Sunday, January 16, 2011

Iris Murdoch and my "Booker's Dozen"

Cross-posted from my blog:

Is anyone else tired of winter yet? It snowed again this past week, and it's been very cold, and I just wish I could stay indoors curled up under a duvet. Reading, of course. Well, I haven't been so lucky but I'm still enjoying some good books.

Orange January has dominated my reading this month. I've read my four selections, ending with Rose Tremain's The Colour, which was very good. Look for my review later today. And while I've loved focusing on a single literary prize, it's also inspired some thinking about my other favorite prize: the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

I've followed the Booker Prize for some time and host The Complete Booker, a community blog dedicated to reading Booker winners and nominees. Now, I'm not doing reading challenges, but if I were ... I'd be doing the 2011 Complete Booker Challenge. This year I'm going to clear several Booker Prize nominees off my shelves:
  • Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood (I read this last week!)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  • Remembering Babylon, by David Malouf
  • An Artist of the Floating World, by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters
  • On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan
  • A Month in the Country, by J.L. Carr
But wait! There's more! Not long ago, June Starr at Reading the Bookers noted that Iris Murdoch is the most frequently short-listed author (five shortlisted novels and one winner). If you were here last week, you'll remember that Iris Murdoch is one of my featured favorite authors. And yet: I've read her winning novel, The Sea, the Sea, but not the shortlisted books. This has all the makings of a good reading project! So my Booker Prize reading will also include Murdoch's five nominees:
  • The Book and the Brotherhood
  • The Good Apprentice
  • Bruno's Dream
  • The Nice and the Good
  • The Black Prince
And I'll probably read the 2011 winner too, for a total of 13 books. This qualifies me for the 2011 Challenge Booker's Dozen category: read 12 winners or nominees from the short- or long-lists.

If your reading plans include prize-winning literature, why don't you hop on over to The Complete Booker and join the fun?

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