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September, 2010:

If I Never by Gary William Murning

If I Never by Gary William MurningGary William Murning’s debut novel If I Never which was published in 2009, is set across a mixture of urban and rural locations mainly in in the environs of North Yorkshire. The Middlesbrough based author has used his obvious local knowledge to good effect as a backdrop to a plot-line bursting with suspense.

Anyone who has ever visited this beautiful corner of the United Kingdom will gain added pleasure from trying to second guess some of the towns, villages and other locations, whose names the author has changed to protect the innocent!

Read on for a full review…. (more…)

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerAudrey Niffenegger received widespread acclaim for The Time Traveler’s Wife following its publication back in 2003 and it subsequently spent many months at the top of bestseller lists all over the world. Whether it is because of this success that I avoided reading it for so long I’m not sure; I suppose I may be guilty of dismissing it as just another mass market romance. I’m so glad that I finally got around to finding out what all the fuss was about, because when I did read it I was hooked immediately and enjoyed it from start to finish.

Read on for a full review…. (more…)

Living Under Fire – Short Story Competition

King of Tuzla by Arnold Jansen op de HaarTo celebrate the recent publication of King of Tuzla by Arnold Jansen op de Haar, Holland Park Press have had the great idea of launching a short story competition with the theme “Living Under Fire”.

The short story should be set in a conflict zone and contain less than 1000 words. The winner will receive a prize of £100 and their story will be published in the Holland Park Press online magazine.

Full details of the competition can be found here.

I’m very much looking forward to reading the King of Tuzla and publishing a review here on Novel Suggestions. From what I have seen so far it is an interesting and insightful exploration into how war affects the lives of the ordinary people it touches.

I’ve certainly not written any creative fiction myself for more years than I care to remember, but the theme of this competition opens up so many ideas that I’m half tempted to give it a go. If this has whetted your appetite and you’re also thinking of entering the competition, why not let me know in a comment below? You have until 31st of December 2010 to get your story written and submitted to Holland park Press.

Man Booker 2010 Shortlist Announced

Man Booker Judges 2010

Man Booker Judges 2010

Like many, I’ve been impatiently awaiting the announcement of this year’s Man Booker 2010 shortlist, and as promised, this morning 7th September, the judges have announced the worthy nominees.

The initial longlist of thirteen has now been whittled down to the following six authors and titles:

Peter Carey Parrot and Olivier in America (Faber and Faber)

Emma Donoghue Room (Pan MacMillan – Picador)

Damon Galgut In a Strange Room (Grove Atlantic – Atlantic Books)

Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury)

Andrea Levy The Long Song
(Headline Publishing Group – Headline Review)

Tom McCarthy C (Random House – Jonathan Cape)

The final winner will receive a prize of £50,000 and worldwide recognition. The 2009 winner, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, has now sold over half a million copies in the UK alone. The six shortlisted authors, including the winner, each receive £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their shortlisted book.

From a purely selfish perspective, it’s great to see one of my favourite authors Peter Carey in the mix again. I’m looking forward to reading Parrot and Olivier, but will probably await the paperback’s release.

What do you think of the selections? Have any titles been axed that you would have liked to see in the shortlist?