Last year I decided to read the Man Booker shortlist along with the judges, finishing before they announced their winner.
It wasn't just a whim - I've long looked out for Booker winners as they've seemed to be my type of read for quite a while now. After being really surprised by the winner for a couple of years, I felt unable to go round expounding my view as I hadn't read any of the competition. Now, as I like to talk about books almost as much as I enjoy reading them, this experience was not one I wanted to repeat ... hence my decision last year.
I started with the long list which - last year - contained a couple of books that I'd want to read regardless of their being on the list. When the shortlist was released, I narrowed my focus and made good time with my intent. When the judges decision was announced, it was almost an anti-climax, as I simply nodded. It was the book I'd felt was the winner too.
As a result, I wondered whether to continue with this idea of mine, or to accept that those couple of years were simply abberations. But, the thing is, I really enjoyed it last year. There were a couple of books which were disappointments, but the majority really were my type of read and I got to not only eat from the well of wonderful reads, but positively gorge myself.
This time, I will write as I proceed and I hope others will share their views and thoughts with me too.
I've started my first read from the long list: "A Brief History of Seven Killings" by Marlon James. I'd be extra pleased if I was able to read all 13 contenders this year, but that may well prove to be a book too far!
The longlist, book summaries and author profiles available here.