OH WILLIAM! – Elizabeth Strout

My fourth read of the 2022 Booker Prize longlist was Elizabeth Strout’s Oh William! (Random House 2021).  Despite being the third in a trilogy, Oh William is crafted such that it can be read as a standalone.  Written as a fictional memoir, the novel scratches at some things I typically dislike in fiction. Not surprisingly,Continue reading “OH WILLIAM! – Elizabeth Strout”

BOOTH – Karen Joy Fowler

My third read of the 2022 Booker Prize longlist was Karen Joy Fowler’s Booth (Putnam 2022).  While Fowler is no stranger to the Booker Prize (she was shortlisted in 2014), this is my first novel by her.  While reviews are relatively mixed, I found it a fascinating, well researched and executed historical saga about theContinue reading “BOOTH – Karen Joy Fowler”

THE COLONY – Audrey Magee

My second read of the 2022 Booker Prize longlist was Audrey Magee’s The Colony (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022).  While it clearly drips with Booker-type, it didn’t work for me because of an intense hatred or general indifference for the characters (excluding James and his mother). During the summer of 1979, while Ireland is rockedContinue reading “THE COLONY – Audrey Magee”

TRUST – Hernan Diaz

The Booker Prize longlist was announced last Tuesday, which means my Booker countdown has officially started. I began the baker’s dozen of books with Hernan Diaz’s Trust (Riverhead Books, 2022), a cocky and bold literary experience about truth and memory, trust and fiction. The novel is told in four separate parts by four separate fictionalContinue reading “TRUST – Hernan Diaz”

LIGHT PERPETUAL – Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford’s Light Perpetual (Scribner 2021) just oozes traditional Booker Prize type, so I’m not surprised it was longlisted. The novel opens in 1944 at the Woolworths in South London.  The store is packed full of patrons because there are new cookpots available, something that war-torn England hasn’t seen in a long time.   A rocketContinue reading “LIGHT PERPETUAL – Francis Spufford”

NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS – Patricia Lockwood

Can we talk about Patricia Lockwood’s No One is Talking About This (Riverhead Books 2021), because we all need to be. Longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize, this is Lockwood’s first work of fiction and one of the best books I’ve read this year. The narrator is a social media influencer who travels the worldContinue reading “NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS – Patricia Lockwood”

SECOND PLACE – Rachel Cusk

In January, I resolved to read the 2021 Booker Prize longlist.  The list was released last week, and I immediately put in my requests at the local library.  (That was another resolution – to use the library more.) Three of the books haven’t been released in the US yet or have limited distribution, which isContinue reading “SECOND PLACE – Rachel Cusk”

THE NEW WILDERNESS – Diane Cook

Diane Cook’s The New Wilderness (Harper (August 11, 2020)) rounds out my 2020 Booker Prize shortlist selections.  This book has been heralded as the “environmental novel of our time” by Booker judge Lemn Sissay, but I’d like to think our time could do better.  I think I’ve actually read better.  (Barbara Kingsolver, anyone?) Cook isContinue reading “THE NEW WILDERNESS – Diane Cook”

SHUGGIE BAIN – Douglas Stuart

He wanted to crush her with his secrets the way she had once done him with hers. “What’s wrong with me, Mammy?” He asked quietly. 262 Douglas Stuart’s debut novel, Shuggie Bain (Grove Press, 2020) was recently awarded the highly coveted Booker Prize.  It’s my favorite book award, and I try and read some ofContinue reading “SHUGGIE BAIN – Douglas Stuart”

THIS MOURNABLE BODY – Tsitsi Dangarembga

In 2004, I met a woman whose impact on my life has proven immeasurable beyond belief.  Not long after I met Gay, she was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, and I watched as she began to lose control over her muscles. One of the first things to go was her voice; she walked the hallsContinue reading “THIS MOURNABLE BODY – Tsitsi Dangarembga”