2008 Man Booker Longlist

The Man Booker Prize longlist was released today. Very exciting. Included in the list is one of my favourite authors, a book that I've been keeping my eye on, as well as several lesser known novelists.

Okay. So, here we go. Drum roll please...

The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga

Girl in a Blue Dress - Gaynor Arnold

The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry

From A to X - John Berger

The Lost Dog - Michelle de Kretser

Sea of Poppies - Amitav Ghosh

The Clothes on Their Backs - Linda Grant

A Case of Exploding Mangoes - Mohammed Hanif

The Northern Clemency - Philip Hensher

Netherland - Joseph O'Neill

The Enchantress of Florence - Salman Rushdie

Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith

A Fracture of the Whole - Steve Toltz

Ta Da! Time to get reading people.


The Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides

Jeffrey Eugenides' first novel, The Virgin Suicides, is unlike any book I've read. It's uniqueness stems from the narration; the reader is outside the action and, just like the boys in the story, must piece together events from the few clues revealed to them along the way. I shared in the narrators' frustration, never truly knowing the enigmas that were the Lisbon girls or the motives behind the suicides. Readers are only allowed brief glimpses of the inner sanctum of their lives and the reader is left yearning for more, to know the girls' version of the story. Although this technique is, at some times, frustrating, it also worked to draw me more thouroughly into his tale. I think that this narrative style is entirely appropriate for this novel and that Eugenides really begs the question: can we every really know the reasons why someone would take their own life?

I found this novel to be a very interesting read. Wonderful descriptions and, as I would expect from Eugenides, excellently written in a simple and poweful style.


Three Cheers for Salman Rushdie

Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!

In honour of the Man Booker Prize's 40th anniversary, the foundation pitted 41 winners against each other in a battle royale: Best of the Booker.

As you may have already guessed, Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children was victorious. Rushdie's novel won the Booker Prize in 1981 and, in 1993, won a similar prize in honour of the Booker 25th anniversary, the Booker of Bookers.

There really is something about Rushdie's writing; it's truely magical. Each word is a gem on the page, filling his novels with rubies, diamonds and emeralds. Each sentence is like a spell and the more you read the deeper you're ensorcelled. I LOVE reading every word. It always takes me twice as long to read his work because I want to make sure I don't miss any of his beautiful writing.

It is also nice to see that this novel has such and enduring quality. Three wins, against more than worthy opponents, reveals that Midnight's Children is fast becoming one of literatures classics.

Congratulations Mr. Rushdie!


Lost and Found - Shakespeare Folio

Good news for Shakespeare enthusiasts and book lovers alike!

The BBC recently reported that the 1623 first Shakespeare folio, stolen in 1998 along with several other important works, has been recovered. Everyone can breath a sigh of relief! Shakespeare is probably giving the thumbs up from his grave.

The folio turned up at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, after a man, claiming to have purchased the work in Cuba, asked library staff to confirm that the folio was indeed penned by Will himself.

The Librarians, geniuses that they are, soon realized what they had in their hot little hands and reported that the missing folio was finally found!

I think the moral of the story is, whilst on vacation, make sure to keep your eyes open for priceless literary works. Apparently they can turn up anywhere!

To read the rest of the story from BBC News click here.