The Man Booker Long List, and the (Wo)Man Shadow Jury; Joy of My July


I could hardly sleep last night, for the anticipation of the Man Booker long list which was to be released today. Here it is before noon, and I have five of the titles from our local library and two of them downloaded on my kindle.

The list of thirteen books is as follows (in random order, of course):

  1. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
  2. Hystopia by David Means
  3. Eileen by Otessa Moshfegh
  4. The North Water by Ian McGuire
  5. Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves
  6. Serious Sweet by A. L. Kennedy
  7. The Sellout by Paul Beatty
  8. Hot Milk by Deborah Levy
  9. His Bloody Project by Graeme Burnet
  10. The Many by Wyl Menmuir
  11. All That Man Is by David Szalay
  12. Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
  13. The Schooldays of Jesus by J. M. Coetzee

I am happily joining Frances, Rebecca, Teresa and Nicole in the (Wo)Man Booker Shadow Jury as we read, review and discuss each title until the winner is announced on October 25. Until then, you will find our thoughts on our respective blogs throughout the next few months.

Have you read any of these titles? Do you have a favorite (or two)?

(You can follow our tweets at #ShadowWoManBooker)

25 thoughts on “The Man Booker Long List, and the (Wo)Man Shadow Jury; Joy of My July”

  1. I loved the Strout book! I’m looking forward to reading your posts about these titles – they all sound so interest. I have Hot Milk on my kindle, but definitely want to get copies of The Sellout, Eileen, and Work Like Any Other. Enjoy reading them all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can you believe I’ve never read anything by Strout? The rest of the jury members were super happy about Sellout, and I’ve begun Eileen which I’m really enjoying, so this seems a promising list indeed!


    1. His Bloody Project sounds like the quintessential thriller: complex, twisted and intriguing all at once. Your reactions are far more insightful than this mere list of mine.


  2. I’ve only read The Sellout, which “my favorite book club” read in June. We liked it well enough and I thought it Man-Booker worthy myself. :-). I’m intrigued by Hystopia and have marked it as to read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to know that about The Sellout. As for Hystopia, it seems so very interesting particularly for “our” age group who remember the 60’s, JFK and the Viet Nam war. Well, at least I was there for it as a child. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That one I could not find at our library nor for my kindle, so I ordered a paper copy from a publisher in the UK. (Why is it so hard to get the books I want to read in the US?! Are they too busy publishing romance?) So glad to know it’s one of your favorites for the year. I’m sure I will feel the same after I read it.


  3. I have the Strout and McGuire on my TBR pile…and was thrilled to see the Coetzee turn up too, even though it isn’t even published yet!

    Delighted to see your shadow booker group is up and running again – I love seeing what you all think, since I know I wont be able to read all of them myself 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have The Childhood of Jesus on my shelf, unread, and now here comes The Schooldays of Jesus, and I feel woefully behind. But, I’m looking forward to discovering Coetzee for myself, as he’s an author everyone seems to know and admire.

      So glad that you’ll be reading the thoughts of the Shadow a jury; it’s such fun discussing these books with one another, with our readers. I like that our opinions are not always similar, or even parallel.


    1. I have given, but not yet read, her book Certainty to my mother who liked it very much. It seems a shame I come to the Man Booker without having read anything by her, but that is one of the benefits: discovering favorite new authors and the books they have written, many which go beyond the list itself.


  4. Great to read the positive comments about Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, the only one of the list that I have a copy of to read. Lots of choice and some interesting little known titles, but my focus in August will be on#WITMonth, reading women in translation, so I’ll be following your reviews to see which from the list might appeal for later reading.


  5. I’m done with Eileen, Sellout, North Water, My Name is Lucy Barton & Hot Milk. So far, The North Water was the most exciting. Looking forward to read His Bloody Project & The Many.


    1. I have read all of what you’ve listed here except for Hot Milk. Overall, I find the list to be largely a disappointment. There are not the quality of books I have found in reading the prize winners in year’s past, such as Byatt’s Possession, which is one of my favorite books ever. At the end of all the reading I’ve done, I can only say My Name is Lucy Barton was good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah. This year’s list was a disappointment to me too! Last year’s list was amazing – with the likes of A Little Life , Chimes & Brief history of seven killings. I didn’t like Lucy barton, though.


        1. I thought A Little Life one of the most emotionally wrought books I’ve ever read. It made me weep, quite literally, in many places, and it was my favorite of last year’s list. I should try A Brief History of Seven Killings again. I know it won, but I couldn’t get into it. I guess I tend to like the writers such as Anne Tyler and Elizabeth Strout, who compared to other authors are rather milquetoast.

          Liked by 1 person

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