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2018 Man Booker Longlist: The Mars Room

Next up for our Man Booker shadow panel is The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner.

Five of our panelists read this book and we were all pretty split. Two of us liked it, two of us didn’t, and one fell in the middle. Here are our reviews. Read more

Man Booker Longlist: Sabrina

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And we are officially off and running with our Man Booker shadow panel reviews. First up is Sabrina, the first graphic novel ever nominated for the prize. Over the next month we’ll be posting reviews for each of the Man Booker longlist books. We hope you join us in reading the books and make sure to comment with your thoughts about each book

Four of our panelists read this book. Here are our reviews. Read more

2018 Man Booker Longlist

The longlist was released today at midnight in the UK. Well, technically the Guardian accidentally posted the list earlier in the afternoon. Check out which books made the list and how our judges did with their predictions. Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: The Survival Game by Nicky Singer

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Tomorrow our shadow panel returns with our 2018 Man Booker feature. For the next month we’ll be sharing our views on the Man Booker longest (announced tomorrow). While we wait for the announcement, here’s a “lighter” (aka less literary) review for those of you who are fans of YA dystopia. Read more

2018 Man Booker longlist: Our predictions

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It’s that time of year again! My personal favorite of time for our blog: Man Booker season!! The 2018 Man Booker longlist will be announced on July 24. Those of you who follow our blog know that we are obsessed with the Man Booker and for the last three years, BW and I have tried to read our way through the entire long list in order to make our predictions.

For those of you who don’t know, the Man Booker Prize is a major literary award that is awarded to “the best novel in the opinion of the judges.” The prize was created to “increase the reading quality of fiction” and “attract the intelligent general audience.” Each year the panel of 5 judges selects a longest of 12-13 books they consider to be the best books of the year. Books must be first published in English by a registered imprint in UK or Ireland and must have a publication date from October of the prior year through September of the current year.

Our shadow panel of judges returns this year and once again is comprised of BW and myself along with our four contributors: Nicole, Lisa, Anita, and Andrew (you can read more about them in our “about” section).  Book Worm and I will be attempting to read all the nominated books before the shortlist is announced and our four contributors will be helping out along the way.

Each panel member has made predictions for which books will make the longlist. Panelists were able to nominate up to 13 books for the list but some chose to nominate fewer. Here are our thoughts and predictions: Read more

There There by Tommy Orange

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There There is a book that will stay with me for a long time. It’s getting a lot of critical acclaim and will likely be a much discussed book among readers this year. Here’s what I thought… Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: The Poison Bed by E C Fremantle

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The Poison Bed by E C Fremantle
Published in: 2018
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★
Find it here: The Poison bed

This ARC was provided by Penguin UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Elizabeth Fremantle’s THE POISON BED is a chilling, noirish thriller ripped straight from the headlines.

A king, his lover and his lover’s wife. One is a killer.

In the autumn of 1615 scandal rocks the Jacobean court when a celebrated couple are imprisoned on suspicion of murder. She is young, captivating and from a notorious family. He is one of the richest and most powerful men in the kingdom.

Some believe she is innocent; others think her wicked or insane. He claims no knowledge of the murder. The king suspects them both, though it is his secret at stake.

Who is telling the truth? Who has the most to lose? And who is willing to commit murder?

Bookworm’s Thoughts – This was a solid 3 star read for me. I loved how the author took the bare bones of a Jacobean murder case and made a work of fiction around the main protagonists, giving them means, motive, and opportunity.

The story begins in the Tower London where Frances Howard is being held on suspicion of murder by poisoning. Due to her status, she has been given a “nice” room and a wet nurse to look after her new born daughter. While not sure if she can trust the wet nurse (Nelly), Frances has no one else to talk to and so begins to tell the story of how she fell in love and came to be imprisoned in the Tower.

Each chapter then alternates from the point of view of “Her” and “Him”, Frances and her husband as they both explain the events that lead to their imprisonment. Her sections are set in the present with her recounting the past to Nelly. In contrast, “His” sections start at the beginning of the story and move forward in time until both narratives meet at the point where the fate of Him and Her is to be decided.

With all the political game playing around the court who stands to gain most from the murder? Who is manipulating who? And, can you actually trust what anyone says?

For more information about the actual murder you read the Wiki article here

Who would like this? I would recommend this to those who enjoy historical fiction and gentler murder mysteries without too much blood and gore thrown about.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: The Poison Bed

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

Sight by Jessie Greengrass

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This Wednesday, our Man Booker shadow panel will be releasing our 2018 longest predictions. Sight by Greengrass has been getting some buzz and made it onto the Women’s Fiction shortlist. Contributor Nicole and I both read the book in anticipation that it might make the list. Keep reading to find out what we thought. Read more

Man Booker International Shortlist 2018: The World Goes On by Laszlo Krasznahorkai

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As the 2018 Man Booker longlist announcement looms closer, Book Worm continues making her way through the international Man Booker shortlist. Book Number 5 from the shortlist and is a short story collection. If you follow us regularly, you’ll probably be able to predict how this will go… Read more

Man Booker International Shortlist 2018: Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Munoz Molina

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Book Worm is continuing to read through the International Man Booker shortlist. Book Number 4 for her is Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Munoz Molina. Read more