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books, books, books — and prizes

Wow! Hasn’t this been a busy day, where books are concerned!

The first bit of worthy book news is that the shortlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize has just been announced. So excited everyone seems to have been (and not just us humble readers waiting for a verdict) that the Man Booker Prize even tweeted the results before the press conference. So, here are the titles:

Paul Beatty, The Sellout
Debora Levy, Hot Milk
Graeme Macrae Burnet, His Bloody Project
Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen
David Szalay, All That Man Is
Madeleine Thien, Do Not Say We Have Nothing

The surprise here, for me, is that The Many, a book that some tipped as a very serious contender, didn’t make it into the shortlist after all. Of the ones that did, I already had four added to my list (Levy’s, Burnet’s, Szalay’s and Thien’s), so I only have to look forward to Beatty’s The Sellout and Moshfegh’s Eileen.

On a definitely more modest scale than the Man Booker Prize, there’s a new armful of books being added to the reading list, this time through NetGalley, where I am now also reviewing books. Plenty of reading material… If I can complain about anything, it is definitely not of a dearth of books wanting to be read.

Many are still forthcoming releases, and somehow I am very excited to be reviewing these (somethng to do with virgin territories and new discoveries…?). My reviews will make it here (and at NetGalley) with plenty of time for you to make up your mind whether you’d like to read any of them. Here they are:

Barbara Babcock, Fish Raincoats: a woman lawyer’s life
Henry I. Schvey, The Poison Tree
Annette Libeskind, In the Unlikeliest of Places
Paul Terry, The Claimant
Craig Carlson, Pancakes in Paris
Les Américans, Beginning French 
Andrew McCarron, Light Come Shining: The Transformations of Bob Dylan
Dan Grajek, The Last Hobo
Eva Mozes Kor & Lisa Rojany Buccieri, Surviving the Angel of death
John Josemaria Fulford,  To Reach the Sea
Trevor Greenfield, The Goddess in America
Stanley Wells (ed. Paul Edmondson), Shakespeare on Page and Stage
John Yabellione, Pit Stops, Pitfalls & Olive Pits
Gerry Canavan, Octavia E Butler
Helon Habila, The Chibok Girls

In addition, I have these on my NetGalley shelf:

Mitchell Zuckoff, Lost in Shangri-La
Alain Brossat, Revolutionary Yiddishland
Mohammad Jafar Amir Mahallati, Ethics of War and Peace in Iran and Shi’i Islam
Stuart Jeffries, Grand Hotel Abyss 
John Berger,  Landscapes
Peter Frase, Four Futures
John McWhorter, Words on the Move
Leon Wildes, John Lennon vs. The USA
Stephen Backhouse, Kierkegaard

There’s a full basket if ever I’ve seen one. So, and without much ado, I retire to do my reading. I’ll come back to publish each review, giving you the ins and outs of my thoughts on each book. Hope you’re doing a lot of reading too, and you’re very welcome to leave your suggestions and/or opinions in the comments box.

So, what do you think? I'd love to know. Shall we start a conversation?

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