Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Month in Books: March & The Orange Prize

Can you believe March has almost been and gone, is it me or is this year going incredibly quickly? So as with February here is my review of the month as a whole. It has to be said on the whole it was a really good reading month, a very diverse range of authors and genres of books. March has been quite influenced by Richard and Judy looking back, mind you now their reads are over next month will be quite different, I still have The Cellist of Sarajevo to go though. I have also travelled a lot going to Los Angeles, New York three times, Russia under Stalin’s regime and the aftermath, Germany during both wars, in the land of theatre twice, strolled through Paris with Edmund White and been to Wonderland. It’s no wonder that I am shattered.

Books read: 12 which I think is a record.
Books added to the TBR Pile: 46 though I have absolutely no idea how that happened.
New author I tried and want to read ‘the works of’: Tom Rob Smith, and I did, all two.
Character of the month: Lilly Aphrodite
Best crime: Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith
Best non-fiction: The Flaneur – Edmund White
Surprise of the month: The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite – Beatrice Colin
Book of the month: Ok this month there are three. The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite by Beatrice Colin, Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith and The State of Happiness by Stella Duffy which you all have to read.


I am excited about what April will bring. It already seems a promising month as I have started The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry and it seems like its going to be a complete corker what more could I ask for at the start of the month. Now this leads on to the next topic of my blog The Orange Prize. The long list has been announced and I have one (Blonde Roots) and heard of three others (Burnt Shadows, Girl in a Blue Dress and The Lost Dog – the latter two were long listed for the Man Booker last year) here is the full long list.
The Household Guide To Dying – Debra Adelaide (Harper Collins)
Girl in a Blue Dress – Gaynor Arnold (Tindal Street Press)
Their Finest Hour and a Half – Lissa Evans (Doubleday)
Blonde Roots – Bernadine Evaristo (Penguin)
Scottbro – Ellen Feldman (Picador)
Strange Music – Laura Fish (Jonathan Cape)
Love Marriage – V.V. Ganeshananthan (Orion)
Intuition – Allegra Goodman (Atlantic)
The Wilderness – Samantha Harvey (Jonathan Cape)
The Invention of Everything Else – Samantha Hunt (Vintage)
The Lost Dog – Michelle De Krester (Vintage)
Molly Fox’s Birthday – Diedre Madden (Faber & Faber)
A Mercy – Toni Morrison (Vintage)
The Russian Dreambook of Colour & Flight – Gina Oschner (Portobello Books)
Home – Marilynne Robinson (Virago)
Evening Is The Whole Day – Preeta Samarasan (Fourth Estate)
Burnt Shadows – Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury)
American Life – Curtis Sittenfeld (Doubleday)
The Flying Troutmans – Miriam Toews (Faber & Faber)
The Personal History of Rachel DuPree – Ann Weisgarber (Pan MacMillan)

They sound like a real mixture of books and I so want to read every single one. Is anyone planning on doing the Orange Challenge and reading the whole long list or will people be waiting until the short list is announced?

8 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

Are you planning to do the Orange Challenge? I'm not going to read the whole list, but will probably pick up one or two, and will read all the short list at some point (I'm taking part in the Orange Challenge so I have to read them all one day!)

I hope April is as good for you as March as been - happy reading!

Dot said...

You've had a really good reading month! Mine has been far too slow, hopefully I will get back up to speed in April, definitely going to check out Stella Duffy.

Juxtabook said...

Finally managed to do your excellent time meme! I enjoyed it - thanks for the suggestion. http://juxtabook.typepad.com/books/2009/03/time-on-my-hands.html

claire said...

I've about five of those on my TBR list.. but it probably will be some time before I get to them. There's too much on my pile right now. Looking forward to your thoughts on The Secret Scripture.. I'm still waiting for it on paperback here, or a used hardcover, whichever I see first, which is why it's taken me so long to get to it.. I'm patient that way. :D ANd thanks for your books of the month, adding them to TBR.. lol.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I think I'll cherry pick from that list...I have too many to read anyway! You have had a good month!

candyschultz said...

I gave up on Girl in a Blue Dress. It was dreadful. More exclamations points than I have ever seen.

Book Psmith said...

Sounds like you had a great reading month and I hope April is just as good. I don't get how my TBR stack continues to grow after my pledging to stop buying books...I think it has something to do with mysterious packages landing on my doorstep from places like amazon and powells...whoever they are:)

megan said...

I have to strongly recommend A Household Guide to Dying. It's simply amazing, and well-worthy of the nomination, and the praise that was heaped on it here in Australia.