Thanks so much for all your suggestions on 1990s books – I will reply soon, and there are lots I haven’t read. If you thought that was unusually modern for Stuck-in-a-Book, then brace yourself for this: the Man Booker longlist. Granted it was announced some time ago, but I’m not one for keeping my finger on the pulse…
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Joshua Ferris (Viking)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Chatto & Windus)
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Serpent’s Tail)
The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt (Sceptre)
J, Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape)
The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth (Unbound)
The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (Sceptre)
The Lives of Others, Neel Mukherjee (Chatto & Windus)
Us, David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Dog, Joseph O’Neill (Fourth Estate)
Orfeo, Richard Powers (Atlantic Books)
How to be Both, Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
History of the Rain, Niall Williams (Bloomsbury)
I usually steer clear of Booker winners. I’ve only read three from the past decade, and all of them were underwhelming (The Sense of an Ending, The Finkler Question, and The Line of Beauty) and in fact I gave up halfway through two of them – but sometimes the shortlists and longlists bring up more intriguing titles.
When the longlist was announced, the editors of Shiny New Books had a fun conversation about it – I think you’ll enjoy reading it, especially if you like my cynical moments – and I hadn’t read any of them (unsurprisingly). I had heard of nearly all of the authors, though, which is a sign of what Shiny New Books has done to me.
After that, though, I did read Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, and reviewed it for SNB. It was good. But it wasn’t any better than good. I don’t understand by what criteria it made this list. Intriguing.
Have any of you read any of these, or want to? I’d like to read the Nicholls, and that might be it…