Given the judges of this year’s Booker Prize, I was expecting a high calibre of novels listed for this year’s longlist and I’m not disappointed. I loved reading and would highly recommend “Lost Children Archive” and “Lanny”. Many more of these novels are ones I’ve been wanting to get to, but I’m especially pleased to see authors like Kevin Barry, Bernardine Evaristo, Valeria Luiselli and Max Porter who seem like they haven’t achieved as wide a readership as they deserve. I have read but don’t feel quite so strongly about “My Sister the Serial Killer” and “An Orchestra of Minorities” but nevertheless I still appreciated these two novels. I’m so keen on the novels I haven’t read that I think I will attempt to read the whole longlist. You can see me discuss all the books and my thoughts on the list as a whole in this video here.

It’s so interesting that one of this year’s biggest publishing events Margaret Atwood’s “The Testaments” (the much-anticipated sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale”) is listed since it won’t be published until September 10th. The judges’ only comment on the novel is “Spoiler discretion and a ferocious non-discolosure agreement prevent any description of who, how, why and even where. So this: it’s terrifying and exhilarating.” Quite often when books not-yet-published are listed for popular book prizes the publishers will rush publication to take advantage of the swell of interest, but I’m guessing we won’t see this strictly embargoed novel till it’s scheduled publication date (which happens to come after the shortlist announcement on Sept 3rd.) In the meantime, I am eager to reread “The Handmaid’s Tale” to refresh my memory of it. “The Man Who Saw Everything” and “Quichotte” haven’t been published yet either, but I think we’re more likely to see their publication dates bumped up.

How do you feel about the longlist? Any novels you’re disappointed not to see? Any you’re keen on reading now?

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AuthorEric Karl Anderson