Take It or Leave It

The Man Booker Prize will be awarded one week from today in England. It is presented to "the best novel of the year by a citizen of the United Kingdom." Well that's just a recipe for a fight.
Every literary prize, and prize winner, seems to spark fierce debate. Use the news about the Nobel Prize for literature this year as the perfect example.
But what was different about the announcement of this year's shortlist (aka nominees), was the quote from the judging panel's chair Stella Rimington. In true no-nonsense Brit fashion, she told the world to "take it or leave it." I love that. She followed that up with the comment that "there have been weirder judges than me." Oh Dame Stella, I am now a fan.
There are six books on the Man Booker Prize shortlist:
  • The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes
  • Jamrach's Menagerie, by Carol Birch
  • The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt
  • Half Blood Blues, by Esi Edugyan
  • Pigeon English, by Stephen Kelman
  • Snowdrops, by A.D. Miller (see my review here)
The money seems to be on Barnes, who has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize three times before and is one of Britain's most beloved writers. At the very least, being on the shortlist has definitely been beneficial to all of the nominees. According to Bookseller, the books on the list have broken sales records since the announcement (click here for the story).
I do have a favorite on the list. Tune in tomorrow for a review of the book that gets my vote  take it or leave it.

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