Tag Archives: Ruth Ozeki

Catching Up With Myself & Then Catching Up With You…

Once upon a time, in a far away land ‘oop’ North, there was a man with a big beard who loved books and to blog about them…

Oh where have those days gone, as they do currently seem to have been a million billion trillion years ago. In reality it has only been a week or so since I last blogged yet to be honest since the new year, since starting a new and full time job (which I know, I know, I have mentioned before and you all have them and I should just get a grip) my reading and blogging has all felt a little bit out of my grip as I am working like a nutter on a brilliant yet bonkers project. Particularly in the last month, when I have been working on two parts of the project with a very tight pair of deadlines, when I have worked in the office till late or come home with work and worked till late or over the weekend.

Well, fingers crossed the deadlines were both yesterday and now things will be busy but a more normal and manageable level of crazy. I might even leave at a normal time and come home with time to blog AND read, even just reading has been grabbing the briefest of time slots, though it has interestingly forced me into the reminder of how special reading slowly can be – more on that in the next few weeks.

I am trying to think of any news I have and the only ones I can think of are firstly some dreadful news and secondly some much nicer news. The bad news, let us get it out the way, is that my local book shop (which I went for a wander to for the first time in a month, unheard of) has shockingly closed down. I am beyond gutted and if anyone would like to buy me it I am open to offers. Seriously though, I am devastated.


Second news is that I am currently lost in one of the most wonderful books I have read in some time. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki is a book I meant to read all of 2013 and have finally got around to reading – its bloody marvellous. I have been begging many people to join in and read it (if they haven’t already) so if you are interested do pick it up as I am not racing through it just slowly loving it and will be tweeting about it lots. Just speaking about it makes me want to go off and read it, so I shall for a while before I get a crack on with commenting back to you all from posts since the dawn of time of 2014 and reading some of your blogs over the weekend too.

While I am doing that, what is your news and what have you been reading?


Filed under Random Savidgeness

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013 Longlist?

So tomorrow is the announcement of the first, yet technically eighteenth, Women’s Prize for Literature. As has become the routine in the last few years, I do love to have a go at guessing what books might be on it. This isn’t based on what people ‘in the trade’ might be thinking or any of that gubbins, though I love all the speculation, it is simply based on books I have loved, am desperate to read or simply think might be on the list, though I am sure I will be proven delightfully wrong once again this year and a million miles off in my guesses.

The first four of my guesses are some of my favourite books of 2012, well, those that fall into the submission guidelines, they are…

The Colour of Milk – Nell Leyshon
Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice Cream Float Before He Stole Me Ma – Kerry Hudson
The Lighthouse – Alison Moore
The Age of Miracles – Karen Thompson Walker

Next up some books that I have read, or in the case of the Atkinson am reading, and am yet to review but have thoroughly enjoyed…

Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
Instructions for a Heatwave – Maggie O’Farrell
Past the Shallows – Favel Parrett
May We Be Forgiven – A. M. Holmes

Next up another four more books that are on the bedside table at the moment…

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie – Ayana Mathis
A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki
Tell The Wolves I Am Home – Carol Rifka Brunt
Origins of Love – Kishwar Desai

Three more books that I am keen to read very soon and also one which I have been mulling over reading or not because of the Jesus factor, if it gets long listed will definitely read it…

The Palace of Curiosities – Rosie Garland
Tigers in Red Weather – Liza Klaussmann
Above All Things – Tanis Rideout
The Liar’s Gospel – Naomi Alderman

Finally a mix of four books that would cause some talking points if they were listed (well one would for me particularly)…

Bring Up The Bodies – Hilary Mantel
The Casual Vacancy – J. K. Rowling
Bitter Greens – Kate Forsyth
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

I am pretty much sure that Hilary Mantel is going to be on the list and, unlike the general consensus I have heard of late, I have no grumbles about that at all. It has been really annoying me that people are now laying into her, everyone was really celebratory of her Booker double, after winning the Costa Prize too. Surely great books of the year should be able to win as many book prizes as they are eligible for, no? I can’t be doing with all the gripers, yes I know too much talk can put you off a book but don’t be mean about it. Rant over.

As for the other three, well I don’t think many people are predicting that J.K. Rowling will be on the list yet I would be quite chuffed if she was – it would get people talking, the book deals with current themes and it might get me to finally read it which I have been saying I will for ages. If ‘Bitter Greens’ gets on the longlist I will be talking about it to everyone because it is the retelling of Rapunzel and we all know that is my favourite fairytale and I named my duck after her when I was four. I have just had this in the post and have been sooooooooo excited, I am saving it for some long journeys I have coming up. Finally, the Flynn, why not? It has been a huge seller, everyone has been talking about it and the twists and turns and characters, even if you love to loathe them, are great. Though of course it is a crime novel and so may be written off for that, it could be a dark horse though.

I know I have missed out some of the big hitters like Barbara Kingsolver, Tracy Chevalier, Aminatta Forna, Nicola Barker and Rose Tremain (who I now desperately want to read the works of as though Gran and my mother love her I haven’t but The Beard’s mother yesterday was raving about her and we seem to be on an authorish wavelength) but I wanted to have a different and varied list overall. I wouldn’t be upset if any of them were on it. I also debated ‘The Friday Gospels’ by Jenn Ashworth, yet didn’t think there would be two books with ‘gospel’ in the title, why I don’t know and ‘Red Joan’ by Jennie Rooney. I mulled over some other debuts like  ‘The Innocents’ by Francesca Segal and I couldn’t work out if Katherine Boo was eligible, though I really want to read it but then decided I just couldn’t second guess it could I?

Yet that is part of the fun isn’t it, the fact that no one could guess the longlist because there are so many eligible books that have come out in the last twelve months and we have no idea how many books have been put forward. Plus how dull would it be if we could guess? One of the things that is great about the longlist is finding a whole new selection of books and authors you have never heard of before and want to go and find out more about. I am getting even more excited about the prize now.

I will report back when the list is announced at some point tomorrow, I am hoping really early. In the meantime which books do you think might just make the longlist, which ones would you be particularly thrilled to see?


Filed under Random Savidgeness, Women's Prize for Fiction