My wish list for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2015

It’s that time of year again. The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction judges are putting the finishing touches to their longlist, due to be announced shortly. Only novels written by women in English published between April 1st 2014 and March 31st 2015 qualify for the award. It’s the one prize I pay attention to these days so I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to see listed. What follows is entirely subjective, wishes rather than predictions. A few of the titles are a bit out of the way but I’d like to think a sprinkling of them will appear. I’ve followed the same format as last year with thanks to Jackie at Farm Lane Books for coming up with such a simple but striking presentation. I’ve restricted myself to novels that I’ve read and there’s a link to a full review on this blog should you want to know more. So, in alphabetical order here’s my wish list for the 2015 Baileys Prize:

Ridely Road                                       The Miniaturist                     Academy Street

Cover image Cover image Academy Street

Mr Mac and Me                         Our Endless  Numbered Days               Friendship

Cover image Cover image        Friendship

Upstairs at the Party                      Black Lake                                 The Lost Child

Cover image Cover image The Lost Child

Bodies of Light                          When the Night Comes In  After Me Comes the Flood

Bodies of Light When the Night Comes Cover image

A God in Every Stone                         Some Luck                     A Spool of Blue Thread

A God in Every Stone Cover image Cover image

Weathering                                  The Lightning Tree                 The Heroes’ Welcome

Cover image Cover image The Heroes' Welcome

I’m sure there will be omissions and inclusions that some of you feel passionately about. I’ve heard good things about Jill Alexander Essbaum’s Hausfrau, for instance, which is working its way up to the top of my pile. Do let me know what you think.

34 thoughts on “My wish list for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2015”

  1. I’m sure there will be at least some of those on the shortlist. Hausfrau hasn’t officially come out yet, so it probably doesn’t qualify for this year’s prize. I haven’t actually read that many of these, so cannot give an informed opinion.

  2. I guess I’ll be waiting to see the list to see what might entice me, I have only read Our Endless Numbered Days and I am currently reading Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread. I’ve been reading around the world mostly in the early months of this year. Can’t wait to see the list though, definitely my favourite of the prize lists.

    1. Mine, too, Claire. It’s an interesting set of judges this year, including one of my favourite writers – Helen Dunmore.

    1. So am I, Helen. I’m also hoping that a few more bloggers will pitch in before the official list is unveiled. Hope you enjoyed Academy Street it’s one of my favourites.

  3. Gosh – I’ve not read a single one of these – although I own five and would like to read several more of your picks! My own list would include Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper which I loved.

    1. And I’ve read neither of those, Annabel. I’ve a feeling that as more people post on this our TBR lists will become horribly bloated!

  4. ifucanrememberituwerentthere

    Am in the middle of The Miniaturist and very much enjoying it. I have on my reading pile Our Endless Numbered Days, Ridley Road, and am toying with Mr Mac. I think Etta and Otto and Russell and James is very much love it or hate it book. I hated it! Thanks for your list.

    1. Thank you, and delighted to her that you’re enjoying The Miniaturist. I enjoyed Mr Mac far more than Esther Freud’s previous novels.

  5. ifucanrememberituwerentthere

    I love Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work but have not enjoyed Esther Freud’s previous novels either which is why I haven’t read it yet. Will add it to the list for sure 🙂

  6. It can’t really have got round to that time of the year already, can it? I’ve just started the Anne Tyler and am loving it but haven’t read any of your other suggestions. I think I’ll get next week’s Folio announcement out of the way before I start thinking about this.

    1. I’m afraid it is, Alex. It turns out that those older relatives were quite right when they complained about time speeding up! Delighted to hear that you’re enjoying the Tyler.

  7. This prize is fairly popular at our local community library as the longlisted titles tend to attract a fair bit of attention. It’s interesting to your wishlist – Academy Street is the one that’s calling me.

    1. Good choice, Jacqui. It’s a fine piece of writing and out in paperback today! Sorry, it’s the old bookseller in me…

  8. I’ve had Ridley Road on my wishlist since reading your review. But last time I checked it wasn’t easily available in the US. I am looking forward to the longlist, but I expect that since the publication dates are different here, I will have to wait for some books to make their way across the ocean.

    1. That’s a particularly British novel, has to be said. I’m sorry to have whetted an appetite that can’t be sated quickly! I hope you’ll some titles on the longlist which you can get your hands on straight away.

  9. Interesting list! I’ve just posted my predictions and we only share four. Some of yours are new to me so I’ve just spent an enjoyable time looking into them. The Lost Child sounds especially good. I look forward to seeing what makes the actual list!

    1. Particularly pleased to see we agree on Weathering and After me Comes the Flood, Jackie. I suspect The Paying Guest might have been on my list but I haven’t got around to reading it yet. Looking forward to seeing what others come up with, not too mention the judges, of course!

  10. I’ve only read two – though there are other I have in my sights. I loved Weathering and would be thrilled to see it listed, but I have to say that, though I liked it, I don’t think Mr Mac and Me is Esther Freud’s strongest book.

    1. Oh that’s interesting, Fleur – I’m not usually very keen on Esther Freud’s books but liked this one very much. I thought the sense of place was particularly vivid. I think we’re agreed on Weathering, though. Gorgeous book!

  11. I’ve just come from Jackie’s list and found it very intriguing to see how different yours is. Alas, all that really happens here is that I increase my already monstrous TBR. But I think it’s also fair to say that we are in a fantastic period for fiction written by women. So many amazing books here.

    1. There are, indeed. And I have to tell you that there are more likely additions on the way for you (and for me, too) as I know that Naomi at the Writes of Women will be posting hers soon and there’s little overlap with mine.

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  13. Hi! I found your blog through farmlanebooks and also posted my list today. We have only one book in common so that tells me I need to read more from your list! I do have Our Endless Numbered Days but haven’t read it yet. Looking forward to seeing what’s on the longlist next week. 🙂

    1. Hello, I’m about to skip over to yours and see what we have in common. I’m fully expecting to add to my ever-lengthening TBR list as a result.

  14. I am loving these predictions lists – I’m not sure I have any idea of my own (I fail at paying attention) but I’ve only read one book on this list so I’m definitely going to have a lot of books to look into whatever the longlist contains.

    1. It’s fascinating to see what everyone comes up with, isn’t it. Several of mine almost certainly won’t make it on to the longlist but I’d love it if they did. Looking forward to seeing what the judges come up with.

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