Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Tonight, 14 October, this year's winner of the Man Booker Prize will be announced.

The short-listed titles are:

How to be Both by Ali Smith
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
How to Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
J by Howard Jacobson
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee
We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

I have not read any of them (yet … ).

I thought I would look back at twenty years of the prize and see how many of the winners I’ve read (and if I liked them or not). There were more than I’d expected:

2010 The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson x
2009 Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel √
2007 The Gathering by Anne Enright -
2002 The Life of Pi by Yann Martel √
2000 The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood √
1997 The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy x
1995 The Ghost Road by Pat Barker √

(2012 Bring Up the Bodies, I have a lovely hardback copy and look forward to reading, suspecting though that I might have to skim through Wolf Hall again first)
2013 The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, bought, signed by the author, as yet unread)
The American equivalent is the Pulitzer Prize and my reading of those is:

2011 A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan √
2010 Tinkers by Paul Harding √
2006 March by Geraldine Brooks √
2005 Gilead by Marilynne Robinson √ (coming to Edinburgh on November 16th)
1995 The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields √
1994 The Shipping News by Annie Proulx √

Not so many – but they include titles by three of my top ten authors, Geraldine Brooks, Marilynne Robinson and the late lamented Carol Shields. Another winner, Anne Tyler (in 1989 for Breathing Lessons) is also a favourite. Donna Tartt won this year with Goldfinch, yet another title on my wish list.

So little time … so much to read.

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