Booker Prize Short List Predictions!

September 7, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Posted in Book Blather | 5 Comments

I’m so excited I am posting my Booker short list predictions before I post anything about my honeymoon trip!  They are announcing it tomorrow, though if I recall from last year it won’t be until late evening.

Due to various reasons, one being the difficulty I experienced acquiring all the books in advance, I’ve only managed to read through seven of the thirteen titles on the long list.  But hey, this is significantly more than last year.

Here are my predictions, assuming there are six slots.  I’m putting a * by the ones I have managed to read.

The Glass Room – Simon Mawer

Brooklyn – Colm Toibin *

Love and Summer – William Trevor *

Summertime – J. M. Coetzee

Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel

The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters

I really enjoyed reading the half of the stack I managed to read in time, and I’m pretty thrilled to know I have time to read the other half before this year’s winner is announced.  (Except the Coetzee, which still won’t be published by that time).

I also want to say that I don’t understand why everyone is throwing such a fit over Me, Cheeta being on the list.  Plus, I think Not Untrue and Not Unkind is a terrific, very approachable read.

I’m not hedging my bets or anything.  I looked around and I couldn’t seem to find anyone else who was willing to put a little cred on the line and try to predict who would be on the short list.  I’m not proud.  Last year I did the same and managed only to guess two correctly, though one was the winner.


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  1. Well, you got 3 of them right, which isn’t bad. I do think it’s funny that these happened to be three of the books you haven’t read yet, but no matter. I wonder what that says about the Booker, and whether there is a bias towards certain authors (I’m assuming you picked the unread ones that you did based on their authors, but maybe not!). All in all, in terms of the actual list that’s been released, I found it mostly predictable. Ah well, at least I’m enjoying the reviews written by people who are reading their way through the longlist, as I’m finding that more edifying in terms of figuring out which of the books I actually want to read.

  2. Sorry, you actually got 4 correct, which is very impressive indeed! All unread by you, but hopefully that means you have some good reading on the way.

  3. I predicted the short list too! I managed to get 4 right as well, but we picked a different list. I really hope that The Glass Room wins now.

  4. Y’know, I should have guessed… I actually had second thoughts about “Brooklyn” and “Love and Summer” because they’re both love stories (…er, in a way, anyway). I think I put them on because, since they’re both Irish, about the same length, and address a similar theme, I figured *one* of them had to get on there. If I had left one off I definitely would have replaced it with one of the two I didn’t get.

  5. Nice to see someone else who liked ‘Me Cheeta’, even if it didn’t make it onto the shortlist! It seems like you can’t please a lot of the commentators/grumblers – they diss the established people, and diss the unknowns too. I’m Canadian so I’m happy to see some Irish and South African writing on the list – if that makes sense!

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