Meredith, Nicole, Rebecca, Teresa, and I are coming back for more Booker madness this summer. Last year's effort left us not exhausted and dismissive of the process as some of us feared (okay, as I feared), but excited to do it again. Our conversation was fantastic, and working through the titles in the context of the contest rather than just as stand-alone texts was both interesting and challenging at times. Like, love, appreciation are all such frequently used descriptors that they can become meaningless. We had to dig a little deeper into the root cause of our praise and our disdain for certain works in order to fight for why they should or should not make our cut. I would go so far to say that our efforts made us better bookish friends in that exposing the reasons for our preferences soon became a highly personal matter, and we all finished the panel knowing one another a little better.
The time span for us to read the Booker Dozen is a little more generous this year - a full two months between the July 27 announcement of the longlist and the announcement of the shortlist in September. And our mad dash to the finish line last year has us trying to strategically gather some pre-reads that we think might make the list. If you are also trying to make some guesses about what might appear on that list, I would like to direct you to Eric's excellent post, this GoodReads list of eligible titles, and the Mookse and the Gripes discussion about possibilities.
As for what I think might be on that mighty dozen? I just have too many guesses to be helpful. I am currently working on the titles I already own, and just hoping that some of these possibles show up on July 27. The stack you see above represents three very real possibilities in the Barnes, Swift and DeLillo titles. The other two are my favorites for that bow to the popular that seems to show up each year. Both of them have been decently reviewed and seem to have very large fan bases. We will see.
What else have I read or is on my tbr that might appear? Glorious Heresies, The Sympathizer, Vinegar Girl, My Name Is Lucy Barton, LaRose, The Cauliflower, Barkskins, Mr. Splitfoot, The Girl in the Red Coat, and This Must Be the Place. But what do I not currently have access to that might appear? Lots of stuff. What are you thinking will show up?