Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The 2010 Booker Dozen: Will You Read With Me?

As I'm sure you've heard by now, the 2010 Man Booker Prize longlist has been announced. I love awards, even when I disagree with the selections, so I was eagerly awaiting the list. The Booker dozen includes thirteen novels this year (there are either 12 or 13 novels on the longlist each year.) I haven't read any of them yet, but two were sitting on my shelves (Room by Emma Donoghue and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet), a few were on my TBR (The Long Song by Andrea Levy, Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey, and Trespass by Rose Tremain), but more half are new discoveries. After looking over the list, I decided to jump in with both feet and read all thirteen longlisted novels this year. I hope to read the longlist before the announcement of the shortlist on September 7, 2010.

One reason I decided to read the longlist is how friendly it is to U.S. readers. Six are already available here:
Parrot and Olivier in AmericaThe Long Song: A NovelFebruaryThe Slap: A NovelIn a Strange RoomThe Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel
Four will be published in the U.S. in the next few months:
Skippy Dies: A NovelCTrespass: A NovelRoom: A Novel
(Skippy Dies: August 31, 2010; C September 7, 2010; Room September 13, 2010; Trespass October 18, 2010)

With ten out of thirteen easily available in the U.S., I pledged to read all thirteen by September 7, when the shortlist will be announced. I ordered the others from The Book Depository (free worldwide shipping!) and Amazon UK (the titles not available elsewhere). With 5,016 pages (according to my calculations), I'll need to average about 120 pages a day to meet my goal. If I slack off, I always have the back-up goal of reading the longlist by the time the winner is announced on October 12, 2010.

First up: In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut. I downloaded it for my Kindle, and I'm off to dig in. At only 256 pages, I hope to finish it tomorrow and strike the first book off my list. 

You can track my progress with the Booker Dozen list on the right sidebar of my blog. I'll also post my reviews as I finish each novel. 

Have you read any of the Booker longlist? Which titles are you most curious to see me review first?

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  1. I've read Room which I really liked and hope it ends up on the shortlist. That's it though. I would like to see your review of The Slap (which I added to my WL) and The Thousand Autums of Jacob de Zoet... I keep wondering how that is but haven't read much about it.

  2. Hi - I saw your comment on Jackie's (Farmlane Books Blog) which led me here. I am planning to read the longlist too and ordered missing books from the Book Depository after learning about it on Jackie's thread.

    I smiled when I read your post - I too (roughly) calculated how many pages I'd have to read daily to finish! I estimated though (at 400 pages average book) and came up with about 150. Thanks for the more precise count!

    I look forward to reading your reviews.

  3. Great idea! With a new term starting at work next week, I don't have time to do this myself, but I'll be eagerly awaiting your reviews. Am definitely interested in reading ROOM first and foremost, but I'm bummed that it's not available on Nook. Boo!

  4. 5,016 pages?! Wow! I hadn't done the calculations, but that is a scary number. I normally average about 120 pages a day, but I had hoped to squeeze in another non Booker book or two. At least I've read three already. I better start reading!

  5. Wow, best of luck - this is an awesome challenge! I always add all of the books from the shortlist to my wishlist and hope to read them all eventually so I will be watching your progress but that's too quick for me! I haven't read any of them yet, but I'd put my money on Tremain as she's always a favorite of mine!


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