Mrs Macgregor has set the 6th form a challenge – to read all six shortlisted Man Booker Prize titles in time to cast their vote when the winner is announced on 15th October. This is no mean feat as the first book ‘The Luminaries’ by Eleanor Catton is 832 pages long. However, 12 tenacious 6th form students have taken up the challenge and will be meeting each week to discuss one of the books.
Mrs Macgregor writes:
There was a wonderful interview with the author of The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour which should provide a good introduction to the novel. As we meet on Thursday 26th September you have a good 11 days to read this tome.
Additional Man Booker links:
NoViolet Bulawayo, Zimbabwean author interview on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
Guardian article claiming this is the best shortlist for a decade.
Does Man-Booker-shortlisted novelist Jhumpa Lahiri’s real skill lie in short stories? Review of ‘The Lowland’ (Guardian 12th September 2013)
Guardian Books Blog – Video in which Richard Lea argues that Ruth Ozeki’s ‘A Tale for the Time Being’ should win this year’s Man Booker Prize. “The shortlisted novel begins with the discovery of a Hello Kitty lunchbox containing the diary of a young Japanese girl washed up on the shore in British Columbia.”
The librarians are attempting to keep pace with the reading and join in the discussions but we also have potential Carnegie longlist contenders to read for a discussion day on 9th October!
The library has copies of the shortlisted books if anyone else wants to join in the reading.
This morning we welcomed the Picton 3rd form tutor group to the library for an informal discussion about the book “In the Sea there are Crocodiles”. Each year the librarians agonise over the choice of book to send to all new 3rd form pupils. We search for a book to suit both boys and girls, something readable and interesting as well as thought-provoking and memorable. We have a lot of reading to get through to find something we are happy with. Last year’s book ‘Trash’ proved very popular with its incredible plot and fast pace. This year’s book may have been a slow starter but it rapidly became an involving and inspiring story.
‘In the Sea there are Crocodiles’ is the account of Enaiatollah’s life from the age of 10 to 15. It is based on his recollections of the perilous journey he made from his home in Afghanistan all the way to Italy as a child and teenager without any family support. He is amazingly resilient and recounts his life story to Fabio Geda, the Italian author who wrote the book.
Here are some of the 3rd form comments on the book:
“Exhilarating, tense, funny and moving”
“I loved the calmness of the book and the good moments I enjoyed”
“…extremely inspirational and it really made me think about the world”
“….very interesting and enjoyable. My Mum read it too!”
“I loved the book. It has opened my mind. It has made me more aware of how tough and how unfair people’s lives can be and makes me feel very privileged.”
….very moving and a good demonstration of what the world is like in some places”
We are looking forward to more book chat sessions with other tutor groups in the coming weeks.