After the failure that was last year's attempt to read the longlist of the Women's Prize for Fiction, this year I decided not to even attempt it. And yet the announcement of the shortlist last night (in rather delicious vine form on twitter), had me all of a flutter with desire to read the final six. It is after all, a pretty delicious shortlist.
Anyone else love that vine too?
Some thoughts on the list:
I bought The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt in the kindle sale after Christmas and have been meaning to get to it since then. But the hype and the sheer size of that beast has meant I've put it off and off. It does look brilliant though, and I can never resist a book that has art as a subject.
A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride has been on my radar for yonks. I've groped it many a time in Waterstones and nearly bought it on several occasions but something has always stopped me. I think it's the stream of consciousness and experimental style. I've become lazy when it comes to experimenting with styles in recent months and I think this has always tipped over into the 'ain't nobody got time for that' bit of my brain. I'm going to pull it out. A book that is on that many prize lists has got to be worth something, surely.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri are the two books that I find the least appealing from the shortlist. There isn't a huge amount that's logical about my thinking so again I can't really articulate why I find these two in particular unappealing in comparison. Still, I have read many glowing reviews of both so it will be interesting to see if my illogical preconceptions hold up.
Let's all just take a minute to consider how I (being a person with fairly predictable reading habits) would feel about The Undertaking by Audrey Magee. I'll give you a hint - The Undertaking is set during war time. Yep - want to read, need to read, dying to read. It sounds dark, twisted and utterly thought-provoking.
The one that tops the list for me is Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. The hype around this book has felt almost subliminal - I know it's been there, but it's been so subtle I didn't realise how desperate I was to read it until I found it on sale on kindle (kindle sales are basically my crack). I'll be starting Burial Rites the minute I finish my current read.
Will you be reading the short list? Have you already read any or all of these?