jackie’s review on Farmlanebooks. I love the line in the blurb “from the bleak Wirral shore, to the screams of the operating theatre, and from a backstreet gin shop to the dungeons of the gaol” sounds very me, so will be following the fictional story of nurse Mary Helsall soon.  I wanted so much for it to count as Sensation fiction but sadly its 100 years too early, still is a perfect read to have alongside as is quite dark and disturbing, not for the faint hearted.
  • The Frozen Deep & A Rogue’s Life both by Wilkie Collins – Not his sensational fiction but can still fit them in as they are both very quick reads and would like to try some ‘non-sensation’ works of his.
  • Duplicate Death by Georgette Heyer – I didn’t get on too well with ‘Simon the Coldheart’ so swapped it for some of Heyer’s crime fiction, hoping this one will be much more up my street. 
  • Q & A by Vikas Swarup – The Converted One wanted this and I will probably give it a whirl afterwards. I refused to see the film at the cinema for my own silly stubborn reasons but borrowed the DVD from a friend and we thought it was amazing!

There have also been some arrivals from some publishers I wanted to mention. The very lovely people at Duckworth publishing has seen my blog on Julie and Julia – The Movie the other day and sent me ‘My Life in France’ by Julia Childs which made me do a squeak of glee. They also sent me ‘War on the Margins’ which is about Jersey during the war and the Nazi’s occupation of it. I loved ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ and found the subject of these islands in that time fascinating so this should be brilliant.

Publishers Parcel

You will also see that I have not one but two copies of the latest Louis De Bernieres (I have not read anything of his yet, is that shocking?) novel, well collection of stories, ‘Notwithstanding: Stories from an English Village’ which is based on his time growing up in rural England. This isn’t a memoir though as the author is “plagued by a novelist’s inability to stick to the truth”. The characters sound wonderful… “English village was a place where a lady might dress as a man in plus fours and spend her time shooting squirrels with a twelve bore, or keep a vast menagerie in her house. A retired general might give up wearing clothes, a spiritualist might live in a cottage with her sister and the ghost of her husband, and people might think it quite natural to confide in a spider that lives in a potting shed.” I am not sure I will be able to hold myself back from reading this for long. Which is a good thing for all of you as the spare copy is for a giveaway I shall do on the day!

What have you acquired of late? Have you read any of these or anything by the authors? As always, do let me know your thoughts, I best get off here and start reading!


Filed under Book Thoughts