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Literary Awards

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In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2013 19:17:09 GMT
I Readalot says:
I did think that the only real merit with the women only was the fact that British authors were up against worldwide (originally written in English) competition, now the Booker is changing its eligibility even that doesn't hold water any more. A novelist is a novelist irrespective of gender after all!

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2013 10:59:09 GMT
VCBF (Val) says:
I tend to agree with you I Readalot.
If there is a company out there looking for a literary prize to sponsor, I would rather they chose to fund the Commonwealth Writers' Prize / Commonwealth Book Prize.

Posted on 12 Dec 2013 15:39:46 GMT
VCBF (Val) says:
The judges for Man Booker 2014 have been announced:
There are four men and two women. Both women are American (USA).
Will this mean The Goldfinch will be on the shortlist?

(I have not read it yet, but a few friends whose opinions I trust have and say it is excellent.)

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Dec 2013 19:49:18 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Dec 2013 21:27:04 GMT
I Readalot says:
Wouldn't surprise me if it is Val, I have it on my book shelf waiting to be read and I will get round to it. Trouble is at the moment I am finding it hard to really concentrate on reading anything apart from fast paced thrillers and shortish novels, time of year I suppose! It will be interesting to see next years list, I know that David Mitchell has a new book due in September so that will be within the time scale.

Posted on 9 Jan 2014 05:41:41 GMT
VCBF (Val) says:
Here is a link to the category winners for the Costa Award 2013:

Posted on 15 Jan 2014 07:05:42 GMT
monica says:

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2014 12:08:11 GMT
Poly says:
Thanks monica, I really enjoyed those reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2014 20:15:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jan 2014 20:12:36 GMT
gille liath says:
I saw Craig Brown's spoof of that book in Private Eye, but didn't have any idea what it was about. Interesting how different his style is for the Mail - and that he had to explain who Alan Partridge is.

That's a good line, 'Jesus never said anything one wishes one had said oneself'. If only Christianity had been founded by Oscar Wilde!

As for Widdy, no sense of humour? Obviously she never saw the woman dance. Besides, you might as well do a hatchet job on Jordan as on people like her or Morrissey ('one million Mexicans can't be wrong!'). Too easy.

Posted on 1 Jun 2014 12:24:34 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
The winner of the Women's Fiction Prize (now sponsored by Bailey's) will be announced on June 4th 2014.

The longlist for the Man Booker will be announced on Wednesday 23 July 2014.

Anyone want to make any predictions, for those or other literary awards?

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2014 22:41:03 BDT
monica says:

Links to reviews of all the Orange/Bailey's/Tullamore Dew/Virago/XX chromosome shortlisted books given there, and in tidy form at bottom of page. Have you or has anyone read any of these? (A couple of them sound like ones I could actually read through to the end, though one of those sounds like it might be only an excuse for a love story and the other would do well to excel the novel about a 19th-century crime in Iceland that I already have.)

Don't see Booker shortlist in 1st page of google results and can't be bothered to look further as there won't be anything on it I'd be willing to read to the end. Maybe someone else can find one, preferably with links to reviews/synopses?

Posted on 4 Jun 2014 18:47:57 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
I remember you like authors who try to do something different with their narrative style, so you might consider reading A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing. I think the style works well for showing certain dramatic points in the story, but less well for when a long time is passing.
I thought The Goldfinch was very well written, but the plot and characters did not live up to the writing. (The comedy Russian was more irritating than funny and not really credible.)
I did not like either Americanah or The Lowland as much as earlier books by the authors.
Burial Rites was enjoyable and showed an uncompromising way of life well, but I could not help comparing it to Alias Grace, which I thought was realised much better.
The Undertaking was the weakest on the list, in my opinion, but it is more about the effects of war than a love story.

Posted on 18 Jun 2014 19:02:43 BDT
monica says:
Hi, Val, and belated thanks. You're right: After it won, I came upon excerpts from the book, & if ever I come upon it in a charity shop I'll certainly have a go.

Don't think I've mentioned this, and amn't about to read 5 pages to see whether I have, but at there's good coverage of foreign literary awards as well as of British ones.

Posted on 23 Jun 2014 11:34:25 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
You have mentioned it before I think, but thanks for the reminder, it is worth mentioning books in translation as often as possible.

Posted on 24 Jul 2014 15:57:17 BDT
I Readalot says:
Well here is the Booker Long list

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Joshua Ferris (Viking)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Chatto & Windus)
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Serpent's Tail)
The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt (Sceptre)
J, Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape)
The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth (Unbound)
The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (Sceptre)
The Lives of Others, Neel Mukherjee (Chatto & Windus)
Us, David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Dog, Joseph O'Neill (Fourth Estate)
Orfeo, Richard Powers (Atlantic Books)
How to be Both, Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
History of the Rain, Niall Williams (Bloomsbury)

I have read 'To Rise Again at a Decent Hour' - thanks to netgalley, enjoyed it but was surprised to see it on the list. I have a proof of 'J' so will read that. I already have the David Mitchell and Ali Smith on pre-order as they are both authors I usually read (especially Mitchell). Dowloaded We Are All Completely ....., only £1.80 on Kindle and am also tempted to read The Blazing World, The Wake, History of the Rain and Orfeo. Usually there are only one or two that catch my eye so an interesting year. First year with American's included and they have 4 Brits - 6, then it I think it is 2 Irish and a New Zealander.

Posted on 26 Jul 2014 10:33:58 BDT
I Readalot says:
Just had a look at publisher details for The Wake. Publisher is Unbound where the books are funded directly by readers, authors pitch their ideas on the website and readers can fund the ones they want to see written/published. The book itself is written in a pseudo language intended to convey the feeling of Old English. It will take a bit of time to adjust to the language and it is definitely worth reading the notes before starting. Think I will definitely be reading it alongside something else as I will have to be in the right mood for it - then again maybe I will change my mind once I have adjusted.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jul 2014 22:16:00 BDT
Marand says:
Thanks IR

I downloaded 'We are all Completely..." too - I was a bit ambivalent about it but at £1.80 it isn't much of a risk! I'm looking forward to the Niall Williams as I have really liked his earlier books. There are still too many books on my TBR. I'm away on holiday at the moment but have downloaded a pile more books from the Kindle sale - I'll have to have a permanent holiday to clear all my unread books! I am currently forcing myself to finish Joanna Trollope's updating of 'Sense & Sensibility' for my book club - it really is dire and I begrudge spending the time on it but needs must.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jul 2014 23:23:57 BDT
I Readalot says:
I felt the same about We are all completely ..... but as you say worth a risk at that price. Have downloaded History of the Rain, haven't read him before. Getting into The Wake, a real challenge but am beginning to get used to the language.

Posted on 27 Jul 2014 15:33:21 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
I have downloaded The Wake: Man Booker Prize 2014 Longlist Edition and Orfeo: Longlisted for Man Booker Prize 2014 because I want to read them and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves because it is cheap. I have not read any of the books on the list so far.
I will read Ali Smith's and David Mitchell's some time because I will read pretty much anything by them and there are a few more which look good if the price comes down a bit or the library get them in.

Posted on 27 Jul 2014 16:06:53 BDT
I have also downloaded We Are Completely Beside Ourselves due to cheapness, and I am beside myself with anticipation for The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell - it is cruel that they have put it on the list before we can get our hands on it!!

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2014 16:54:50 BDT
I Readalot says:
Yea, there are a few others that haven't been published yet as well, bit annoying but it all comes down to the Booker Year - 1st Oct to 30th Sept with prize awarded this year on 14 Oct. Sometimes publishers bring the date forward but with publication/printing schedules, launches and publicity organised it can often be difficult if not impossible to do. Still it is only just over a month away I suppose, and in the meantime I have got the new Haruki Murakami to look forward to.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2014 17:12:54 BDT
I Readalot says:
Val, be interesting to hear what you think of The Wake. First couple of pages were a real struggle but the more I read the more 'normal' the language becomes. I shut myself away to read it though as I keep reading bits of it out loud as I find it helps to hear the sound of the language - if that makes sense.

Have also downloaded Orfeo. Pleased to see Ali Smith there, 'There but for the ...' was one of my favourite reads of 2011, to the extent that I finished it and immediately started it again - don't do that very often.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2014 17:40:56 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
Reading bits aloud makes perfect sense I Readalot. I remember doing that with Chaucer for A-level because, although the spelling was different, much of the pronunciation was the same.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2014 19:01:33 BDT
I Readalot says:
Glad it makes sense. Actually it is a bit like reading Chaucer! There are of course some unfamiliar words but the context brings out the meaning. The lack of punctuation (apart from full stops) and absence of capital letters takes a bit of getting used to as well, that may well put a lot of people off reading it.

Posted on 28 Jul 2014 09:06:45 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
I have started reading "The Wake" and quite like what Paul Kingsnorth has done with the language. It is not that difficult to read phonetically and flows well, although I agree that a bit more punctuation would make it easier. The style feels right for the story, which is the important thing.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jul 2014 20:03:58 BDT
I Readalot says:
The style definitely feels right, it adds to the story. I am learning quite a lot about the period as well, might even look up some of his sources afterwards.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  135
Initial post:  11 Sep 2013
Latest post:  6 days ago

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