“Let us read, and let us dance;
these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Booker Challenge 2011

I made this: Avid Reader at 12:24 pm
Our little book club was set up with a few core aims and goals in mind - cake and books (naturally) were probably the primary focus, along with the chance to chatter with fellow book lovers about a book we had all read (rather than our more usual very diverse cross section discussions), but included somewhere near the top of this virtual list was the desire to seek out and read 'better' books (though to be honest, we were all a little vague as to what exactly constituted a 'better' book).

During the year that we've been reading and blogging, there have been a few outstanding books that captured the imagination, made us think about the world with a new perspective, and were beautifully written - such as The Book Thief (Marcus Zusak) and The White Tiger (Aravind Adiga) - inspiring passionate debate and conversation. My new working definition of a 'better' book.

The White Tiger was also a Man Booker Prize Winner, which got me to thinking (a dangerous pasttime, I know) about setting myself a little challenge.
While accepting that there are many great books that never make in onto award lists for a variety of reasons, I happen to have read three Booker winners recently (and a nominee - just in case I decided to expand my focus at a later date) and have been very impressed by the diversity and quality of the works. I'm sure that not every book will be a 'better' one, but I hope that quite a few will surprise me!
So I've decided to try and read the lot over the next few years, aiming for at least one book a month.

Fancy doing the same? Then just tweet me(@LeedsBookClub), drop me an email (LeedsBookClub@gmail.com) or leave a comment at the end of the blog. I don't mind whether we read the same book at the same time (mostly as due to finances, I hope to work through what I have or can borrow from the library or a mate), I more fancy having some company on the way, some one to poke and prod me when I'm feeling lazy.

There are 45 books on the Man Booker list in total, with two years producing joint winners, and as I am not planning on re-reading the books I've just finished, that's 42 books to get through! I'm going to try to read every one, including 9 books that I have already read, as that was quite a while ago.


2008 Aravind Adiga - The White Tiger - June 2010

2009 Hilary Mantel - Wolf Hall - December 2010

2010 Howard Jacobson - The Finkler Question - November 2010


1969 P. H. Newby - Something to Answer For

1970 Bernice Rubens - The Elected Member

1970 J. G. Farrell - Troubles

1971 V. S. Naipaul - In a Free State

1972 John Berger - G.

1973 J. G. Farrell - The Siege of Krishnapur

1974 Nadine Gordimer - The Conservationist

         Stanley Middleton - Holiday

1975 Ruth Prawer Jhabvala - Heat and Dust

1976 David Storey - Saville

1977 Paul Scott - Staying On

1978 Iris Murdoch - The Sea, the Sea

1979 Penelope Fitzgerald - Offshore

1980 William Golding - Rites of Passage

1981 Salman Rushdie - Midnight's Children

1982 Thomas Keneally - Schindler's Ark

1983 J. M. Coetzee - Life & Times of Michael K

1984 Anita Brookner - Hotel du Lac

1985 Keri Hulme - The Bone People

1986 Kingsley Amis - The Old Devils

1987 Penelope Lively - Moon Tiger

1988 Peter Carey - Oscar and Lucinda

1989 Kazuo Ishiguro - The Remains of the Day

1990 A. S. Byatt - Possession: A Romance

1991 Ben Okri - The Famished Road

1992 Michael Ondaatje - The English Patient

        Barry Unsworth - Sacred Hunger

1993 Roddy Doyle - Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

1994 James Kelman - How Late It Was, How Late

1995 Pat Barker - The Ghost Road

1996 Graham Swift - Last Orders

1997 Arundhati Roy - The God of Small Things

1998 Ian McEwan - Amsterdam

1999 J. M. Coetzee - Disgrace

2000 Margaret Atwood - The Blind Assassin

2001 Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang

2002 Yann Martel - Life of Pi

2003 DBC Pierre - Vernon God Little

2004 Alan Hollinghurst - The Line of Beauty

2005 John Banville - The Sea

2006 Kiran Desai - The Inheritance of Loss

2007 Anne Enright - The Gathering

2008 Aravind Adiga - The White Tiger

2009 Hilary Mantel - Wolf Hall

2010 Howard Jacobson - The Finkler Question



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