Long time readers will know that I am not a fan of Booker books. In general I find them to be pretentious, over-written and lacking in plot. (You can see that I'm not sitting on the fence here.)
Anyway, I've actually read 3 of the longlisted books this year and had selected the next three that I wanted to read and guess what - the only one which made the shortlist was the one I have liked the least so far. In fact five of the six that I liked the look of didn't make the shortlist.
For the record I read The Last Hundred Days by Patrick McGuinness (it's wonderful, you really should read it), and The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers. I liked this one too but not as much as TLHD.
The others that I was tempted by were Derby Day by D J Taylor (I shall probably still read this), On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry and A Cupboard Full of Coats by Yvette Edwards.
The one I read that got shortlisted was Snowdrops by A D Miller. It's on a similar theme to TLHD, a young man adrift in a foreign country, but not nearly as well written and entirely predictable. I really was not impressed by it at all. However given my form with Booker books it should really be no surprise that anything I wanted to read, or liked would stand no chance of winning. Publishers should probably make note of this.
Ok, I took a short break there as Pete came in and said he'd found some ripe sloes where we walk Bubba so we nipped out and picked a couple of kilos. We love a bit of sloe gin, and we already have some damson gin in progress. A couple of weeks ago at Pete's sister's we had a little libation of ginger gin which was gorgeous so we shall be trying our hand at that too.
So back to the books - what do you think will win? I might try the Julian Barnes, on the grounds that it is quite short. And I understand Patrick Ness is tipping The Sisters Brothers. I just don't think I should put the kiss of death on any of them.