Monday, November 24, 2014

Dublin Impac Longlist: So Much Good Stuff!

When the folks at the Dublin Impac Literary Award say "long" they mean it. Their longlist announced today contains 142 nominees from 39 countries. I'm always excited to see what's on this list because:

  • Finding out about new books and authors, especially from other parts of the world
  • Seeing which of my favourites are included
  • Reminder of great books that I've already read
  • Nominations are all from libraries
  • Big money prize (100,000 euros) celebrates literary endeavour

Two books that caught my eye are by Australian Indigenous authors:
Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko and The Swan Book by Alexis Wright. (I reviewed Wright's Carpentaria here.) I hope that these are available in Canada, because I want to read them now!

It was good to be reminded of a couple of other titles that I've been meaning to read for a long time: On Sal Mal Lane by the fabulous Ru Freeman and For Sure by Canadian France Daigle. (Note to self: less time on twitter = more time to read books.)

I noticed that two books have single letter titles: S by Doug Dorst and K by Bernardo Kucinski. Interesting. Surely it isn't often that a book gets that kind of title.

The book that intrigues me most based on title alone: Mr. Darwin's Gardener by Kristina Carlson (because Charles Darwin and horticulture).

The book covers that most attracted me: The Humans by Matt Haig (because font and dog looking at night sky) and Love Letters of the Angels of Death by Jennifer Quist (because magpies).
Here are some excellent titles on the list that I've previously reviewed:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood
The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
Harvest by Jim Crace
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
Eyrie by Tim Winton
The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanigahara

There are a bunch of other books on the list that I've read and haven't reviewed, so the Dublin Impac longlist is also a kick in the pants reminding me to write my thoughts on this blog before moving on to another book. Aside from Instructions for a Heatwave, these are all titles that I listened to in audiobook format. Every one of them is worthwhile:

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
The Son by Philipp Meyer
Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

If you're looking for something new to read, check out the Impac list. Pick your favourites and see if they make the shortlist that will be announced in April 2015.

No comments: