Saturday, September 21

Jules' Book Reviews Prize

As I've said in the previous post, (you can find it here) I'm going to do my own "Giller Prize" although there's no prize, and it has nothing to do with the Giller prize, except the books that were also on the eligible book list for the Giller Prize. The last few years when they post the list of all of the eligible books, I go through and try to cut the list down to the books I'm interested in and I try to look for some books that might expand my reading comfort zones - although three year doing this, I still stick fairly close to my comforts, I have found some good reads. I've already weeded the books I want to read from 147 (141?) to 38. So, as I read the real Giller list, I'm going to try to do a Jules' Book Reviews version of it. Only, there is no real prize, but there are a handful of books, I think deserve some attention. I'm going to try to make a list of 13, I hope I can cut it down to that amount, and then later cut that list down to 5, like the real prize. And I'll aim to have it done by the end of October, early November. This should give me a lot to read, and something to read in-between waiting for the books from the real Giller list to come in at the Library (which, as it always happens to me, they all come in at the same time.)

Here's my list of books, it's harder than I thought to pick a list of 13 books. I had the 38 books I was interested and cut down to about 25 - which took no time, but then I had a lot of trouble cutting it down 13. Again, the hardest part, is basing it off first impression based of the summary blub of the book, but I did it. So, here's my list, and the reasons behind it are below.

- Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility by  Theodora Armstrong - 7.5/10 - My Review 
- The Lion Seeker by Kenneth Bonert
- The Luminaries by  Eleanor Catton
- The Empty Room by Lauren B Davis
- Beauty Beneath the Banyan by  Crystal Fletcher - 10/10 - My Review
- Under Budapest by  Ailsa Kay - 5/10 - My Review
- A Beautiful Truth by Colin McAdam - 4.5/10 - My Review
- Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz - 7/10 - My Review 
- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki - DNF
- Every Little Thing by Chad Pelley
- Rupert's Land by Meredith Quartermain
- In the Land of Birdfishes by  Rebecca Silver Slayter
- The Best Place on Earth by  Ayelet Tsabari - 9.25/10 - My Review

The Best Place on Earth by Ayelet Tsabari - I chose this one, because I've already started to read it, before they announced the list, and although I'm not finished, I love the collection of short stories. I'm surprised this one didn't make it on to the longlist because so far it's been a stunning collection of short stories. (Actually, in the time it has taken me to write the post, (days), I've almost finished the book. And it is well deserving to be on my list)

The Empty Room by Lauren B. Davis & Every Little Thing by Chad Pelley - Both of these authors I've read in the past, and both of the first books I've read by them were stunning. Lauren B. Davis' book I read last year (Our Daily Bread), which appeared on the 2012 Giller Longlist, was one of my favourite reads - it was also one of the books which surprised me the most on how much I enjoyed it.

In the Land of the Birdfishes by Rebecca Silver Slayter - This was one of the books that after reading the description, I immediately wanted to read it and own it. It's a book I am itching to read, so it's going on the list.

The Lion Seeker by Kenneth Bonert, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, A Beautiful Truth by Colin McAdam, Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz and A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki - These five books made the list because they seem to be highly talked about around the blogverse and book world. I've seen a lot of promotion for them aswell and on some other bloggers, authors lists who were guessing which books will make the cut, many of these were there. Others were also highly recommend or received rave reviews. There are one or two books on this list, that now looking at reviews and the plot a second and third time, that I'm unsure of are for me. But, books can surprise you.

Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility by Theodora Armstrong - Out of the short story collections I have on my list, this one stood out the most. So it made the cut.

Rupert's Land by Meredith Quartermain - I was trying to decide between this one and The Orenda, both look to be great reads. In the end, this one made the cut.

Beauty Beneath the Banyan by Crystal Fletcher and Under Budapest by Ailsa Kay - These were the last two books to be added to the list, and boy was it hard to condense the list down to 13. I of course haven't read any of the books yet, so I was doing purely on how much the plot description interested me. It was hard, but in the end, these two had the leg up above some of the others.

And there you have it, my own list. On top of the real list, and on top of all of the other books I plan on reading from now to the end of the year..... well, at least the library card will be well used. I hope the bookstore won't be too jealous.

I am interested in knowing what, if any, books would be on your own lists? Anyone have a different set of books? Or a book or four that aren't on my list, or the real list?

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