In the following lists (how I love them), bolded titles are in my TBR. Hyperlinks to my reviews. I’ll give the Orange Prize, pride of place, seeing as it was announced today – and there is an incredibly small chance that you may have missed it.
Shortlist # 1 The Orange Prize for Fiction
The Very Thought of You – Rosie Alison
The Lacuna – Barbara Kingsolver
Black Water Rising – Attica Locke
Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
A Gate at the Stairs – Lorrie Moore
The White Woman on the Green Bicycle – Monique Roffey
Much as I’d love to read them all, I simply do not have the time. I do think that Mantel is the one to beat but, based on the reviews I’ve read, Roffey may pip her at the post. So I’m going to prioritise and read these two first. Much as I’d love to read them all, I simply do not have the time. This is because I am also dipping into 3 other shortlists.
Shortlist #2 The Orange Prize for Debut Fiction
The Book of Fires – Jane Borodale
The Boy Next Door – Irene Sabatini
After The Fire, A Still Small Voice – Evie Wyld
I picked up Evie Wyld’s novel after Kimbofo’s glowing recommendation way back when. The Book of Fires is of interest because of its London setting. Volcanic ash permitting, I hope to attend the UK bloggers meet at the beginning of May and possibly do the walk around 18th century London that is suggested in the afternotes.
Shortlist #3 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Shortlist
The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker (Dutch)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (Moroccan / French)
In Zodiac Light by Robert Edric (British)
Settlement by Christoph Hein (German)
The Believers by Zoë Heller (British)
Netherland by Joseph O’Neill (Irish)
God’s Own Country by Ross Raisin (British)
Home by Marilynne Robinson (American)
Home was last year’s Orange prizewinner and my book of 2009. I’m delighted to see that other readers recognise it also. I’m currently half way through the Hein and enjoying it immensely.
Shortlist #4: The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
Brodeck’s Report by Philippe Claudel (French)
The Blind Side of the Heart by Julia Franck (German)
Fists by Pietro Grossi (Italian)
Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou (French)
The Dark Side of Love by Rafik Schami (German)
Chowringhee by Sankar (Bengali)
I thought I was best placed to read the whole of this list as I’ve read two and have another two in the TBR. However, that plan went kaputt yesterday when I realised the gargantuan nature of Rafik Schami’s epic! At 853 pages, it makes Wolf Hall look like a novella!
Of course, all this dipping in and out of “short”lists will probably lead to me not having read a single winner, after all the announcements have been made. It will, however, guarantee a varied reading list over the next couple of months. Now I know you like pictures of TBR stacks, and so, by popular demand …..