The Garden of Evening Mists


Bookermarks: 2013 Edition

Has it been a year already?  I feel like it’s only been a few weeks since we finished recording our final podcast, crossed our fingers in hopeful anticipation, and then openly wept when Deborah Levy lost the 2012 Man Booker Award.

Okay, fine.  Only one of us wept.

Still, the main thing we all agreed on at the end of the day was that any victory over Will Self would be enough to satisfy us.  Now here we all stand, about to unite for the second year of what is quickly becoming our annual tradition of passing judgment on all things Booker.  I’ve got a few new streamlined “rules” that we’re applying to this year’s proceedings that I need to get you up to speed on, but before I do, perhaps I should take a moment to catch you up on what each member of our crack team has been up to over the past year, and of course, introduce you all to our newest collaborator.


Book Review: 2012 Long Listed: Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis (Review #6)

Rating: 3.5
A Novel by Jeet Thayil
2012/292 Pages

When the Man Booker long list was released, I eagerly read the synopsis for each book and then listed them number one through twelve on a sheet of paper in the order in which I wanted to read them. Bringing Up the Bodies and Garden of Evening Mists topped my list of books I could not wait to read. Narcopolis was the very last book on my list. From the cover art to the description of the book, nothing attracted me to this book. I did not want to read it for any reason – ever; yet, it made the short list, so as part of the Bookermarks project, I would have to read it.  (more…)

Podcast #3: Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists

The_Garden_Of_Evening_MistsEpisode 3 is in the can and this time out we gathered online to discuss Tan Twan Eng’s novel The Garden of Evening Mists (well, all of us except Mike who was a no show, on Skype, but refusing to answer).

In this episode Aaron compares the quality of the novel to Aomame’s breasts, Michelle wonders if Japanese kamikaze pilots adhere to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, Karli considers the novel to be a tedious journey, Penny goes all Umbrella on us and talks about her gorgeous Penang catalog, Elizabeth searches Google for inappropriate tattoos, and Jackie chimes in near the end after fixing her dad’s computer to rehash everything we’ve already covered.

We’re now halfway through our podcasting adventure!  Over next several weeks well continue podcasting about the three remaining titles that are short listed for the 2012 Man Booker award. Look for us to tackle Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis early next week.


Podcast #2: Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies

Bring_Up_The_BodiesWe’re baaaaaack!  For episode number 2 we’ve chosen to discuss the only novel on the shortlist that we all fell in love with (well, all except Mike who we’re sure will, once he actually reads it), Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies.

In this episode, Mike admits that he’s still reading Wolf Hall, Karli reaffirms the royal belief that every sperm is sacred, Michelle wonders how much of the novel is fabrication vs. how much is fact, Aaron comes up with a better title for the book, Penny stacks Bodies up against The Other Boleyn Girl, and Elizabeth and Jackie share what makes the audiobook version a must listen.

Over next several weeks well continue podcasting about each of the titles that are short listed for the 2012 Man Booker award. Look for us to tackle Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists sometime next week.


The Man Booker 2012 Shortlist

ManBookerWe’re inching ever closer towards the crowning of a winner! Today the 6 novels that make up the 2012 Man Booker short list were revealed and we’ve compiled each of their full descriptions for you below on one easy to read page. In the end only one book can win and that announcement will occur on October 16th.

Over the course of the next 36 days we’ll be reading and reviewing all of the titles on the shortlist as we work towards crowning a winner of our own. We’ll also be discussing each title via podcasts, so keep checking back on a weekly basis so you can stay up to date with everything that’s happening in BookerMarks land!