My 2022 Booker Wish List

Booker Prize 2022 logoNot my favourite prize – sadly one of those bit the dust earlier this year when Costa withdrew their sponsorship – but I can’t resist posting some wishes for the Booker longlist, keen to give some more neglected titles an airing even though they’re unlikely to make the judges’ grade.

To be eligible for the prize all books must be published in the UK between October 1st 2021 and 30th September 2022 and have been written in English. The judges usually stick to twelve although sometimes stretch to thirteen. Their list will be revealed on Tuesday, 26th July but here’s mine – wishes not predictions, see above – in no particular order, with links to my reviews.

Cover image for Burntcoat by Sarah HallCover image for Small Things Like These by Claire KeeganCover image for Zorrie by Laird Hunt


Burntcoat                                 Small Things Like These                    Zorrie


Cover image for The Colony by Audrey MageeCover image for Young Mungo by Douglas StuartCover image for Trespasses by Louise Kennedy

The Colony                                   Young Mungo                       Trespasses


Cover image for Very Cold People by Sarah MangusoCover image for Spies in Canaan by David ParkCover image for Fight Night by Miriam Toews

Very Cold People                        Spies in Canaan                    Fight Night

Cover image for Milk Teeth by Jessica AndrewsCover image for The Queen of Desert Island by Donal RyanCover image for Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson

Milk Teeth                            The Queen of Dirt Island          Shrines of Gaiety

It’s quite possible that I’ll read a 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? Tough decision but it would be a toss-up between Burntcoat, Fight Night, Shrines of Gaiety and The Queen of Dirt Island. 

What about you? What would you like to see on the list, and what do you think the judges will plump for?


25 thoughts on “My 2022 Booker Wish List”

  1. I’d love to see Claire Keegan win, but like you perhaps, I don’t hold out much hope of the judges choosing anything readable!

      1. Delighted to hear that and I agree. It reminded me very much of Robert Seethaler’s A Whole Life. I don’t think it stands a chance with the Booker but I wanted to give it another airing.

  2. jenniferbeworr

    I’m really intrigued by the Kate Atkinson and haven’t read Shrines of Gaiety. Interesting to see that on the list and it all looks good to me!

  3. Good wishlist. I am looking forward to the announcement, and hoping for some books I haven’t heard of. Out of the two Booker prizes I probably prefer the International Booker, which introduces me to a lot of new-to-me authors.

  4. I enjoyed the Booker more when they concentrated on Commonwealth writers, and I’ve felt perhaps they’ve been trying to do that a bit more again in the last year or two. I haven’t read enough new fiction this year to have a list, but I’d love to see Andrew Greig’s Rose Nicolson get a nomination.

    1. I’d agree with you about Commonwealth writers. Let’s hope for better representation this year. And thanks for the recommendation. I’ll check Rose Nicolson out.

  5. I’d love to see Claire Keegan and Sarah Hall on the longlist but fear they might be overlooked in favour of other titles. Colony sounds as if it might have a good chance of making the cut. From what I’ve read, it seems to be a Booker sort of book…

    1. I fear you’re right about both, Jacqui, not to mention several others on my list. You may also be right about The Colony which comes at the colonialism theme in a very different way.

  6. The Booker longlist always catches me by surprise; how can it nearly be that time of year already?! Do they have a minimum word count for entries? I’m trying to remember if novellas are eligible. I think the Keegan wouldn’t have been considered for the Women’s Prize, for instance. Sarahs Hall and Manguso would both be great picks. I’d also be happy to see These Days by Lucy Caldwell, Groundskeeping by Lee Cole, How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu, and French Braid by Anne Tyler nominated.

    1. I know what you mean about time whizzing by. I think the Booker rules refer to a reasonably substantial work but don’t specify a word count. I’ve only read Groundskeeping from your wishes which I very nearly included here and have seen lots of praise for the Caldwell. As ever, it’ll be interesting to see what the judges come up with.

  7. I used to follow the Booker avidly – the minute the longlist was announced I’d be rushing off to the library. But the rule changes in recent years and the evident agenda of some judges has spoiled it for me.

    I still follow it of course, just not with as much excitement.

    Would love it if Keegan or Ryan were to win though I’m not counting on it. I have Trespasses and Shrines of Gaiety on order at the library.

  8. I’ve ordered Trespasses – should be arriving on my doorstep soon, and added more from your list to pick up from the library. It’s always a good time to see what makes the Longlist. Like @Bookertalk says above, like the Giller Prize here in Canada, I find there’s more of an agenda over books you might rather see on these lists. But it never stops me from checking them out and adding to the TBR!

    1. I always look out for the Giller as there’s a good chance shortlisted titles will be published here. I hope you enjoy Trespasses and the others when they arrive.

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