A new start to the school year, and a new stage of life as my little one heads into school – real school, Reception Year, for the first time.
I had no idea how tough that would be for her – or for me. And, one week, she was poorly on top of everything else; the next week we had Ofsted at work; then I succumbed to the usual September back-to-school lurgie – probably the same one that the little one had.
So reading and the blog – alas – slipped once again.
Anyway, let’s turn our attention to the Man Booker Longlist, now that the Shortlist has been announced. Of the Longlist, I’ve read two that are on the Shortlist: The Overstory and The Mars Room
and I’m currently listening to Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black and reading Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under.
All four, from what I’ve read, are wonderful and I’d struggle to pick a winner so I pity the judges! If I were forced to rank them, I don’t think I can ignore the vast scale of Powers’ The Overstory, but voice is generally my guide and I feel drawn to the other three as creating those fabulous, interesting vivid character… For me, at the moment it is probably looking like a close-run race between Washington Black and The Mars Room…. but that may well change as I complete the other two.
With the pressure and stress at home and work, I have let the Longlist and Shortlist take a rest until my energy levels rise. In the interim, I have downloaded on my kindle the light relief crime of Sophie Hannah’s Hercule Poirot in The Mystery of Three Quarters and Robert Galbraith’s Lethal White. Neither are masterclasses in great writing – I have sniggered once or twice at the clumsiness in the Galbraith! – and yes I know he is J. K Rowling! – but there will always be something cosy and warming about death, murder and violence!