The Man Booker Prize 2017 Shortlist

1. 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson’s pleasures and ache from each Ferguson’s pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson’s life rushes on.

As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.

2. History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is charged with possessing child pornography, the implications of his arrest deeply affect Linda as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong.

And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Linda finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. It seems that her life finally has purpose but with this new sense of belonging she is also drawn into secrets she doesn’t understand. Over the course of a few days, Linda makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Linda confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people do—and fail to do—for the people they love.

Winner of the McGinnis-Ritchie award for its first chapter, Emily Fridlund’s propulsive and gorgeously written History of Wolves introduces a new writer of enormous range and talent.

3. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . .

Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

4. Elmet by Fiona Mozley

In this atmospheric and profoundly moving debut, Cathy and Daniel live with their father, John, in the remote woods of Yorkshire, in a house the three of them built themselves. John is a gentle brute of a man, a former enforcer who fights for money when he has to, but who otherwise just wants to be left alone to raise his children. When a local landowner shows up on their doorstep, their precarious existence is threatened, and a series of actions is set in motion that can only end in violence. Steeped in the natural world of northern England, this is a lyrical commentary on the bonds of siblings and fatherhood, and on the meaning of community in the modern world. Elmet marks the launch of a major new voice in literary fiction.

5. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?

6. Autumn by Ali Smith

Autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That’s what it felt like for Keats in1819. How about Autumn 2016? Daniel is a century old. Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future. The United Kingdom is in pieces,divided by a historic, once-in-a-generation summer.Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand-in-hand with hopelessness. The seasons roll round, as ever.

Ali Smith’s new novel is a meditation on a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, on what harvest means. It is the first installment of her Seasonal quartet—fourstand-alone books, separate yet interconnected and cyclical (as the seasons are)—and it casts an eye over our own time. Who are we? What are we made of? Shakespearean jeu d’esprit, Keatsian melancholy, the sheer bright energy of 1960s pop art: the centuries cast their eyes over our own history making.

Here’s where we’re living. Here’s time at its most contemporaneous and its most cyclic.

From the imagination of the peerless Ali Smith comes a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in time-scale and light-footed through histories, a story about aging and time and love and stories themselves.

 

I have not heard of any of these books but they all sound interesting.

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Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017 Winner Announced

9781910002742

Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017 Category for Younger Fiction

Isabella Riosse is the daughter of a cartographer who lives on the island of Joya; an isle both steeped in mythology and shrouded in mystery. For the last thirty years, a strict Governor has forbidden the island inhabitants from venturing beyond their small township.

Isabella is fascinated with the ancient myths of Joya, which is said to have once floated freely over the seas. Preoccupied with ideas of exploration and inspired by the far-flung places her father once documented, she yearns for adventure.

When her best friend Lupe runs away, disappearing into the forbidden forest, Isabella volunteers to bring her back. With only her knowledge of ancient myths and one of her father’s maps to guide her, Isabella ventures into the perilous world beyond, where monsters lurk and magical rivers run.

Expertly crafted with a loveable lead, this modern tale weaves myth, magic and even a thread of political intrigue into its expansive fantasy world. Beautifully presented, the book not only contains a wonderfully detailed map of the island, each page is also decorated with charming drawings in the margins.

“Exquisitely poised between sweetness and darkness, this is a novel that revels in the power of myth and storytelling.” -The Financial Times

“The Girl of Ink & Stars [is] a mesmerising, enchanting debut, full of adventure and fire and heart… [An] absolute jewel of a book, as vivid and real and the maps inside it. It’s a classic in the making.” – Melinda Salisbury, author of The Sin Eater s Daughter.

Kiran Millwood Hargrave is an award-winning poet and novelist who lives in Oxford. A Cambridge University graduate, she performed plays with the Footlights and has performed her poetry in venues across the world. She was only twenty six years old at the time her debut, The Girl of Ink & Stars, was published.

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
ISBN: 9781910002742

(Source)

2016 National Book Awards Finalists

Below is the full list of finalists in each category. The winners will be announced at the National Book Awards ceremony on November 16th.

Finalists for Fiction:

Chris Bachelder, The Throwback Special

Paulette Jiles, News of the World

Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs

Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad

Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn

Finalists for Nonfiction:

Arlie Russell Hochschild, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War

Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America

Heather Ann Thompson, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy

Finalists for Poetry:

Daniel Borzutzky, The Performance of Becoming Human

Rita Dove, Collected Poems 1974–2004

Peter Gizzi, Archeophonics

Jay Hopler, The Abridged History of Rainfall

Solmaz Sharif, Look

Finalists for Young People’s Literature:

Kate DiCamillo, Raymie Nightingale

John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, March: Book Three

Grace Lin, When the Sea Turned to Silver

Jason Reynolds, Ghost

Nicola Yoon, The Sun Is Also a Star

Source 

Welcome

I created this blog to, primarily, back-up my BookLikes blog. The owners of that site have basically disappeared, there’s complete radio silence and that coupled with intermittent lag spikes have raised concerns that the site could go down without notice.

I’m an amateur book reviewer and a slow reader so I do not predict frequent posts.

I will be transferring my reviews onto here, word for word, with a note at the end with the original publishing date. I started writing book reviews in 2013 but they were very informal and uncommon. I genuinely hope to improving my reviewing skills.