So I was trying to wait till midnight to see the longlist announced but I drifted off to sleep around 11:45 as I was still hungover from the night before. But I woke up about quarter past twelve and was thrilled to see the list posted. Now I'm wide awake and perusing this fascinating new list. It's really my favourite prize for fiction. I am a shameless book prize groupie. Yes, it can get overblown and good books are often left out, but it's just fun to see books discussed and in the news. I'm also a fan of Baileys so quite happy that they are the new sponsor for the prize. I went to a wedding once and the bride knew how much I like Baileys so got me a glass of it rather than champagne. I managed to spill it all over myself while taking a picture of the groom, but no matter. Anyway, back to thoughts about the prize. I was dearly hoping to see the authors Kerry Hudson and Joyce Carol Oates on the list as well – but I'm glad that my other picks Eleanor Catton, Donna Tartt and Evie Wyld are on it. Having already read and reviewed their books I can confidently state that all three are excellent in their own unique ways.
For the remaining titles on the longlist these are the books I want to get to reading first:
It's really neglectful I haven't read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's “Americanah” yet. I love her previous novels and book of short stories. She's such a daring thoroughly intelligent writer. I saw her read from this new book last summer. It sounded both entertaining and challenging, but for some reason I haven't got to reading it yet.
Another author I've seen read from her longlisted book is Charlotte Mendelson. She read from “Almost English” at Polari on the very same night their own Polari First Book Prize winner was announced. Mendelson came across as warm, witty and entertaining. Again, this is a book I've been looking forward to reading but haven't got to yet.
I really enjoyed reading Elizabeth Strout's novel “Olive Kitteridge” so I'm also really looking forward to reading her new longlisted title “The Burgess Boys.” Part of it takes place in my home state of Maine which is always a draw for me.
I'm now in a bit of a conundrum about reading Margaret Atwood's “MaddAddam” since it's the third book in a trilogy. I've read “Oryx & Crake” but haven't read “The Year of The Flood” so do I skip over the second? Or do I read the second and then this new one? The completist in me feels like it would be cheating to skip right to this latest book. Has anyone read all three and do you think reading the second is essential before reading the third?
The other longlisted titles all sound like really fascinating varied reads as well. See the full long list here: http://www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk/2014/baileys-womens-prize-for-fiction-announce-their-2014-longlist
Oh dear, I feel a book shopping spree coming on! Especially after downing a glass or two of Baileys.