So, as you will know I am an avid (okay obsessive) reader. But I am not very brave. I like reading books which I well, like, so I tend to purchase books which are like other books I have read. This is boring of me. And ‘boring’ is just about the most depressing epithet you can use to describe anyone in my book. I know it must end.
Equally, and generously, people often describe me as somewhat highbrow. Sadly, this is mostly untrue. Although I can (i.e. am capable of) reading highbrow books I tend not to (read ‘don’t’). Again, boring and a little lazy.
Today, all this changes. The Man Booker Longlist has been announced and I plan to read and review every last darn one of them (in my own, inimitable style), before the winner is announced in October.
If you want to see the longlist, its here: www.themanbookerprize.com
Now, although I think I’d like to do this, the only way I am really, honestly likely to do this is by shaming myself into it. So that is what this is for and that is where you, my audience come in (mwah, hah hah etc….).
Today, as a starting point I have done two things.
1. I have downloaded all the books onto my kindle (a bit of guilt at the expense, as well as the afore-mentioned shame, will go a long way)
2. I have pre-reviewed the list. What I mean by this, is I have divided the books into three categories.
(a) Books I may well have read anyway:
- Philada by André Brink
- The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twang Eng
- Skios by Michael Frayn
- The Unlikely Pilgrimage by Howard Fry
- The Lighthouse by Alison Moore
(b) Books I might have read anyway (though some of them are comedies and I am never entirely sure about comedy books)
- The Yips by Nicola Barker
- The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman
- Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
- Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
(c) Books I would never, ever read under any other circumstances
- Umbrella by Will Self
- Bringing up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Those among you who are mathematically-minded will note that
- about 50% of the books I may have read anyway and 50% I probably wouldn’t
- There are 12 weeks until the prize is awarded – I have just under 8 days to read each book
You will see by now also that I like lists. Undoubtedly more of those to come.
Okay, time to begin reading.
“A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others”. Abraham Lincoln.
Yes, I also like quotes. Also Lincoln.