The Booker longlist has thrown up the usual range of novels from unknowns to the usual suspects. Having previously just allowed UK and Commonwealth authors in, this year, for the first time, it includes titles written from the whole of the English speaking world ie including the USA. There are four Americans, six Brits, one Australian and two Irish writers. That includes a former winner (Howard Jacobson) and two previously shortlisted, Ali Smith and David Mitchell.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is David Nichols author of the highly popular and successful One Day which went on to be filmed with Anne Hathaway. Surprising because it doesn’t fit into the traditional Booker literary model. Us is another slightly offbeat love story and I can report that (despite being only half -way through it) it is going to be another very enjoyable bitter-sweet read.
I have enjoyed two very contrasting books this week. She Landed by Moonlight by Carole Seymour-Jones, the remarkable story of SOE agent Pearl Witherington, who led 500+ French resistance fighters in the weeks after D-day inspiring astonishing loyalty and bravery and contributing directly to the success of the invasion. The other book was the second novel by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling), The Silkworm. This features her private detective Cormoran Strike and is as neat and entertaining as her first The Cuckoo’s Calling.