NoViolet Bulawayo

Booker_Conversations

2013 Booker Conversations: And Our Winner Is…

Booker_ConversationsThe 2013 Booker Conversations is a series of in-depth, spoiler-free discussions between BookerMarks bloggers about this year’s nominated titles.

Today, we all join forces one final time to weigh in on who we’re each pulling for to win the prize tomorrow and we reveal who our collective winner is, as calculated by our shortlist standings rating system.

Aaron Westerman is Opinionless. Except of course when it comes to books or movies. He’s the co-founder of Typographical Era where he blogs on a regular basis about the latest in translated literature, foreign cinema, and more.

Karli Cude, co-founder of Typographical Era, is an avid reader and former bookseller. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in English Literature in 2010 and recently received a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences.

Michelle Williams is an avid “reader” of books and a “rider” of bicycles. When she is not cycling you can catch her reading and when she is not reading, well, she is probably pedaling about somewhere. Her blog, A Reader and A Rider journals her reviews of literary fiction.

Penny Kollar is 1/3 of the Literary Hoarders that works in research administration by day and dreams often of reading and working amongst books full time.

Jackie Hirst is a book freak and a Duran Duran enthusiast.  She’s also 1/3 of the Literary Hoarders.

Elizabeth Polachok is 1/3 of Literary Hoarders, and works in television.  She’ll still tell you to shut off the TV and pick up a book though.

Mike Cohen sometimes sails historic ships in New York Harbor, jockeys a computer other times, and blogs nearly never at 40gigsandamule.com.

Jennifer Fliss is The Well Read Fish.  She’s an avid reader, writer, runner, and has been known to do the flying trapeze (completely true). In addition to literary treats and reviews, The Well Read Fish likes to pair like books with like books, be it by subject, style, setting . . . The Well Read Fish is a New York fish living in Seattle, loving it and occasionally struggling with it.

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We_Need_New_Names

Podcast #12: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

We_Need_New_NamesWe’re getting there!

This is the sixth podcast this year, and the fifth discussion dedicated specifically to chatting about one of the finalists.  That means we’ve got just one podcast left to eek out after this, and if you’ve been keeping track at home, you know that we’re doing it just like mama always said.  That’s right, when you’ve got the cat by its balls, you save it for last.

In this episode Aaron sings a little song he wrote about the book, Jackie reveals that she actually finished listening to it before the recording (!), Karli tries to get her geometry homework done, and Michelle shockingly admits for the first time ever that she thinks that The Luminaries should win the prize and that Life After Life should have at least made the longlist.

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2013 Shortlisted: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo #4

We_Need_New_NamesRating: 2
We Need New Names

A Novel by NoViolet Bulawayo
2013 / 304 Pages

NoVoilet Bulawayo’s Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel starts off with a lot of promise compared to some of this year’s other contenders.  It is immediately readable with a storyline that promises poignancy and individuality, but like so many other 2013 MBP nominees, We Need New Names ultimately disappoints.

Our narrator, Darling, is ten years old and living in her home country of Zimbabwe when the story opens.  While she and her friends spend their days stealing guavas and wandering the streets, they all long for something more.  Even amidst poverty, hunger, and disease, Darling and her friends are deeply aware of what they’re missing out on.  When they think of America and Western life, they think of Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, and Lamborghinis.  But as Darling soon finds out, American life isn’t all glitz and glamour.

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We_Need_New_Names

2013 Shortlisted: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo #3

We_Need_New_NamesRating: 1
We Need New Names
A Novel by NoViolet Bulawayo

2013 / 304 Pages

Kaka

We all have problems.  I get that.  As adults it’s much easier to get caught in the trap of complaining about any given hardship that we encounter or bump in the road that we might face than it is to work towards a realistic solution to whatever the source of our current woe might be.  We’re only human.  We often get stuck in endless cycles of bad behavior, unable to rescue ourselves for torments that are mostly of our own creation.  Sometimes we fail.  Other times we succeed.  Both the highs and the lows can be wild, emotional roller coasters.

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Harvest

2013 Shortlisted: Harvest by Jim Crace #3

HarvestRating: 4
Harvest
By Jim Crace
2013 / 224 Pages

The promise of a man

It’s a curious thing, the way one can attempt to trace the threads that bind together each batch of six novels that are annually shortlisted for the United Kingdom’s prestigious Man Booker Prize.  Sometimes, like last year, the connections are devastatingly obvious:  Harold Fry, Futh, and Kitty Finch are all restless, misunderstood souls?  You don’t say!

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Why_It_Will_Win

Why it Will Win: The Kills by Richard House

Why_It_Will_WinOver the course of the next eight days, leading up the Man Booker shortlist announcement on September 10th, each one of our eight bloggers will champion a different nominated title and explain Why it Will Win the coveted prize.

Today, Aaron explains why he’s 100% certain that Richard House’s The Kills will be crowned the victor on October 15th.

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