Thursday, 8 March 2012

Orange 2012

It's that time of the year again...when I manage to bring myself up to date with some of the best of the last year's women's fiction - yes, Orange Longlist time. I'm sure it can't have escaped your attention as it's all over the blogosphere, but I'm intending to do what I did in 2011 and read my way through *the entire list*. (You can see last year's posts by looking at my blog in April and March last year).

As I've said last year, and the year before, one of the reasons I like the prize so much is that it gives me the excuse and the reason to read books that I might not otherwise pick up. For me it's not about cherrypicking the ones that sound most interesting, but trying to give all of them a go, because a team of good judges have considered that they are worth reading.

This year I haven't got a very good start, as I've only read 4 of the books on the list which means that there are 16 still to go (I'll try to do a joint catch up post on what I can remember of The forgotten waltz, Gillespie and I, There but for the and The translation of the bones in the next few days). I've been wildly reserving books at the library and am hoping that a few kindly publishers may take pity on me and send me early birthday presents of other Orange longlisted books.

Meanwhile one of my colleagues, and last year's Orange prize reading partner, in possession of a kindle, has managed to download free samples of 14 of the titles, and is hopefully going to identify a winner from those. Or at least which ones she deems worth purchasing, reserving at the library or borrowing from me...

I've had a brief look at the titles on Amazon, and the ones which most appeal to me at the moment are Island of wings, The flying man (which will be my first Orange 2012 read as by chance I picked it up at the library earlier in the week), On the floor, Grief of others, Foreign Bodies.

But as I said above, it's not about books appealing on the basis of their cover/titles/synopses, it's about trying books that I wouldn't otherwise and hopefully discovering some gems!


  1. It looks a really interesting list this year. Hopefully not *too* interesting, or my Kindle samples will have to translate into purchases & I am not allowing myself to buy any books during Lent. Mrs W. kindly lent me "Gillespie & I" *months* ago, so that will have to go to the top of the TBR pile now!

  2. I shall look forward to reading your reviews. All the best Verity.

  3. We have a similar approach in that I don't spend any time looking at the descriptions -- though I've enjoyed the brief summaries that I've seen others compiling since the list was announced, and there does seem to be quite an interesting assortment of themes -- I'm simply interested in the books that the jury has chosen, in the surprises that I expect to find there. Reading the longlist will be harder than ever for me this year, as I've only read one (Esi Edugyan's novel), but I'll see what I can do. I'm starting with Ann Patchett's because, like you and The Flying Man, I found a copy of State of Wonder on the paperback shelves at the library a couple of weeks ago, just by luck.

  4. I have read zero! Though I am halfway through Half Blood Blues at the moment. Given what my library owns, I may get to read half the longlist. I have to sit out the rest of the books. But I am hopeful to discover some wonderful books :)


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