I've been considering challenging myself to stop buying new books and read all the books that I own but haven't read yet. I've thought about doing this before but gave up before I even started. This time, I was only going to allow myself to buy Zadie Smith's On Beauty in hardback in advance of her reading here next month. I was thinking that I would fast from book buying for a limited time, say six months or this school year. In the meantime, I would nourish myself by reading as many of the books that already own but haven't read yet. Occasionally, I might treat myself to a book that I can borrow from a friend or check out from the library.
Then tonight, after a long, late day of work, I get home and find that I have received an email from the Man Booker Foundation. The long list for the prize was announced yesterday, so now I have a whole list of new books to taste. Of course, binging on Booker Prize books can be a bit difficult here in the states. My fasting would definitely be over before it started if I lived in the UK.
Here is the long list. I've only heard of a couple of them. I'm sure that as book bloggers start talking about the list and predicting which should make the short list that my desire to sample and savor some of these may become too powerful to resist. If I am faithful to my fast, I will attempt the library before I buy, or at least, that's what I'm telling myself tonight.
Carey, Peter Theft: A Love Story (Faber & Faber)
Desai, Kiran The Inheritance of Loss (Hamish Hamilton)
Edric, Robert Gathering the Water (Doubleday)
Gordimer, Nadine Get a Life (Bloomsbury) - I haven't heard of this book, but I love Gordimer's short story "The Bedtime Story."
Grenville, Kate The Secret River (Canongate)
Hyland, M.J. Carry Me Down (Canongate)
Jacobson, Howard Kalooki Nights (Jonathan Cape)
Lasdun, James Seven Lies (Jonathan Cape)
Lawson, Mary The Other Side of the Bridge (Chatto & Windus)
McGregor, Jon So Many Ways to Begin (Bloomsbury)
Matar, Hisham In the Country of Men (Viking)
Messud, Claire The EmperorÂs Children (Picador)
Mitchell, David Black Swan Green (Sceptre) - I loved Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, but I read some mixed book blogger reviews of this novel, so I haven't tried it yet. Maybe I will now.
Murr, Naeem The Perfect Man (William Heinemann)
OÂHagan, Andrew Be Near Me (Faber & Faber)
Robertson, James The Testament of Gideon Mack (Hamish Hamilton)
St Aubyn, Edward MotherÂs Milk (Picador)
Unsworth, Barry The Ruby in her Navel (Hamish Hamilton) - Great title! :-)
Waters, Sarah The Night Watch (Virago) - I recall reading something about this book recently, but I can't remember where I read it. It seems like it was a positive review though.
Now, it's late, so I won't sit here and look up all these books on Amazon.com. Being back at work means that I need to be in bed by 10:30, but those damn Astros can't seem to win or lose tonight. It's 12:18a.m. and the score is tied in the bottom of the 17th inning. To be honest, I switched the channel to TNT at 11:00 to watch the replay of The Closer from last night and almost forgot about the game. I went to Astros.com to see what the final score was, but it's not final yet. Oh well, I will have to find out what happens in the morning because I have a date with Sophie's Choice. Good night all.