If I gave you a stack of 52 books, how many of them could you read in say about 20 weeks?

Listed below are all the novels that have won the coveted Man Booker Prize since its inception in 1969. (There are 53 books because twice, the judges were unable to choose between two contenders and, thus awarded a tie and in 2010, the judges went back and awarded a Lost Award dating back to 1970 to account for when the rules and eligibility dates changed) This year, for it’s 50th anniversary, Man Booker is hosting an Instagram challenge to see how many of the winners you can read before May 31, 2018. Are you in?

  • 1969 Something To Answer For /P. H. Newly (Own)
  • 1970  The Elected Member /Bernice Rubens (Read from library)
  •   (Lost Man Booker Prize awarded in 2010 for 1970 Troubles /J. G. Farrell)
  • 1971 In A Free State / V.S. Naipaul (Read from library)
  • 1972 G. /John Berger (Library)
  • 1973 The Siege of Krishnapur /J. G. Farrell
  • 1974 The Conservationist /Nadine Gordimer
  • 1974 Holiday /Stanley Middleton
  • 1975 Heat And Dust /Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (Read from library)
  • 1976 Saville /David Storey
  • 1977 Staying On /Paul Scott
  • 1978 The Sea, The Sea /Iris Murdoch
  • 1979 Offshore /Penelope Fitzgerald (Read from Library)
  • 1980 Rites of Passage /William Golding
  • 1981 Midnight’s Children /Salman Rushdie (Read from Library)
  • 1982 Schindler’s Ark /Thomas Keneally
  • 1983 Life and Times of Michael K /J. M. Coetzee  (Read from Library)
  • 1984 Hotel du Lac /Anita Brookner (Read from Library)
  • 1985 The Bone People /Keri Hulme
  • 1986 The Old Devils /Kingsley Amis
  • 1987 Moon Tiger /Penelope Lively  (Read from Library)
  • 1988 Oscar and Lucinda /Peter Carey
  • 1989 The Remains of the Day /Kazuo Ishiguro (Read from library, Now Own)
  • 1990 Possession: A Romance /A. S. Byatt
  • 1991 The Famished Road /Ben Okri
  • 1992 The English Patient /Michael Ondaatje (Own) and Sacred Hunger /Barry Unsworth
  • 1993 Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha /Roddy Doyle
  • 1994 How Late It was, How Late /James Kelman
  • 1995 Ghost Road /Pat Barker
  • 1996 Last Orders /Graham Swift
  • 1997 The God of Small Things /Arundhati Roy (Own, Read)
  • 1998 Amsterdam /Ian McEwan (Read from the library)
  • 1999 Disgrace /J. M. Coetzee (Read from the library)
  • 2000 The Blind Assassin /Margaret Atwood
  • 2001 True History of the Kelly Gang /Peter Carey
  • 2002 Life of Pi /Yann Martel (Read from Library)
  • 2003 Vernon God Little /DBC Pierre (Own, Read)
  • 2004 The Line of Beauty /Alan Hollinghurst (Own)
  • 2005 The Sea /John Banville (Read from Library)
  • 2006 The Inheritance of Loss /Kiran Desai  (Own)
  • 2007 The Gathering /Anne Enright  (Library)
  • 2008 The White Tiger /Aravind Adiga (Own, Read) 
  • 2009 Wolf Hall /Hilary Mantel (Own, Read)
  • 2010 The Finkler Question /Howard Jacobson (Own)
  • 2011 The Sense of An Ending /Julian Barnes (Read from library)
  • 2012 Bring Up The Bodies /Hilary Mantel (Own)
  • 2013 The Luminaries /Eleanor Catton (Own, Read)
  • 2014 The Narrow Road To A Deep North /Richard Flanagan (Own)
  • 2015 A Brief History of Seven Killings /Marlon James (Own, Read)
  • 2016 The Sellout / Paul Beatty (Read from the library)
  • 2017 Lincoln In The Bardo /George Saunders (Own, Read)
  • 2018 Milkman /Anna Burns (Own)
  • Red highlight means I read that title during 2018 so it counts toward the #ManBooker50 goal. 
  • I added the 2018 winner to the list after it was announced, changing the total to 54 winners
  • At the end of 2018, I had only read 24 of the 54 books so I decided to start the challenge again. Click here to follow my 2019 progress

Click here to follow me on Instagram and see my challenge pics as I post them

8 Comments Add yours

  1. I used to be a fan of this prize and I’ve read 24 of the winners, but not so many in recent years as it’s less appealing than it used to be and I prefer the long lists to the prizewinners, I’m more likely to find really great books in a long list and so I go with that now and have removed any compulsion I may have had previously to read winners.

    For example, the old style Man Booker International prize used to have a long list of writers and that prize was for an author’s life works. I’d read up on them all and choose the one that most appealed and then commit to reading more of their work.

    The last year before it changed formats (now its format is one book recently published, not a life’s work) the writer I was most drawn to was Maryse Condé (Guadeloupean, but writes in French). She didn’t win the prize, but I’ve now read about 4 or 5 of her books and the winner, the Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai, I’ve still not read, it’s a subjective choice and his work just doesn’t appeal to me in the way that others I’m being made aware of might.

    When I look back at my reading years and that one outstanding read of the year that I had each year, I totally understand why Maryse Condé was my particular choice and that’s what I’d encourage people to do, really get to know your reading preferences and see who stands out at the end of the year and then over time see the pattern, then we become better at choosing and discerning the perfect books for us.

    Sorry for the long ramble, just my way of saying, I won’t be reading the winners, but for sure I’ll continue to be looking forward to the long list when it comes out, because that’s where the potential gems lie for me. And I hope you do find some gems that really appeal to you in your reading too. Just make sure to scrutinize the long list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Thank you so much for this thoughtful and thought provoking comment, Claire. So the first time I started poking around the Booker, my intention was to choose a particular year of the prize and read the shortlisted books to see if I agreed with the judges’ choices. So far, I’ve only completed one year and I did find one of my new favorite books of all time in that shortlist. That is definitely something I want to continue and do for other years and I appreciate the suggestion to explore the longlist too. I did that with last year’s nominees.
      This challenge is only because of the anniversary and then I’ll go back to reading other nominated books.
      I haven’t explored the International prize much. I read Han Hang’s Vegetarian because it won but I think her Human Acts is a better book and I wish she’d won for that one instead. I like that it used to be based on their body of work. I didn’t know that history. Now that you’ve introduced me to Maryse Conde, I will try to find one of her books so we can chat. Is there one that you recommend I start with?
      Great hearing from a different kind of Booker fan and I look forward to chatting with you more about the prize.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree on Han Kang too, I thought Human Acts was a stunning piece of work and while I appreciated The Vegetarian, Human Acts was in another league entirely.

        I think the new format of the prize has changed things sadly, basically there was another prize called IFFP which is the model the new Booker International is based on, but Man Booker kept their name, obviously because they pay out the £50,000 prize money, 50% of which goes to the translator.

        Here’s a link to Maryse Condé’s first book, which is where she recommends readers begin, it’s where I started and I totally agree.


        The Booker is a great idea to get more people reading literary style fiction, I just love that there are so many more diverse options available today and diverse reviewers sharing their views on books.

        So what was the book you found on the shortlist that has become one of your new favourites?

        I found one too from 1998, Martin Booth’s The Industry of Souls has been a favourite of mine, since I discovered it by looking back at the shortlists/longlists.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Run Wright says:

        My new fav is A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. I think you read that one, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You know I haven’t read it, I read her debut novel years ago, which was ok but not great for me and so I hesitated, but then there were some great reviews and so I intended to read it, but somehow it’s eluded me so far. That’s great to know, I really love to hear about other reader’s truly outstanding reads.


      4. Run Wright says:

        I commented on your post. Thanks for sharing it. I will be getting a Maryse Conde book ASAP. I just checked my local library and they have Tales in the research section so I’ll stop by and look at it too.
        I’ll also look up Industry of Souls

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That’s so great they have a copy, I wonder why it’s in Research? Because it’s nonfiction perhaps? Her book Victoire, her publisher insisted it be declared as a novel/fiction, but really it’s also based totally on family research, except that in the islands, much of the history and “research” is passed down through the oral tradition. She also had conversations with her long dead grandmother, who she sometimes saw/heard in her room as she worked. These kind of ancestral interactions are something of a characteristic of some Caribbean women writers, and they’re something I particularly enjoy reading about. If you spend months researching someone, it’s not surprising you begin to imagine hearing their voice, I’d say!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Run Wright says:

        I live in Harlem and I think it’s just part of the curated collection. I am surprised that there aren’t any of her books that you can check out in my local library though but I did reserve one from the interlibrary system


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