And yet again I am shaking my head in fascination. Because yet again it resembles nothing so much as what we used to call "dog's breakfast". Also known as a mess.
It seems to me that every year they hunt down the most unreadable fiction titles and then have them face off. Stuff that even Chilean Miners would throw back up the shaft. There of course have been a few times when I felt that they got it. Such as last year with Column McCann and Let the Great World Spin. It is wonderful and if you have missed reading it put yourself on hold immediately. But on the whole not so much. And the other fascination is do you notice who is missing? Yes, Jonathan Franzen! Hmmm. Not that I am feeling sad over it. It just, as I have said before, fascinates.
One of these titles, The Lord of Misuse is not even due to come out until next month and it has not been reviewed at all! And Peter Carey just lost out on the Booker Prize on Tuesday.
In a nice surprise the Patti Smith memoir, Just Kids was nominated for Non-fiction. I am sure that Claire from Children’s is THRILLED!
What would you pick if you were adding to this list? For myself, Lily King’s Father of the Rain was not only beautifully written but the story had me held captive. Literally. There was no laundry done, nor dinner cooked until I turned the last page. And I don't regret a bit of it!
Here is the real list:
Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America
Jaimy Gordon, Lord of Misrule (this is on order and will be in the catalog soon!)
Nicole Krauss, Great House
Lionel Shriver, So Much for That
Karen Tei Yamashita, I Hotel (this is on order and will be in the catalog soon!)
Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
John W. Dower, Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq (this is on order and will be in the catalog soon!)
Patti Smith, Just Kids
Justin Spring, Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward (this is on order and will be in the catalog soon!)
Megan K. Stack, Every Man in This Village Is a Liar: An Education in War (this is on order and will be in the catalog soon!)