For a third year in a row, Teresa, Meredith, Rebecca, Nicole and I have spent the last several weeks reading as much of the Booker longlist as we could each manage. I chose not to read the Auster, would have read the Mozley had it arrived in time, but did get to the other eleven titles. For the first time, my personal list matches our group list although it came down to the wire for the sixth pick with a back and forth between Days Without End and Exit West, both worthy novels. So without further ado, our shortlist contains the following in no particular order:
- Autumn by Ali Smith
- Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
- Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
- Solar Bones by Mike McCormack
- Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
- Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
This year's longlist contained many predictable names, but our group shortlist turned out balanced between the established and lesser known authors. I'm not sure how I will rank them yet, but will admit a great admiration for Solar Bones, and that Lincoln in the Bardo tore at my heart in unexpected ways. Teresa has done an admirable job of reviewing the books as she read them, and our group conversation is certain to gain energy once the official shortlist is published. Conversations to look forward to especially if our list differs greatly from the one to be announced this Wednesday. What does your unofficial shortlist look like? Any particular book you would like to see take the prize?