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Old 19th Mar 2015, 14:39   #1
WCarp
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Default 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

Is anyone interested in this Prize? I generally like this prize and will attempt to read some of the titles - the shortlist at least (although I'm not always successful.) The longlist, which was announced last week, really is very long. I've read 4 of the titles here - Cusk, St. John Mandel, Smith and Waters (all very good.) Currently struggling through the Guo. I'm curious if others have read things on the list that they would recommend or have heard any buzz on certain books (just to narrow the immediate choices down a bit)?

Rachel Cusk - Outline (Faber and Faber)
Lissa Evans - Crooked Heart (Doubleday)
Patricia Ferguson - Aren’t We Sisters? (Penguin Books)
Xiaolu Guo - I Am China (Chatto & Windus)
Samantha Harvey - Dear Thief(Jonathan Cape)
Emma Healey - Elizabeth is Missing(Viking)
Emily St. John Mandel - Station Eleven (Picador)
Grace McCleen - The Offering (Sceptre)
Sandra Newman - The Country of Ice Cream Star (Chatto & Windus)
Heather O’Neill - The Girl Who Was Saturday Night (Quercus)
Laline Paull - The Bees (Fourth Estate)
Marie Phillips - The Table of Less Valued Knights (Jonathan Cape)
Rachel Seiffert - The Walk Home (Virago)
Kamila Shamsie - A God in Every Stone (Bloomsbury)
Ali Smith - How to be Both (Hamish Hamilton)
Sara Taylor - The Shore (William Heinemann)
Anne Tyler - A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus)
Sarah Waters, The Paying Guests (Virago)
Jemma Wayne - After Before(Legend Press)
PP Wong - The Life of a Banana (Legend Press)

Last edited by WCarp; 19th Mar 2015 at 14:49.
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 16:17   #2
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Default Re: 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

I've read four of them - I loved How to be Both; Station Eleven was one of the most purely enjoyable things I read last year even if it did remind me of other post-apocalypse novels/tv; A Spool of Blue Thread I liked a lot, though I found the structure odd (for the first 200 pages or so Tyler had me completely engrossed in the story of four adult children caring for their ageing parents, but then she goes back to the parents' youth in two shorter sections, which would be fine if those sections had the same weight and were as interesting but they're not so they felt more like appendices - by the time she returned to the children for the epilogue the momentum of that story had been lost); and Dear Thief I'm afraid I found a bit dull if well-written.

Of the others I've read six of the authors (but different books) before: although I've enjoyed them both in the past I can't say I'm desperate to read the books by Seiffert or Shamsie but I would like to read the Cusk and the Waters at some point. I read Grace McCleen's first book and was not hugely impressed and I've read a couple of Lissa Evans' children's books (not from choice, though they were both enjoyable - I illustrated the covers for them) and I can't escape the feeling that Crooked Heart also sounds like a kids' book.

With the Bailey's/Orange Prize I tend to wait for the shortlist before making any real effort to read any of them. The way it is judged with each judge reading some of the submitted books rather than them each reading them all presumably means the longlist features some titles that are perhaps being championed by just one judge and I'm not that interested in reading a book on the recommendation of one person whose tastes I don't know - I'd rather wait until there was a bit of consensus.
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Old 6th May 2015, 17:18   #3
WCarp
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Default Re: 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

To follow through on this thread that I began... The shorlist was announced a couple weeks ago:

Outline, by Rachel Cusk (8th novel)
The Bees, by Laline Paull (1st novel)
A God in Every Stone, by Kamila Shamsie (6th novel)
How to be both, by Ali Smith (6th novel)
A Spool of Blue Thread, by Anne Tyler (20th novel)
The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters (6th novel)

Based solely on the three I've read (Cusk, Smith and Waters) I think it is a strong shortlist. I have Tyler in my TBR pile and will get to, hopefully, before the winner is announced. Not sure when or if I'll read the other two, but would be curious if anyone has read them and their thoughts.
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Old 7th May 2015, 6:42   #4
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Default Re: 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

I am currently reading Station Eleven. The Cusk and Waters are next on my list.
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Old 7th May 2015, 9:08   #5
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Default Re: 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

May I be the first to welcome you back after a nearly five year absence!
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Old 7th May 2015, 16:55   #6
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Default Re: 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

Me? Why, thank you! I've been lurking about for reading ideas from time to time, but I must admit the last four years were taken over by a huge career change and preparing for/going back to school. I had no time to read for pleasure or spend time online. The few books I got through, were in audio format that I listened to while driving to far away hospitals for clinical rotations.

I am happy to report that I am finally a licensed registered nurse (without a job), which means I have plenty of time to read again. Being as busy as I was, I didn't even realized how much I missed reading novels. The last couple of months I have been frantically adding books to my TBR and going slightly crazy with all the books I want to read.

So, have there been any big changes since I went MIA? Things seem to have slowed down a bit, no? Anyway, it's good to be back! Thanks again!
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Old 8th May 2015, 17:54   #7
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Default Re: 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

I've gotta say, I'd like to see A Spool of Blue Thread win this thing. I'd forgotten how masterful Anne Tyler is.

Nice to see you back, Megora. Not a lot of activity here anymore but still a major resource.
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Old 13th May 2015, 10:16   #8
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Default Re: 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

Welcome back Megora - and congratulations on the nursing qualification!
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Old 26th May 2015, 21:38   #9
WCarp
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Default Re: 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

I've managed to read 5 of the 6. The only one I haven't read is Shamsie's A God in Every Stone - which means it will probably win. I feel that Cusk, Waters, Smith and Tyler would all be worthy winners - I wouldn't be unhappy with any of them taking the prize. My personal preference would be Cusk's Outline. For me, Paull's The Bees paled in comparison to those, although I will admit that I had some fun reading it, even if I found it all a bit silly. It simply is not the sort of thing I usually like. I'd recommend it to those who enjoy the anthropomorphic animal (or in this case insect) story. But it is no Animal Farm (which I did like.)
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Old 3rd Jun 2015, 19:20   #10
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Default Re: 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

The winner is: How to be both, by Ali Smith
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