Man Booker Prize

6 candidates for Not the Booker Prize

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.


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

10 thoughts on “6 candidates for Not the Booker Prize

  • Oh oh, I haven’t heard any of these – and it does look like this list is very UK based? None of the descriptions grab me greatly, except perhaps the Patrick McVeigh, but on further investigation I could be interested in a couple of others.

    • i suspect most of the voters were based in UK so probably that skewed the selection. The Patrick McVeigh did sound interesting but I also wonder whether its a style that could easily get on my nerves

      • Yes, Karen, that’s what I thought, the voters are likely to be therefore looking at a narrower range of books. Still makes it interesting, but not completely valid as a Not the Booker, or Booker alternative.

  • Ack! I haven’t heard of any of these books! What’s wrong with me? But i am intrigued by a few of them and glad to see a fair number of debut novels.

  • They all sound interesting. With the exception of Dark Star. I love the individual genres but normally not those crossover novel. I’m old-fashioned that way.

    • it’s the science fantasy aspect that would put be off Dark Star. I just can’t get enthused by that genre at all

    • Every time I see a prize list I want to rush out and get some of them.


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