Man Booker Prize, that is. Today the famed literary award panel announces its short list for the coveted prize, and that in turn means that I have a lot of reading to do.
This is one of my two favorite book award programs - the other is the Dagger Awards, presented by the Crime Writers Association. Oddly, although the Man Booker is a British award, I find it to be less stuffy and highbrow than the U.S. awards, like the National Book Award. Or maybe it's just my Anglophilia showing.
All I know is that I always love the Man Booker selections, whether they win or not, and I quite often completely agree with the award winner. This year will be especially interesting since it's the first time that the Man Booker group has expanded its rules, allowing all books originally printed in English to be nominated, no matter the nationality of the author. Take that, National Book Award.
So here is the short list of nominees this year. I'll let you know soon which one I believe should take the top prize. And if you're going to read along, get cracking! The prize will be awarded on Oct. 14.
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris (US)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan (Australia)
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler (US)
J, by Howard Jacobson (UK)
The Lives of Others, by Neel Mukherjee (UK)
How to Be Both, by Ali Smith (UK)