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!