Man Booker Long List Announced


I am a few weeks late on this, but the Man Booker long list was announced at the end of July. It is a list of 13 books, and the short list will be announced September 15. The judges chose this list from a total list of 156 books.

The nationality is listed this year because, for the second time in the history of the Man Booker Prize, the prize is open to any nationality. Normally, it is a very British list, open only to UK & Commonwealth, Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe. As you can see, the US is well represented!

Author (nationality) – Title (imprint)
Bill Clegg (US) – Did You Ever Have a Family
Anne Enright (Ireland) – The Green Road
Marlon James (Jamaica) – A Brief History of Seven Killings
Laila Lalami (US) – The Moor’s Account
Tom McCarthy (UK) – Satin Island
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) – The Fishermen
Andrew O’Hagan (UK) – The Illuminations
Marilynne Robinson (US) – Lila            
Anuradha Roy (India) – Sleeping on Jupiter
Sunjeev Sahota (UK) – The Year of the Runaways
Anna Smaill (New Zealand) – The Chimes
Anne Tyler (US) – A Spool of Blue Thread
Hanya Yanagihara (US) – A Little Life

On a side note, the list of 13 books is called The Man Booker Dozen. I love that!

So, pull out your TBR, and get ready to add some books.

Paper vs. E-Reader

There was an interesting segment on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday concerning the future of books because of the proliferation of electronic readers. Honestly, I find it interesting that this is still a discussion.

Libraries first introduced free e-books in 1998, and it has been going strong ever since. However, personal libraries of physical books continue to grow, as well. Not only are people still buying physical books, many buy several editions of the same book for their collections.

For example, I currently have “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee in paperback, hardcover, and I just recently purchased a UK edition. When I visit Monroeville, home to Lee, I will probably purchase another copy there, simply to have one that was purchased in her hometown. That is four of the same book, but different versions.

I recently saw a pic of a bibliophile’s “Alice in Wonderland” collection. Books and books and books of one central story. Now, she may have a electronic copy of this book on her reader, but the sheer pleasure of developing such a collection of books based on one story … well, there is nothing else like it! Nothing else compares, and only another crazed-book-lover would totally and completely understand.

The other reason I think the book vs e-reader debate is finally becoming a non-issue is the movement from “the reader” to “the collector” of books. There are vast numbers of collections out there over which book lovers drool. Here are just a few:

Drop Caps by Penguin
Designer Collection of Modern Classics by Virago
Anything (and everything!) by Juniper Books
The First Ten Penguins by Penguin

And then, there are the sets. Like The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia…There is virtually no end to these “must haves” for home libraries. I am currently collecting books which have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

So, while book sales may have dropped for new releases, I think publishers and booksellers have found a way to diversify and entice more shoppers. It’s a savvy market which can sell someone something they already have!

Best and Worst States for Readers

BookRiot has an awesome article today about the best and worst states for readers. You can read it here. The map:

Best and worst states for book lovers

That bottom yellow state? Yes! Alabama! Finally, Alabama hits the top of a list that doesn’t have to do with obesity, low school performance, or making meth.

I love bookstores. I love to go in, sit on the floor and page through books. I love the smell of a bookstore, especially a used bookstore. It is the smell of paper and ink, maybe a little stale smoke, perhaps a touch of mildew, and the hint of vanilla.

The Telegraph in the UK had an article in 2009 about the smell of books as they age. Very interesting, and you can read it here.

Libraries are another wonderful scent-sensation! In a library you have the mixing of human muskiness with the pages. All of those teens studying for a test, senior citizens going to read magazines and newspapers, children attending a regular story hour. Sweat, perfume, bath soap, and hair products waft through the air, mixing with the books’ volatile organic compounds…it makes one fairly swoon!!

It makes me want to grab a book!

Reading list for August

Let’s see if I can get my act together and pull together a reading list for this month. That will give me some good structure for an otherwise fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants reading.

Here are books to read for my Wednesday night book club:

  1. The Giver by Lois Lowry

  2. Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons

  3. Not To Disturb by Muriel Spark

  4. Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline

  5. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

  6. Dolci di Love by Sarah-Kate Lynch

Here are books I need to read for my Bibliophile Reading Challenge (which ends at the end of August):

  1. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Detour #6 on the Challenge (still to be announced)

Books that have caught my eye:

  1. The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman
  2. Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong

That is 10 books, and I think that is very doable!

Winter Reading Challenge on Bibliophile

Vonnie posted the new Winter Reading Challenge for the Shelfari Bibliophile group and it’s a doozy!! Here it is:
1. You read as many books as you want. Each book you read will be worth different points.
2. To earn points, you must read books that are part of the categories listed below. These points determine how many raffle entries you’ll earn at the end of the challenge to win the prizes. So choose wisely!
3. You must read at least ONE BOTM from December to February to be qualified to enter the raffle.
4. A book could be combined with no more than 4 categories.
5. Themed books are worth 10pts and could only be combined with one other challenge category. It excludes BOTMs. No more than 2 themed books per month.
6. All BOTM books read must have group participation.
7. You must create your own comment thread within this thread to keep track of what you read and what points you are claiming.
8. All books read must have a review under your personal comment thread. (Please no multiple threads. Keep it all under one; this means you have to comment on your own thread).
9. Have fun!
Read a book that is (a)…
– BOTM (Dec.-Feb.)= 6pts This is our group and it’s a must. Also, you must answer at least two questions from the discussion! I know…it’s horrendous.
– 500+ pages= 5pts Reading a huge book is just plain scary, especially when the world will end.
– 1001 Books to Read Before you die= 4pts The world is ending. Quick! Grab a must read book! Visit for the list of books that you should read before you die.
– Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic = 3pts Read these books to help you prepare if the world ends.
– Utopian/Dystopian= 2pts A world different from ours could be frightening.
– Suspense= 1pt The end of the world could be quite suspenseful!
Monthly Themes (10pts each):
*Maximum of 2 books per month. Does not include BOTMs and could only be combined with one other challenge category for extra points*
December– Read a book that has a seasonal word(s) in the title
What the points mean:
50-55pts: 1 raffle entry
56-65pts: 2 raffle entries
66-75pts: 3 raffle entries
75-85pts: 4 raffle entries
86-95pts: 5 raffle entries
96+pts: 10 raffle entries
Prize 1- The person with the most points will receive $15 GC from gifted by Vonnie(this person will not enter the raffle)
Prize 2- Choice of combined BOTM books from 2012 under $25 plus a bookmark gifted by Mimi.
Prize 3- Choice of 2 ARC books gifted by WonderBunny.
Prize 4- Mystery box of books plus swag from Vonnie’s collection.
*Also, a mini challenge will be given out once a month (a total of three). Be in the lookout for these since they will have a short timeline to complete*
I added the color. Fun, huh?! I will post later what my reading plan will be. Since I won the Summer Challenge (yay!!), I will not win this one; but it’s the journey, not the destination!

It’s a winner, Vonnie!!

A better way to rate books?

Since I am reviewing quite a few books this year, I have noticed that my rating scare is not quite what it should be. I mean, I think I rate highly on one book one day that I may give a lower ranking the next day. I know that rating books is based on their ease of read, entertainment value, blah, blah, blah. However, I feel the need to get more subjective in my ratings.

With this in mind, I found the scale to the left on an initial Google search for “rating scale”. I thought it was funny and I like the little pictures, and even though I don’t agree with the disparaging remark about Ms. Palin (which I find a bit mean-spirited), I though enough of it to copy and post here.

So, after hardly any thought or deliberation at all, here is my new and improved book rating scale:

1 Look  I wish I hadn’t looked.
This book is so bad that the irises in my eyes have constricted to such an extent that I can’t read another word on this page. If I finished the book, it’s because I had a bet with someone or it’s so incredibly short that even I would feel badly if I put it down. More likely, though, I put this stinker down.

2 Looks  I looked and didn’t like what I saw.
This book barely passes for literature and probably should never have been published, but it didn’t make me want to burn it. I may, however, use it to line a bird cage or put it to use in the outhouse. I will forever be disturbed that I will never get this time back again. Probably not going to read any other titles by this author.

3 Looks  I looked and I liked it. As a matter of fact, I probably looked again.
This is a pretty good book. Maybe a little too long or maybe not quite descriptive enough. It is definitely lacking, though. I may try another one by this author, but only one more, if it is not written better than this one.

4 Looks  This is more like an ogle. I looked and turned my head to see it from the back.
This is a good book. Well written, fully-developed characters, satisfying story and makes me want more.

5 Looks  What’s your name and number, baby?
This is fine, fine book. It’s beautifully written and I find myself thinking about it when I am not reading it, wishing I had it in my hand. When it is finished, I miss it and wish I had read it more slowly, to savor the story and characters longer. I must own this book and will read it again and again.

So, there you have it. That is my new reading scale. What do you think?