Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Orange Longlist

When the Orange Longlist was announced a few days ago, I realised that I was already reading my way through it. I’d already read The Little Stranger and liked it very much, but I don’t think it’s Sarah Waters’ best book by a long way, so I’m not voting for this title. Wolf Hall is the Big One, but maybe has already had lots and lots of publicity. Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna I found very disappointing indeed and think that if she actually wins the award, it will probably be for her complete works rather than this book.
I’ve just finished The Way Things Look to Me, by Roopa Farooki - which I think is wonderful, but maybe just a little commercial and ‘straight’ to appeal to the judges. Now I’m reading Andrea Levy’s The Long Song, which is everything that Andrea Levy is capable of and more. Lovely, lovely book with a strong, quirky, narrative voice.

Still got quite a few books to go - but I can’t wait to get my X3 reading glasses focussed on The Still Point by Amy Sackville. After a quick scan in the bookshop and a few sample pages, I think she is definitely the one to watch - if not this year, then certainly in the future. She’s very young, born in 1981, and has lots of Time in front of her to write some more amazing books.

Also interesting, is the number of books on the list published by small independent publishers - Amy Sackville is with Portobello Books. They have a very attractive, author friendly, profile. Maybe this is the way things are now going to go.

2 comments:

  1. I have read so little recently.
    I seem to spend all my time either at work, or working on something related to getting my piece published or eventually promoted.
    I am amazed you manage to not only work on your project, and teach, and find time for reading.
    You must have so much energy!

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  2. Wish that were true Al! I sometimes have no energy at all. But, I suppose books are my only job, so if you weren't working as well as having a second job as an author you might have more time.....? I'm not sure that just being an author is a good thing though - that's why I teach. You need another perspective, otherwise it's too tempting to be navel-gazing!

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