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Fiction Awards

Old Filth by Jane Gardam

Old Filth by Jane GardamA member of an on-line book club I use highly recommended The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam, a novel which I had not previously come across. When I asked for some further info about it she suggested I read Old Filth first. Although The Man in the Wooden Hat is not strictly a sequel, Old Filth does provide a lot of background story and shares some characters.

I’m not quite sure how I have managed to completely miss Old Filth as it has been out since 2004 and appears to be well regarded (shortlisted for the 2005 Orange Prize for example) but it somehow managed to slip under my radar. Anyway, it turned out to be an excellent recommendation and I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.

Read on for a full review…

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The Stars in the Bright Sky by Alan Warner

2010 has seen me become a huge admirer of Alan Warner, after reading his excellent Sopranos I recently finished  The Stars in the Bright Sky. Sopranos was a difficult act to follow, but he has managed in my opinion to go one better than the earlier book, developing the characters and raising the bar even higher with the humour. The panel of the 2010 Man Booker Prize obviously thought so too, as it made it onto this year’s longlist.

So long as you are not too easily outraged, this is one very funny novel, and I am most definitely looking forward to Alan Warner’s next.

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2010 Costa Book Awards Shortlists

Costa Book AwardsThe shortlists for the 2010 Costa Book Awards have just been announced. Really pleased to see that Skippy Dies made it onto the shortlist particularly after not making the cut on this year’s Man Booker Prize.

I’ve yet to read any of the others in the two main categories of interest to Novel Suggestions – Costa First Novel Award and Costa Novel Award – but I’ve listed them below for you to investigate further.

The Costa Awards do seem to turn up some great books, and I’m particularly interested in some of the Indian authors in the first novel category.

Amazon.com Link Amazon.co.uk Link
Costa First Novel Award
Kishwar Desai Witness the Night Witness the Night
Nikesh Shukla Coconut Unlimited Coconut Unlimited
Aatish Taseer The Temple-Goers The Temple-Goers
Simon Thirsk Not Quite White Not Quite White
Costa Novel Award
Louise Doughty Whatever You Love Whatever You Love
Nigel Farndale The Blasphemer The Blasphemer
Maggie O’Farrell The Hand That First Held Mine The Hand That First Held Mine
Paul Murray Skippy Dies Skippy Dies

If you have already read any of the above titles I’d love to hear your opinion, so please leave a comment below to let us know how you got on with them.

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

Skippy Dies by Paul MurrayI’m slowly but surely working my way through most of the 2010 Man Booker Prize Long List and am so pleased that I got hold of a copy of Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies early on in my quest. It’s a fabulous piece of work and thoroughly deserving of its place on this year’s Booker Long List. With my appetite for Paul’s writing now well and truly whetted, I look forward to getting a copy of his first novel An Evening of Long Goodbyes as soon as I possibly can.

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