What was I thinking? My yoga teacher said last night that the blue moon is a time of increased energy and taking on new projects. Perhaps I was celebrating a day early. Whatever the reason, when Frances asked me on Thursday whether I’d like to join a Booker shadow jury, I said yes with little hesitation.
So I’ll be joining Bellezza, Nicole, Rebecca, and Frances in an attempt to read the Man Booker longlist and create our own shortlist by the time the actual shortlist is announced in September. It’s an informal process, and we’ll be posting as we go, so you can watch our list develop–and maybe enjoy the suspense of differing opinions!
Lucky for me, I’ve already read two of the shortlisted books, and my feelings about them couldn’t be further apart. And last I checked, these were at the top of the odds for winning the prize. So for a taste of what I’m likely to push for (or not), check out my reviews.
With Lila, Marilynne Robinson continues to cement her place in my mind as America’s greatest living writer. Here, she takes on the voice of the uneducated but intelligent Lila, eventual wife of John Ames from Robinson’s earlier novel Gilead, as Lila takes tentative steps toward accepting and understanding love after years of focusing on little more than mere survival.
Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life garnered much praise as a searing exploration of the long-term results of abuse and the glory of friendship and love in the midst of pain, even as that love fails to surmount the pain. I, unfortunately, found it to be melodramatic and ridiculous.
Have you read any of the long-listed books? Which one(s) are you rooting for (or against)?