The shortlist was announced this morning:
I'm excited, although not surprised, to see Mantel there. Please to see Moore there as well. Very disappointed not to have Beauman there - I'm sad more people won't read it. I would have never heard of it if it wasn't for the Booker longlist and I loved it so I'm disappointed it won't be read by a wider audience. I am unsurprised to see Self there despite my frustrations with Umbrella but in an interview today Sir Peter Stothard, the chair of the judges, assured us that if you stick with it, it gets better. I would be unsurprised to see it win so I really hope that I get into it as I persevere.
I haven't read Thayil, Twan Eng or Levy yet but of the three I am the most excited to read Thayil - Narcopolis would have been next on my list to read from the longlist if I hadn't run out of time and people with similar taste to me have been praising it. I know very little about The Garden of Evening Mists so am looking forward to trying it. Levy didn't seem to be getting very positive reviews so this is the biggest surprise for me. The people that loved it seemed to really love it but the majority of reviews weren't best impressed so I'm interested to see which camp I fall into.
I'm a little nervous about the seriousness of the shortlist - none of the more joyful books have made it - it would have been great to see Beauman, Barker or Joyce get here just to add a little bit of joy to the proceedings (or even Frayn even though he's not my cup of tea). I am concerned my sixth form shadowing group will find them all a little depressing but we shall see. I'm going to pick up our copies from Waterstones tomorrow morning and we start our shadowing group tomorrow with tea and cake, I can't wait to get going!