The Guardian newspaper in the UK run a ‘not the Booker Prize’ event each year to coincide with the official Man Booker longlist. The titles are all nominated by people like you and me (just regular people who enjoy a good read and can spot pretentiousness with ease). This year 70 titles were long listed from which a short list of six were created, all based on the number of votes cast by Guardian readers. It’s an incredibly popular activity (this year saw more than a thousand votes registered). The final choice will be made, again based on votes, in October Here is this year’s shortlist. I’ve not read any of these or heard of most of them. They’re so varied there is sure to be something that takes your fancy. If I wasn’t already overloaded with Man Booker long listed titles to read and the fearful tower of the TBR I’d be looking to buy Melanie Finn’s Shame since I am a sucker for books set in Africa.
- Kat Gordon – The Artificial Anatomy of Parks (Legend Press) This is a debut novel which looks at the repercussions of family secrets
- Oliver Langmead – Dark Star (Unsung Stories): Described on NetGalley as “A unique blend of science fantasy, hardboiled crime and epic verse.”
- Paul McVeigh – The Good Son (Salt): set during The Troubles in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, this is described as “a funny, frightening and ultimately moving story” about ten-year-old Mickey Donnelly
- Tasha Kavanagh – Things We Have in Common (Canongate): a debut novel described as a creepy tale of loneliness and teenage obsession.
- Melanie Finn – Shame (Weidenfeld & Nicolson): A woman runs away from a failed marriage and a car accident in which she was responsible for the death of three children. Taking the first flight available, she arrives in Tanzania. But can she escape the past?
Anything in that list catch your eye? Maybe you’ve read some of them? Here’s the Guardian’s announcement if you want to join in the voting.