Posted in Books News

2018 Man Booker Long List

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I don’t go out of my way to read books that are nominated for or win prizes. In fact, I’m usually tickled when I actually do read a book that’s on any prize list because it happens so infrequently. I don’t go out of my way to avoid them, they just don’t usually cross paths with my TBR. Even so, I almost always pay attention to those various lists when they’re published every year. One such list that catches my eye and attention more often than not is The Man Booker International Prize longlist. Reading books in translation adds spice and interest to my reading list. I wish I read books by non-English writers more often. Probably, the Man Booker International Prize list is a good place to start. 😉

Here’s this year’s long list from the website:

Author (nationality), Translator, Title (imprint)
• Laurent Binet (France), Sam Taylor, The 7th Function of Language (Harvill Secker)
• Javier Cercas (Spain), Frank Wynne, The Impostor (MacLehose Press)
• Virginie Despentes (France), Frank Wynne, Vernon Subutex 1 (MacLehose Press)
• Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone (Portobello Books)
• Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith, The White Book (Portobello Books)
• Ariana Harwicz (Argentina), Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff, Die, My Love (Charco Press)
• László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes, The World Goes On (Tuskar Rock Press)
• Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), Camilo A. Ramirez, Like a Fading Shadow (Tuskar Rock Press)
• Christoph Ransmayr (Austria), Simon Pare, The Flying Mountain (Seagull Books)
• Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad (Oneworld)
• Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Jennifer Croft, Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
• Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan), Darryl Sterk, The Stolen Bicycle (Text Publishing)
• Gabriela Ybarra (Spain), Natasha Wimmer, The Dinner Guest (Harvill Secker)

If I could only pick one book off of this list to read, it’d be Frankenstein in BaghdadBut it’s mean to make someone pick only one book. I also like the sound of The White Book and The Dinner Guest.

Which novels would you choose from this list? Do you pay attention to book prize lists at all?

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Posted in Books News

Goodreads 2015 Choice Awards

Book awards of any kind frustrate me. My choices differ with the nominees and/or winners more often than not. Why is that? Is my taste so terrible? I find that I often disagree with the popular opinion on a lot of different subjects. I guess my inner rebellious teenager will never be put to rest. I’d like to discuss some of the winners.

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  • Fiction:  Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. My opinion:  What a predictable pick. I judge this pick. Can’t people be a little more creative with their choices?? I haven’t read this book so I have no actual opinion of the book, but I still say it was predictable. BEYOND predictable. This book won and it didn’t even have to get out of bed to do so.
  • Mystery Thriller:  The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. My opinion:  I couldn’t stand this book. It was about pathetic women. Awful. The plot twists weren’t creative or original. Ugh. It won by a landslide too. How? This was such a bad book.
  • Fantasy:  Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman. My opinion:  Okay. So this is another predictable pick. HOWEVER, I love Gaiman and he is a phenomenal writer. I have this book and while I haven’t read all of the stories in it, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far.
  • Horror:  Saint Odd by Dean Koontz. My opinion:  I’m a huge fan of the Odd Thomas series. I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m happy to see that it won for this category. Way to go Odd!!
  • History and Biography:  Dead Wake by Erik Larson. My opinion:  Larson is another fantastic writer. I have absolutely loved all of his books that I’ve read. I haven’t read this one yet, but I’m not surprised it won in this category.
  • Graphic Novels & Comics:  Saga, Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples. My opinion:  Of the nominees, I thought this was a clear winner. Again, I haven’t read this yet, but I have read volumes one and two. Saga is worthy of the win.
  • Best Debut Goodreads Author:  The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. My opinion:  This book was good. However, my opinion is that its win equals winning a popularity contest versus winning on merit. Looking at the other nominees, did The Red Queen deserve the win based on the story and the writing? I don’t think so. All the popular kids read and liked it…
  • Young Adult Fantasy:  Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas. My opinion:  Are you freaking kidding me? I haven’t read this because I can’t stand Maas’ writing. Maybe she’s improved since Throne of Glass but holy wow! That was such an awful book I can’t stand the thought of torturing myself with more of her writing. Here, I have a very unpopular opinion but I stand by it. Makes me wonder at other people’s taste. 😉 I think Illuminae should have won here.

So, there you go. My opinion of other people’s opinions. When I disagreed, I strongly disagreed. What am I missing? I’m confounded.