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Book Chat > 2017 Not the Booker Prize

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message 1: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2779 comments Mod
Looks like The Guardian runs this prize to see if the public can uncover gems the Booker misses. Currently taking nominations here:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2017/jul/17/not-the-booker-prize-2017-needs-your-nominations-now


message 2: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2387 comments Marc, you'll have to keep us apprised of when it is time to vote on for The Not the Booker Prize list! It will be interesting to see if there is overlap.


message 3: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2779 comments Mod
I'll try to keep up with it!


message 4: by Doug (new)

Doug I nominated The Nix...still bummed it didn't get the Booker nod it deserved!


message 5: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2779 comments Mod
It's nice to have an outlet to push forward lit you think was overlooked, Doug. I suspect you're not the only one who feels this way about The Nix.


message 6: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
The deadline has now passed - had I remembered I would have nominated The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam, but I have not read this so it would be on the strength of a couple of reviews and having read all of his previous novels. The award has been going for a while and last year's list was very interesting...


message 7: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
They are now taking votes. My only problem is that I can't vote unless I pretend to have read at least one of the candidates, and the only two that I have read are on the real longlist!

https://www.theguardian.com/books/boo...


message 8: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2779 comments Mod
If the real Booker and the Not the Booker end up with the same winner than it'll be like some sort of proletariat-literati consensus for the ages!


message 9: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2779 comments Mod
Keeping up my rep as Way-Behind-the-Times, I believe I've only read one of the books on that list (it is also one that's on the actual Booker longlist), and only 4 of the authors ever...


message 10: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
I thought that in previous years the real longlisted books were excluded, but the list of nominated books includes most of them so maybe they have changed the rules. A week to choose from 150 books is a rather challenging schedule!


message 11: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
Marc wrote: "Keeping up my rep as Way-Behind-the-Times, I believe I've only read one of the books on that list (it is also one that's on the actual Booker longlist), and only 4 of the authors ever..." Apart from the longlisted books (2 read and 3 authors I have read other books by) there are another 5 writers I have read other books by. As always, there are a lot of unfamiliar names on this list.


message 12: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2779 comments Mod
I defer to you, Hugh, as this is the first year I've taken notice of the prize. Members may be interested in previous Not the Booker Prize winners:

2016: The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel
2015: Fishnet by Kirstin Innes
2014: The Visitors by Simon Sylvester
2013: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
2012: Tales From The Mall by Ewan Morrison
2011: King Crow by Michael Stewart
2010 (co-winner): The Canal by Lee Rourke
2010 (co-winner): Deloume Road by Matthew Hooton
2009: Solo by Rana Dasgupta


message 13: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 187 comments We ought to get a block vote together for something that should have made the Booker list.

The Gallows Pole and In the Absence of Absalon I suggest - Gumble's Yard, Neil and I have all read and really liked both.


message 14: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
I have commented to explain why I can't vote yet (my Guardian ID is BeeryHiker, which is mostly used for the cryptic crossword page).


message 15: by Neil (new)

Neil | 309 comments Paul wrote: "We ought to get a block vote together for something that should have made the Booker list.

The Gallows Pole and In the Absence of Absalon I suggest - Gumble's Yard,..."


Good idea. It's a shame Preti Taneja didn't make either list, but not being published yet probably has something to do with that. Either of the two you mention would be good winners.


message 16: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 187 comments I wonder if her publisher being the person who runs the prize also creates a conflict they deliberately avoid.


message 17: by Neil (new)

Neil | 309 comments Ah - didn't think of that! Shame.


message 18: by Caroline (new)

Caroline (cedickie) | 384 comments Mod
Thanks for sharing Marc and Hugh! I'd never heard of this poll before but I'm excited to see what makes their short list! I haven't heard of the vast majority of the books on here but was happy to see that Pachinko by Min Jin Lee made it on. I read it a few months ago and found it incredibly beautifully written.


message 19: by Doug (new)

Doug Well, since I DID nominate Nathan Hill's The Nix, and it SHOULD have been eligible (there was at least one other nomination for it I spied also), but it didn't make the list, I am boycotting! :-( I also find it VERY odd that most of the Booker nominees ARE on their longlist.


message 20: by H Anthony (new)

H Anthony | 13 comments It's not even vaguely odd that there are Booker nominees on there: they expressly state that they are eligible, and that makes sense because their nominations begin before the longlist is announced.

Some titles get missed off as one or two people, it seems, need to wade through almost 1000 posts to make up the list. But they are going through and responding to people who note when something eligible and nominated has been missed off. So leave a comment, and they'll probably add it tomorrow.


message 21: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2387 comments Most of the nominated books are new to me. I've read 5 that are on the Booker longlist plus Moonglow by Michael Chabon and Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout, both of whom are authors whose books I tend to read when published. While I liked them both, I don't think they are better than the ones I've read that made the Booker longlist. I'm sort of surprised at all the nominations I've never heard about.


message 22: by Doug (new)

Doug H Anthony wrote: "It's not even vaguely odd that there are Booker nominees on there: they expressly state that they are eligible, and that makes sense because their nominations begin before the longlist is announced..."

I did leave a message, since I saw someone else had commented his nomination didn't go through either... and there was a response to his that it would be added. Fingers crossed.

The inclusion of Booker noms now makes sense, since you explained the process.... but still find it odd that something entitled 'NOT the Bookers' may wind up with a winner that IS the Booker! :-)


message 23: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 187 comments If last year is anything to go by the final list won't bear much resemblance.

Incidentally the publisher of The Gallows Pole just tweeted me and asked me to drum up support....


message 24: by H Anthony (new)

H Anthony | 13 comments Doug wrote: "H Anthony wrote: "It's not even vaguely odd that there are Booker nominees on there: they expressly state that they are eligible, and that makes sense because their nominations begin before the lon..."

I think the idea has been that this is the way that Guardian readers can vote for what they think is the best novel of the year, using the Booker criteria - partly to see how similar or different the results are.

The trouble they have is that the very process has, in the last couple of years, been gamed a bit by indie authors and publishers who are only just this side of self-publishing. So while the quality may not be the best, they're able to mobilise enough voter to get their books onto the shortlist. That's not to say they're not legitimate - may well be that the voters honestly do like those books best - but they're perhaps not representative of the tastes or preferences of the Guardian Books Blog or section's usual readers or commenters. Or reviewers, for that matter.

To combat that, this year they've allowed a final judges shortlist slot to add to the five voted in by the commenters. Will be interesting to see what they pic. It's an interesting process, if nothing else.


message 25: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
I did notice that the Guardian moderator has more or less admitted that they won't be able to tell if we vote for books we haven't read, though I find reviewing books I haven't read rather difficult...


message 26: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 187 comments Read my review!


message 27: by Nutmegger (new)

Nutmegger Linda (lindanutmegger) | 103 comments Definitely The Nix.


message 28: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
The deadline for voting is tonight 2359 UK time...


message 29: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Moseley | 60 comments I am thrilled to find 'The Nix' on one of my library EBOOK platforms. Thanks for the heads-up.


message 31: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2387 comments No crossover on the shortlist unless the wildcard surprises. I have heard of none of these! And given the few ratings and reviews here on GR, I'm not alone. Interesting that the authors are all women.


message 32: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2779 comments Mod
I'm with you, Linda, in terms of being unfamiliar with all of these books and their authors. I was so focused on getting the links right, I didn't even notice they were all women!


message 33: by Neil (last edited Aug 08, 2017 06:15AM) (new)

Neil | 309 comments I have heard of the man with a seagull on his head. It annoys the birdwatcher in me as there isn't such a thing as a seagull (although I haven't read it, so maybe that is explained in the book). The rest are new to me. And to a lot people as you say, I imagine.

The seagull reference is like the version (the German edition, I think) of Grief Is The Thing With Feathers that has Crow as the main character but had a picture of a Rook on the front cover.


message 34: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
I know nothing about any of these books, or their writers. Not that surprising in the context of the list of winners - Life After Life sticks out as by far the most popular and the most read...


message 35: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 187 comments I may be proved wrong when these all turn out to be hidden gems, but it does feel that the selection process is rather vulnerable to block voting by friends-of and to social media campaigns.

Or maybe I'm just bitter as my attempt to rally support for the social media campaign for The Gallows Pole failed: albeit I see the publisher has another book on the list.

Still good to see that the list rectifies the lack of indy publishers on the official Booker, albeit I think there are stronger independent published books out there.


message 36: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2779 comments Mod
It's hardly consolation, Paul, but you put The Gallows Pole on my TBR list.


message 37: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
I voted for the Gallows Pole, but my "review" did admit that I hadn't read it, which would probably give them grounds to disqualify me.


message 38: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 187 comments Given the number of Goodreads ratings to votes received for some of the winning books, suspect the criteria of having read the book might have disqualified a lot of voters.


message 39: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
Ah but how many admitted it openly...


message 40: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 187 comments Yes - you are too honest for Ben Myers good!


message 41: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
Start that lobbying for the wildcard pick now!


message 42: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
I see they have gone for Elizabeth Strout - not the boldest of selections...

https://www.theguardian.com/books/boo...


message 43: by Doug (new)

Doug Hugh wrote: "I see they have gone for Elizabeth Strout - not the boldest of selections...

https://www.theguardian.com/books/boo..."


Well, at least I've already read the Strout ... was hoping, of course, for The Nix to join the mix. Of the other five, only one looks remotely interesting to me - The Man With the Seagull on His Head - so I will read that one once I've finished my last two Booker noms.


message 44: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 187 comments Anyone reading the books?

The Guardian itself doesn't seem too impressed with the shortlist.

An overwrought tale of the ‘raging loneliness’ of an Irish widow, this book’s weaknesses are magnified by startlingly clumsy language.

and

An unconvincing five-year-old narrator results in a clumsy, but empathetic novel

are the headlines from 2 of the first 3 reviews, and even the more positive review of the 3 notes some major reservations.

Does feel the Not the Booker is a good idea rather hijacked by block voting (he says bitterly after his attempt at block voting failed).


message 45: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2779 comments Mod
There are a couple centuries' worth of literature I'm interested in before I get to the Not the Booker selections...

Maybe the contest just needs the "right" kind of block voting--we can build your following up in the off-season, Paul!


message 46: by Doug (new)

Doug I had read the Strout in an ARC before its wild card nomination, but the only other one that seemed remotely interesting to me is 'The Man With a Seagull on His Head', which I did order and will hopefully read soon. I too was disappointed in the list, as well as MY favorite not making it (... and not even having a block to promote it!)


message 47: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2778 comments Mod
To be honest I lost interest as soon as I saw the shortlist...


message 48: by Paul (last edited Sep 06, 2017 01:36PM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 187 comments Doug wrote: "I too was disappointed in the list, as well as MY favorite not making it (... and not even having a block to promote it!)"

The Nix almost made it until the late rule change to allow negative votes - then my block vote knocked it off the list :-)


message 49: by Doug (new)

Doug Paul wrote: "Doug wrote: "I too was disappointed in the list, as well as MY favorite not making it (... and not even having a block to promote it!)"

The Nix almost made it until the late rule change to allow n..."


I suspected it was YOU!!! :-)


message 50: by Michele (new)

Michele | 24 comments Paul wrote: "Anyone reading the books?

The Guardian itself doesn't seem too impressed with the shortlist.

An overwrought tale of the ‘raging loneliness’ of an Irish widow, this book’s weaknesses are magnified..."


Definitely the whole thing was ruined by block voting. I was frustrated. It would be fun to have a legitimate alternate list to read.


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