Man Booker 2018 Shortlist

In the past two or three years, the Man Booker Prize has become my favorite literary prize. I don’t always love the winning books but I admire the controversy that their judging process invites since they post a “long list” of finalists (this year that included these 13 books) and after a few weeks, they narrow it down to a smaller pool – this time, the short list is composed of these 6 books:

  1. Milkman by Anna Burns
  2. Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
  3. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
  4. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
  5. The Overstory by Richard Powers
  6. The Long Take by Robin Robertson

When the long list was made public, I declared my intentions to read all the books before the short list announcement. Living in the US, that can prove a difficult feat since the Man Booker Prize is UK based and to be considered, many of the nominated books had to have been published there, even if they haven’t yet been made available in other countries. At the time the list was whittled down, 5 of the 13 books still have not been published in the US. In order to read all the long listed books, you either have to order an electronic copy or purchase it on an British website – Book Depository is a popular choice since they offer free shipping, even if delivery does take about 2 weeks.

Of the 6 novels on the short list, I have read 2 and am hoping to read the others before the award on October 16. I haven’t loved either of the ones I have finished thus far, even if I can see why the judges might have chosen them to go forward. A long list book that I thought was a much more worthy contender was The Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan (Click to read my review). I don’t have a prediction of the winner yet but I am excited by the conversation that this latest round of judging has sparked. I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

Do you value the results of book prizes as TBR recommendations? Are you reading the Booker shortlist?

5 Comments Add yours

  1. I haven’t been following the prize this year, so I haven’t heard about the controversy. But I lived Final Ryan’s last book, so I really want to read this one. The longlist is always my favourite part of the prize.
    I’ve never read a Richard Powers boom though I have two on my shelf, seeing his name there makes me want to pick up one that I already have.


    1. Run Wright says:

      Hey, Clare. Great to hear from you. I haven’t read anything by Powers so I am really looking forward to getting to The Overstory. Did you actively decide not to follow the Booker this year? I know last year you read quite a few from the list though I can’t recall if you chose them after they were nominated.


      1. I usually pick from the longlist, but last night I watched the event live and then read a couple of excellent essays which convinced me to read the winner, Milkman. So I ordered it and look forward to reading it, especially in the context of the way the world is today, I think it could be an interesting, alternative commentary.


  2. Kay R. says:

    I haven’t kept up with it (except through your vids). I think Ill probably try to read some of the finalists though!


    1. Run Wright says:

      Nice. If you get to any of them soon, would love to discuss with you


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