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Episode Discussions > Ep 105: The Man Booker long list and reading goals

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message 1: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments So we spilled our beans on the long list, what do you all think? Also, tel us about the reading goals you set for yourself and whether or not you meet them.


message 2: by Sue (new)

Sue | 25 comments I agree with Simon about Us, by David Nicholls. I adored One Day, but it was definitely commercial. More along the lines of a high brow Bridget Jones, or something by Nick Hornby, but it doesn't strike me as Booker material. So, I am very curious and eagerly anticipating Us to see if he has, indeed, done something very different.

I'm also curious about Donna Tartt. Love it or hate it, I think The Goldfinch would be more fitting for consideration than some of the others on the list.

No challenges for me. I'm with Thomas - life is too short!


message 3: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cindyfried) | 32 comments Me too - life's too short for anything that feels remotely like homework. Like most readers, I suspect, I have a vast, constantly re-jigged list in my head of 'want to/should reads' and need no encouragement devising ways of adding to it. The TBR pile is teetering. When one of these readalongs comealong I do feel the urge to bring a book that was slipping down the ratings closer to the front line, however, such as Tresspass - thank you, Simon.

As for the Booker et al, some of the books on these lists sound positively unreadable and I reckon the level of those bought but not actually read is probably quite high.


message 4: by Karen (new)

Karen Brown (khbrown) | 19 comments As always, enjoyed the podcast!

Booker 2014 Long List:

Read and loved "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves." Fowler found another gear for this novel.

Tried (twice!) to read Ferris's latest. Only way I'll pick this up again is if it makes it into the 2015 Tournament of Books.

Have a copy of "Orfeo" via Powell's Indiespensable subscription so I'll definitely read this whether or not it makes the short list.

Read "One Day" and was not wowed.

I'm not familiar with the rest of the list and look forward to checking them out on Goodreads. I always try to read the winning title.


message 5: by Karen (new)

Karen Brown (khbrown) | 19 comments Reading Challenges:

Participated in a book challenge once on Goodreads via Books on the Nightstand a few years ago: goal was to increase number of books read in a year. Reached my goal of 85! Whew! Too much pressure. Now my only book challenge is to read as many of the books in the yearly Tournament of Books as possible.

I recently purchased six books from Persephone so I enjoyed hearing about Simon's Persephone challenge. Went on a binge read one weekend and read all but one! A big thank you to Thomas for placing Persephone on my reading radar screen.


message 6: by Louise (last edited Aug 01, 2014 02:37PM) (new)

Louise | 154 comments I generally become waaay to interested/eager/ambitious when it comes to borrowing books from friends and libraries, promising to read and review books and participate in challenges and read-alongs ... So I always feel somewhat behind, and it gets worse when I learn about tons of new books I want to read through podcasts, blogs, news papers etc.

I started reading The Wake, and I WILL finish it, but it's written in the authors own altered version og old English, and it's a little tricky to read. So far I love the feel of the story though, and I've printed the vocabulary :-)

I'm a bit frustrated that so many Booker books aren't available to the general public yet, I've bought History of the Rain and The Narrow Road to the Deep North, so that's a start :-)

I've read several Siri Hustvedt books, so I'll probably get The Blazing World on audio.

I've enjoyed doing the challenge around the world in 52 books - as I discovered two new favourite authors; Antal Szerb and Ismail Kadare.


message 7: by Karen (new)

Karen (bookertalk) I'm disappointed too that the Booker list didn't include more authors from outside the Western Hemisphere. In the past you could look to the Booker to find new authors but it seems those days could be over if they have to make room for the Americans.

As for challenges, I stopped doing them last year when I realised they were spoiling the fun of reading spontaneously. It felt like a chore since I always had a list I was trying to tick off.


message 8: by Books_Steve (new)

Books_Steve | 19 comments I don't try to set myself too difficult reading goals as reading is a pleasure for me. If I set myself a goal, I always allow myself a get-out clause if it becomes intolerable! Variety is the spice of life though so I try to mix my choices up and often it leads to finding new interests which is a great thing. One challenge I like is reading an author's catalogue in order. So far I've only done it with a comfort read which was Ngaio Marsh's golden era Inspector Alleyn detective series. Alleyn ages through the series so it worked to read them in order. I intend to do it with Dickens, Greene and McEwan in the future but I don't know when I'll start! It could be a great way to see how their writing develops. I've already read a few Dickens and Greene novels in the past but they are well worth a second read so that should work if I can get round to it. The challenge must be something you really want to do, then you will enjoy it!


message 9: by Richard (new)

Richard | 47 comments Although I'm disappointed with the list in some ways, I'm also very pleased that The Narrow Road to the Deep North is included. It's a great (though confronting) novel.


message 10: by Elizabeth☮ (new)

Elizabeth☮ My reading goal that I set this year that was worthwhile is that I only read books from my own shelves through the month of January. I cleared ten books off my shelf. It was hard to go to the library and leave so many books behind, but it felt good to read so many of my own books that sat there for years.


message 11: by Karen (new)

Karen (bookertalk) Books_Steve wrote: "I don't try to set myself too difficult reading goals as reading is a pleasure for me. If I set myself a goal, I always allow myself a get-out clause if it becomes intolerable! Variety is the spice..."

Thats an interesting approach Steve. I tend to read a lot more randomly but it would be insightful to see how the author's style develops over time


message 12: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 135 comments Books_Steve wrote: "I don't try to set myself too difficult reading goals as reading is a pleasure for me. If I set myself a goal, I always allow myself a get-out clause if it becomes intolerable! Variety is the spice..."
I have promised myself I will do this with Agatha Christie. My grandmother and I collected her books so I have most of them and have read a lot but I want to see how her style developed over the years.


message 13: by Books_Steve (new)

Books_Steve | 19 comments Esther, I think that would be a really fun and interesting thing to do. I have read lots of her novels in the past but not in the order she wrote them. I hope you enjoy it when you get round to doing that.


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