Sunday Salon – The Alternative Booker.

70757~Cafe-Mocha-Posters If you’ve seen my post from earlier in the week, then you will know that for once I’m actually not up in arms about the choices made for the Booker long-list this year.  Three of the four books that I felt very strongly ought to be there if we were going to talk about the best books of the year have made it and while I’m disappointed about the fourth, I can see why it might have raised problems with some readers.  However, I did notice that one of the UK papers had started a list for books that readers felt ought to have been there but which hadn’t made it and that set me wondering what fellow Salonists would have liked to have seen included.  If there is one sure way of making that TBR pile even bigger than it already is then it has to be by asking for recommendations from the most erudite bunch of readers going.

So, roughly the same rules as the Booker:

any full length novel written by a citizen of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or Zimbabwe;

no translations

no self published books

the books have to be published between 1 October 2008 and 30 September 2009.

Just one suggestion each, please and if there is enough interest then next week I’ll put the list together and share it around the Salon.  I’ll start the ball rolling with my missing favourite

Anne Michaels’ The Winter Vault.

DSCF0058 If you read yesterday’s post then it might relieve you to know that this morning the sun is shining and it looks as though I can leave my Blackwell’s umbrella at home when I go out for a walk.  For this relief, much thanks.  Twice in the past few days I’ve come in and had to change every stitch of clothing I had on.  No, I agree, not a pretty thought.  On Wednesday I even had to cancel an outing.  I wasn’t flooded because I live at the top of a hill, but all the land round me was and the only way to go visiting was to swim.  It reminded me of Penelope Lively’s book for children, Voyage of the QV66, which supposes a flood of biblical proportions in which all human life has been destroyed and only the QV66’s motley crew of animals is left to rediscover the wonders of the arts, science and technology – the wonders and also the temptations.  I don’t know if it’s still in print, but if you can get hold of a copy I heartily recommend it, whatever your age.  It has some very salutary points to make about the way in which we use those creations, inventions and discoveries that should make life better for all of us.  It’s also very funny and when you’ve had the sort of weather we’ve had for the past few weeks anything that can give you a laugh has to be seen as a good thing.

Published in: on August 2, 2009 at 9:10 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’d like to read The Winter Vault–I’ve heard good things about it. I’m not sure I have any books to add to the list as the only newly published books that I’ve read recently actually made the list (that rarely happens with me), but I’ll be curious to see which other titles people come up with! Do you plan on reading any of the other longlist titles?

  2. I didn’t have anything to add to the list, but that’s not too surprising. I haven’t been reading many new releases, but I’ve decided to read a few off the longlist just for fun. I didn’t realize Anne Michaels had a new book out! I read Fugitive Pieces recently and while it wasn’t my favorite book ever, it was enough to make me interested in this one.

  3. Danielle, I’m sure you’d love ‘The Winter Vault’, it’s exactly your sort of book. I’ve got ‘The Quickening Maze’ on my bookshelf and will move it up to the top of the TBR pile and Heliopolis and ‘Glass Room’ on the way from the library. Good heavens, that will mean I’ve read at least six of the long list. I can’t remember a year when that’s been the case.

    Meghan, I think I asked the wrong question in the Salon. Not many people do seem to read the new British and Commonwealth releases so they don’t have books they can offer. If you found ‘Fugitive Pieces’ not your sort of book, the I’m not sure you would enjoy ‘The Winter Vault’ which is more of the same, only much more.

  4. I love this idea of the alternate Booker! I’ll have to think hard, since I’m not reading many new books this year except mysteries….

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