Thursday, 20 September 2018

Man Booker 2018 Short list

WOW here we are again with the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize. 

Milkman - Anna Burns

Washington Black - Esi Edugyan

Everything under - Daisy Johnson

The Mars Room - Rachel Kushner

The Overstory - Richard Powers

The Long Take - Robin Robertson

I am actually thrilled with this year's short list and 4/5 were ones I was interested in reading. The only one I am sorry didn't make the list is The Water Cure. The Long Take took it's place in the official list. 

Congratulations to all of the shortlisted authors and good luck in the next stage!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

May Reviews

Stephen Fry
Michael Joseph Hardback November 2017
Birthday present from Alan.

As always my Birthday present from Alan was a beautiful edition of Mythos, shiny, embossed hardback. It just doesn't get much better than that. Oh wait, it can because it's by Stephen Fry and there are Gods. Having grown up on the more popular stories of: Athena, Arachne, Echo, Narcissus and Diana, to name a few; it was great to get to grips with the foundations of the creation story.
The Greek myths do not really have a time line, which results in some confusing bits when you try to think of the gods as a family house. They jumble together and all happen at roughly the same time "eons ago".
Stephan Fry gives voice to all of the characters and conjures up depth from the two dimensional originals. and gives them the texture of real people. It's given a more narrative time line and the story unspools without the: x begat x begat y begat z which can sometimes come with pseudo historic texts. I really enjoyed this book and it was a delight to read. I wish it had existed in my teens, I'd have felt much more knowledgeable.

The Cows
Dawn O'Porter
Harper Collins Kindle / April 2017
Recommended on the Guilty Feminist

I really enjoyed reading the cows, I thought it was well written with a solid voice and style differentiation as the author moved between characters. I liked that each of the female characters had varying motives and levels of sanity and although things drifted into the extreme, it seemed to happen so gradually that the believably wasn't lost.
It was great to read a book about the varying roles of women in society and how that is changing or not as the case may be. However, although my experience of reading The Cows was very positive and I was engrossed and then immediately advised others to read it. I now cannot remember much of what happens. The actual plot has not stuck with me as I expect it to and I think that is the mark of a good book. I would still suggest people read it, but I think I might have to revisit with a more critical mind next time.