My Thoughts on the Orange Prize Long list 2012

(Go to the announcement on the website for more information).

I’ve always thought it would be fun to read the entire list of books for a prize, such as the Orange Prize. I was eagerly looking forward to the long list announcement (I’d even calculated it when it would be in local time). When I saw the long list, I knew I was in for a long haul if I was going to read the long list before the shortlist announcement on 17th April. Hence, I think I need to break it down into reading books I’d think I’d like and ‘read hard’ when it comes to the shortlist.

  • Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg (Quercus) – Swedish; 1st Novel

    This could be a hit or miss for me. I like historical fiction, but the plot reminds me a little of A Fringe of Leaves by Patrick White, which I detested.

  • On the Floor by Aifric Campbell (Serpent’s Tail) – Irish; 3rd Novel

    This sounds like it could be interesting – how women cope with stress coming in all directions. If I can find it, I’ll try it.

  • The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (The Clerkenwell Press) – American; 4th Novel

    Sounds like a sad book, but I’m intrigued to find out what the dark secret is. Another book not available in eBook, so I’ll try to track it down.

  • The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue (Picador) – Irish; 7th Novel

    I really enjoyed Room, so I’m looking forward to seeing how Donoghue deals with historical fiction. I think this will be shortlisted.

  • Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (Serpent’s Tail) – Canadian; 2nd Novel

    I wasn’t really interested in this when it was on the Man Booker shortlist, so I think I’ll skip it.

  • The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape) – Irish; 5th Novel

    This sounds sweet and sentimental. A book I think I’d like.

  • The Flying Man by Roopa Farooki (Headline Review) – British; 5th Novel

This book sounds like fun – will Maquil eventually be caught?

  • Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (Quercus) – American; 4th Novel

    Not sure about this one – not really interested in racetracks. Will read some reviews first before deciding.

  • Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding (Bloomsbury) – British; 3rd Novel

    This looks like the kind of book I’d enjoy – mystery and history.

  • Gillespie and I by Jane Harris (Faber & Faber) – British; 2nd Novel

    This one had me at ‘two birds’. I love the cover!

  • The Translation of the Bones by Francesca Kay (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) – British; 2nd Novel

    I wonder how much religion plays a role in this book? I’ll be watching the reviews.

  • The Blue Book by A.L. Kennedy (Jonathan Cape) – British; 6th Novel

    Sounds like another one I’d like – mystery on the high seas.

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Harvill Secker) – American; 1st Novel

    I’ve resisted this one so far, as I’m not into circuses (ask my mother, I have been known to sit under the seat if taken to one).

  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury) – American; 1st Novel

    The one that I’ve read! I think it will make it on to the shortlist, as it’s very well researched and original.

  • Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick (Atlantic Books) – American; 7th Novel

    Like the sound of this one too – Europe and America in the 1950s sounds fun.

  • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury) – American; 6th Novel

    Doesn’t sound my cup of tea because I don’t like fictional drug discoveries – they don’t really fit with my real life!

  • There but for the by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton) – British; 5th Novel

    I remember reading the reviews of this one when it was first released and being unsure. Still unsure.

  • The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard (Alma Books) – British; 2nd Novel

    I enjoy books that link the past and present; I’m going to try to read this one.

  • Tides of War by Stella Tillyard (Chatto & Windus) – British; 1st Novel

    I bought this one for the princely sum of $5AU, so I’m pretty chuffed that I picked it out!

  • The Submission by Amy Waldman (William Heinemann) – American; 1st Novel

    This one sounds like a good one for a book club – it would provoke a lot of discussion.

I’m a little disappointed that not all the long list books are available (in Australia) in eBook format, as I’m trying to cut down on physical books. I want to try On the Floor and The Grief of Others.

Which books are you planning to read, if any? Do prize lists guide your reading?



4 thoughts on “My Thoughts on the Orange Prize Long list 2012

Add yours

  1. I always think that the idea of reading through a long list would be fun too but I would have to clear my reading list to do so without feeling like I was pressured!

    Do you know about the Orange Prize Project? It’s a perpetual challenge where you can read through the winners or short list or long lists at your own pace? The challenge is hosted here:

  2. I, too, want to read the long list. The book descriptions are VERY inviting. Hard to decide which one to start with. Prize lists definitely guide my reading in that they raise awareness of potentially wonderful books that I may not have aware of prior.
    Beth 🙂

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