Booker Prize update

The 5th and penultimate book that I tackled on the Booker List was Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home. This is the shortest read out of all six, a mere 140 pages.

Swimming Home
Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

Set in the south of France, two couples who are renting a villa discover one morning a young woman in their swimming pool. This stranger is soon infiltrating their lives and testing everyone’s emotions. Who is this girl and what is she doing here?

In my opinion, the only good thing about this book was that it was mercifully short. I really do question why this book was even long-listed. I think that this author was trying to write like Salinger and create this real one-off character (the main protagonist), somebody that is volatile, vulnerable yet calculating. But I don’t feel this works; in fact it felt like the book was sucking the energy out of me! It is only my opinion at the end of the day and I do hope that other readers get something out of it.

Sadly I could not get to read all six books by tonight’s announcement! Am halfway through Wolf Hall (very good), but most people have been very effusive about Hilary Mantel’s follow up, Bring up the Bodies. The front cover is very captivating.

I was dreading this year’s crop but actually I am very glad that I have read them. I got to hang out in a Bombay opium den, excavated a pond in Malaysia, stood on a ferry gazing at the Hook of Holland and watched a woman in North London awaken after 50 years.

The Lighthouse
The Lighthouse

My personal favourite is The Lighthouse by Alison Moore – her characters are still stuck inside my head. However I do think that panel will opt for one of the Bookies favourites: Bring up the Bodies (Mantel) or Umbrella (Self).

Katie Collis
Katie Collis

Katie Collis

Text Tribe

Sleepyhead Book
Sleepyhead Book

Well-known crime author Mark Billingham is visiting Kensington Central Library as part of the launch of Text Tribe, the online reading group for Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster Libraries.

The group has begun with Sleepyhead, the first book in Billingham’s successful ‘Thorne’ series, and inspiration for the 2010 TV series.

Mark will be discussing this book and his later publications, including recent standalone title Rush of Blood’.

 All are welcome but booking is strongly advised – visit the Text Tribe website to book your place and to join in!!

Mark Billingham
Mark Billingham