Israeli author David Grossman and his translator Jessica Cohen has won this year’s Man Booker International Prize for his intriguingly named book A Horse Walks Into a Bar. It’s the story of a stand-up comedian and his on-stage break-down, but is, according to reviews, ‘neither remotely funny nor an easy read’. Rather it’s a parable for dysfunctional people and societies. Not sure if it goes into the beach read category, but I will buy it for my holiday anyway.
The Power by Naomi Alderman was just announced the winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017. The Power is a clever imagining of a world in which women (literally) have the power. Alderman blends science fiction with dystopian global politics, Think The Hunger Games meets late Jeanette Winterson with a dash of Malorie Blackman, this is a book your teenage daughter will love. If you like YA feminist fantasy you’ll enjoy it; but The Handmaid’s Tale it ain’t.
I knew it! Although I occasionally use my Kindle, I’ve always had a soft spot for the real thing. The Guardian perfectly sums up why.
Here are some things that you can’t do with a Kindle. You can’t turn down a corner, tuck a flap in a chapter, crack a spine (brutal, but sometimes pleasurable) or flick the pages to see how far you have come and how far you have to go. You can’t remember something potent and find it again with reference to where it appeared on a right- or left-hand page. You often can’t remember much at all. You can’t tell whether the end is really the end, or whether the end equals 93% followed by 7% of index and/or questions for book clubs. You can’t pass it on to a friend or post it through your neighbour’s door.
Beautifully written, shockingly sad and profoundly thought-provoking, Mend the Living made a huge impression on me when I read it last year. This novel on organ donation is a well-deserved winner of the Wellcome Book Prize 2017. Highly recommended!