For those of you who follow such things the Man Booker prize longlist is out. Some of the authors are completely new to me, and the ones I have read I didn’t like – so it’s not looking good for my reading list this year. Our trusty fiction buyer has been hot on the case however, so you will be able to order any of these titles from the library network if something takes your fancy.
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
From A to X by John Berger
The Lost Dog by Michelle de Kretser
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant
A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif
The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher
Netherland by Joseph O’Neill
The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
One title that has been getting some attention is A Case of Exploding Mangoes by first novelist Mohammed Hanif. Apparently written in a similar vein to Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, it is set in the days before the crash that killed General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, president of Pakistan from 1978 to 1988 – one of Pakistan’s enduring mysteries. Hanif uses satirical humour to build up crazy conspiracy theories, and it could be very good, or it could just be annoyingly clever, hard to tell.
If you wish to test your knowledge about past Booker prizes then have a go at this quiz. You will surely do better than me, I only scored two out of five!