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message 1: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 6106 comments https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/entertai...

I only discovered Child's series recently and love it. I am one of those usually underwhelmed and often downright angry by Booker choices. This is a fascinating selection in my mind.


message 2: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7121 comments I use to be a big reader of his genre, and read a few years ago-I picked up the first one again for Thrillers this month...not sure where I am standing on it right now, but I am liking it more as the story plays out


message 3: by Nicole D. (new)

Nicole D. | 1470 comments when they had a thriller writer on a couple years ago, we all had to read a boring trite thriller.


message 4: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2208 comments Yes, Val McDiarmid was a judge in 2018 and a thriller-type book made the longlist. (I liked it, but not as a thriller/whodunit - much more a study of how people work with the hand they’re dealt)


message 5: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I didn’t hate Snap, but it certainly wasn’t Booker material. Lee Child is a very interesting choice.


message 6: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 5345 comments Well, this should be interesting.


message 7: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1174 comments I wonder what he reads- maybe he doesn’t read the genre he writes.


message 8: by Sara (new)

Sara (mootastic1) | 770 comments I'm so annoyed by this decision that my husband had to sit through a five minute rant about it. Lee Child is a vocal opponent of book snobs and literary fiction. Why he would want to be on the panel and why the Booker award would want him is beyond me.


message 9: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I wonder if they’re trying to appeal to the masses more than they have historically?


message 10: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1174 comments They are being sponsored by a new company/group this year. Maybe they’re trying for mass appeal. If he’s anti-book snob, maybe the new Hilary Mantel won’t be required reading!


message 11: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 6106 comments 🤣🤣🤣

Hear! Hear!


message 12: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3040 comments Sara wrote: "I'm so annoyed by this decision that my husband had to sit through a five minute rant about it. Lee Child is a vocal opponent of book snobs and literary fiction. Why he would want to be on the pane..."

Wouldn't that be a good thing? Not a fan of book snobbery... It wouldn't be a bad thing IMO to get an everyman in the mix.


message 13: by Sara (last edited Jan 08, 2020 07:04AM) (new)

Sara (mootastic1) | 770 comments Meli wrote: "Sara wrote: "I'm so annoyed by this decision that my husband had to sit through a five minute rant about it. Lee Child is a vocal opponent of book snobs and literary fiction. Why he would want to b..."

While I get what you're saying, that's not what the Booker prize is about. It's considered the most elite award in literature. So, I don't think having everyman book titles or opinions included is beneficial to the award. It waters it down. There is plenty out there for popular novels already that it doesn't need to intrude on this.


message 14: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6257 comments Sara wrote: "I'm so annoyed by this decision that my husband had to sit through a five minute rant about it. Lee Child is a vocal opponent of book snobs and literary fiction. Why he would want to be on the pane..."

Seriously?

Ugh ugh ugh.

Honestly, the Booker is the place where I expect literary books to rule the day . . .


message 15: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 696 comments I agree with Anita. The Booker is one of the only reliable awards left out there for literary fiction. There are so many other awards, etc that covers other types, it is not needed on Booker. After all Book Snobs have a place int he reading world.


message 16: by Joanne (last edited Jan 08, 2020 11:51AM) (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7121 comments I am not one that must read the long-list, the short list...etc, etc....so my 2 cents is not worth much. However, could one panel member make all that much difference when it comes down to it? I really do not know a lot about him, so I did a search and read his bio. He really does not appear to be a flighty kind of guy. He went to Law school,(because he did not want to be a lawyer?? made me laugh, guess he did for Mom). He was an avid member of the Theater company while at university....

Like I said-not a Booker die-hard reader...so I really can't say that this is or isn't going to shake things up


message 17: by Theresa (last edited Jan 08, 2020 05:24PM) (new)

Theresa | 6106 comments I have found that for the most part, I end up underwhelmed by the Booker choices, regardless of who is on the committee, almost always because I have serious issues with the writing of whatever wins top prize. (I'm looking at you Hilary Mantel and Wolf Hall, as well as Lincoln on the Bardo and a few others). I see it as a prize for interesting ideas, but not necessarily great writing, or writing that equals the idea, and while that's perfectly fine for awarding a prize, to me that's not sufficient to rank the reward as the best literary prize out there. I suspect there is a great deal of politics involved in not only the choice of judges, but also in final winning choice.

But these differences of opinion are what make life interesting.


message 18: by Meli (last edited Jan 09, 2020 03:51AM) (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3040 comments Sara wrote: "Meli wrote: "Sara wrote: "I'm so annoyed by this decision that my husband had to sit through a five minute rant about it. Lee Child is a vocal opponent of book snobs and literary fiction. Why he wo..."

Like Theresa, historically underwhelmed by Booker winners.

I don't know if him writing for the everyman means he is not literary. It just means he likes to make money... And it doesn't necessarily mean he will lean toward sellable books. I think it could be good to get another voice in there. Snobbery tends to be exclusionary and that leads to "what is literature," "what is art," "who are the gatekeepers," etc etc... I think Booker can maintain its integrity and include Lee.

But I suppose time will tell.


message 19: by Jeremiah (new)

Jeremiah Cunningham | 677 comments When I saw this announcement a few days ago it caused me grave concern. I, like others, turn to the Booker Longlist for higher quality fiction than you find from other prizes. I am already concerned because the Booker Longlist seems to be getting weaker each year. My Sister the Serial Killer was a prime example of that in 2019. And now we are adding in another judge that would seem to lean towards writing that appeals to the masses instead of writing that is merit based for this award. Hopefully this is not a growing trend that will destroy this award, but it does cause concern.


message 20: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3040 comments Books that appeal to a wide audience doesn't automatically mean there is no merit to the book.


message 21: by Nicole D. (new)

Nicole D. | 1470 comments Booker books make my favorites list every year. I certainly don't love them all ... Uh, I'm looking at you 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, but I've read some fantastic books I wouldn't have known about otherwise, so I really look forward to Booker season. We'll see .... but neither Snap, nor Sabrina should have been on the list. That was just a bad year. Hoping Child doesn't inflict that on us.


message 22: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1174 comments I’ve read a few interviews with Child over the last couple days. Along with him being anti-book snob, the fiction he reads IS mostly what he writes. And he has suggested that he could write better than the Booker authors.
Fortunately he can only call up one book for the longlist.
Like Nicole, some of my favorites come from the Booker lists. I really hope he respects the integrity of the prize.


message 23: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments That doesn’t bode well at all.


message 24: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6257 comments Meli wrote: "Books that appeal to a wide audience doesn't automatically mean there is no merit to the book."

This is definitely true, but I think the Booker prize tends to weight originality more heavily when it considers literary merit, and I think that's why some are concerned about a very mainstream author as a judge, one who apparently is not a literary fiction fan.

I think more mainstream novels can be exceptionally enjoyable to read and incredibly well written. Stephen King is an amazing writer; one who deserves all his commercial success. But personally, I wouldn't characterize his books as literary fiction . . .and that's not a knock. It's just not what he does.

I think literary fiction tends to be more original, to address deep themes and attempts to highlight something unseen about the world. When I read the Booker novels, I don't always expect to like them, and some I really hate. But I expect them to be thought provoking, fresh/unique, and use the English language very well . . .and most of them do that.

Personally when it comes to high quality mainstream novels, I don't need a judge. I can find that by just looking at what all the HUGE Goodreads readers are picking up, buying in droves, etc. and I can find some amazing reads that way.

But Booker helps find the hidden gems that a lot of people might not fall in love with in the first three chapters . . .


message 25: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 3083 comments Anita wrote: "...I think literary fiction tends to be more original, to address deep themes and attempts to highlight something unseen about the world. When I read the Booker novels, I don't always expect to like them, and some I really hate. But I expect them to be thought provoking, fresh/unique, and use the English language very well . . .and most of them do that. "

Very well-stated, Anita, and I totally agree. As a literary fiction aficionado, when books are nominated for the Booker, I expect something thought-provoking and original. So many mainstream books are copycats of each other. While it can be fun and entertaining to read them, I think the Booker should be reserved for those with literary merit, artistry, and creativity; something that pushes boundaries. I also do not expect to like every single one.


message 26: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 696 comments Anita wrote: "Meli wrote: "Books that appeal to a wide audience doesn't automatically mean there is no merit to the book."

This is definitely true, but I think the Booker prize tends to weight originality more ..."


I also agree. Very well stated.


message 27: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3040 comments Ah, yes, Anita, that makes sense.... I think I understand. I am a late reader and read everything, but I trend toward extremes (schlock and litfic) so I am a little defensive maybe for my own personal tastes :P But you're right, mainstream, even if higher level doesn't need help from a prestigious prize.

To Tracy's point, he reads his own novels?? Or reads what he would write? Either way, your takeaways from his interviews make him sound douchey. Maybe this is worse than I thought.

Also, side note - I looked up the Booker winners and nominees and maybe I wasn't as underwhelmed by them as I thought. Maybe I was thinking of a different award?? Carry on :P


message 28: by Tracy (last edited Jan 09, 2020 06:33PM) (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1174 comments He reads his genre- thrillers. Sorry- I didn’t state that clearly, did I?


message 29: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Douchey. Love it Meli.


message 30: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3040 comments Susie wrote: "Douchey. Love it Meli."

😈

"And he has suggested that he could write better than the Booker authors."

That in particular made me cringe. Why do people say things like this??

Hopefully we remember this conversation at the end of the year and we can dissect the 2020 picks. Should be fun!


message 31: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I can’t wait!


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