So, I found this over at Jean’s channel (BookishThoughts) and really wanted to do it. I’m currently making my way through the shortlist for this years prize and really want to make an effort to read more of previous prizes and thought this would be a really good way to do that! This will probably include a bit of a long-term TBR as there are a number I want to get through it seems. Going through the shortlists (here) there are a number of books I really want to get around to that I, honestly, had no idea were nominated in the past. So, anyway, let’s get on with it.
1. How long have you been following the Man Booker Prize? (If this is your first year, have you followed any other prizes previously?)
I use the term follow loosely. Really I’ve only been interested in it for the past few years – maybe since 2009? I remember Hilary Mantel winning for Wolf Hall and I then remember the next few years quite well even though I didn’t actively go out and read the books. I’ve been aware of it for a long time though, I think my English teacher in year 6 (I was 10/11) was the first one to introduce us to literary prizes – I didn’t go out and read any that young but she was the one who made me curious enough to go out and investigate when I got that bit older.
As for other prizes, I don’t follow them as I do the Man Booker, I’ve dipped in and out of the Orange/Bailey’s Prize and the Costa Book Awards but mainly to see what books are out there rather than following it religiously!
2. If you read a book you know has been longlisted, what expectations do you have going in to it?
In the past I’ve headed in with a sense of trepidation. It’s only the last few years I’ve been aware of the longlist, previously I only ever noticed the winner and a lot of the winning books seem a little untouchable. Books longlisted for the Man Booker are those that are the best in the class, they’re the elite and being elite doesn’t always mean that they’re approachable for the average Joe!
However, now I’ve developed as a reader, I go in expecting something amazing. I go in wanting the experience to be amazing. I want the book to be something different, something that I’ve not read before. I want it to maybe make me think differently.
3. Have you read any books from the longlist this year (if not, which ones interest you?)
I’m currently making my way through the shortlist. I’ve read A Little Life and Satin Island – the first being amazing and the later being a disappointment. I want to get to the final four in the next week or two. I know I’m not going to get through them all by Tuesday when the winner is announced but I do want to finish them. Off of the longlist, I’m quite interested to read The Chimes!
4. Which previously longlisted or shortlisted Man Booker book is your favourite?
From last year, How to Be Both by Ali Smith, it just has to be.
I’ve also loved A Tale for the Time Being (2013), Room (2010), The Accidental (2005), Never Let Me Go (2005), Notes on a Scandal (2003), Oryx and Crake (2003), Fingersmith (2002) and The Handmaid’s Tale (1986)
5. Which previous Man Booker Prize winner is your favourite (or which would you like to read?)
I’ve actually not read all that many of the winners, and those I have read I’ve not necessarily enjoyed all that much. The one I enjoyed the most will probably be The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Ones I want to read in the near future The Narrow Road to the Deep North (2014), The Blind Assassin (2000) and Midnight’s Children (1981)
6. Is there any book that you hoped would make the longlist this year and didn’t? (to be eligible it has to be a book published in the UK in English between 1st Oct 2014 and 30th Sept ’15)
I would have loved to have seen The Book of Strange New Things, The Buried Giant (even though I didn’t much like it when I read it, it’s one I’ve grown more warmly to in hindsight) and The Gracekeepers in the mix.