When I first started this year’s Booker Prize wish list, I found it a bit of a struggle. Several of the books I’ve loved most this year have been translations – Jhumpa Lahiri’s Wherabouts, for instance – and obviously those don’t qualify. Then I read a novel I wanted to include at the last minute and found myself reluctant to drop any of the twelve I’d picked, ending up with a baker’s dozen after all. As regular readers will know, any similarity between my list and the judges’ longlist is likely to be entirely coincidental – more fun to indulge in wishes than predictions, for me – although last year I hit the jackpot with Shuggie Bain.
To be eligible for the prize all novels must be published in the UK between October 1st 2020 and 30th September 2021 and have been written in English. The judges usually stick to twelve although sometimes, like me, stretch to thirteen. Their list will be revealed on Tuesday, 27th but here’s mine in no particular order, with links to my reviews for all but Paul, The Magician and Matrix, to be posted nearer their publication dates.
The Great Mistake Paul The Magician
It’s quite possible that I’ll read another gem I’d loved to have included here published before mid-September when the shortlist is announced but I’m sticking to the tried and tested. And if I had to choose one? It would be a toss up between Lean Fall Stand, Assembly and Luckenbooth.
What about you? What would you like to see on the list, and what do you think the judges will plump for?