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Reading Salon: Booker Shortlist and Little Giant

The Sunday Salon.com

I have finished the review of The White Tiger but I have set my heart to read all five other books short-listed for this year’s Booker Prize to see how it measures up to the contenders.

Aravind Adiga The White Tiger (Atlantic) Winner
Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture (Faber and Faber)
Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies (John Murray)
Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs (Virago)
Philip Hensher The Northern Clemency (Fourth Estate)
Steve Toltz A Fraction of the Whole (Hamish Hamilton)

I have enjoyed The Glass Palace and In an Antique Land so I will begin with Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppins. At the bookstore I purchased a copy of The Secret Scripture, which will be my last book for the Man Booker Reading Challenge. Meanwhile a stream of ARCs will be feeding my bookish appetite. Right off the bat is a novel that features local San Francisco author publicity. The debut novel will be published on Januray 8, 2009.

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker is your typical Ugly Betty type of story, but with more consequence. When Truly Plaice’s mother was pregnant, the town of Aberdeen joined together in betting how recordbreakingly huge the baby boy would ultimately be. The girl who proved to be Truly paid the price of her enormity. Truly Plaise is born a giant. She is all about bumps and bulges, Her father blames her for her mother’s death in childbirth. The preacher’s wife believes she has got the making of Satan in her. The school teacher calls her a little giant. Her education is stalled before it even starts. While her remarkable size makes her the target of constant humiliation and curiosity, her sister Serena Jane is an epitome of feminine perfection. The book does not read like chick lit although the major characters are girls. Forty pages into this novel set in 1950s New England, I’m already in the thrall of this unique book endowed with a mesmerizing folkloric feel. Tiffany Baker’s writing is very lyrical.

By the way, I finally become a member of Goodreads! I have to search for my friends who are on it. Are you on Goodreads? Let’s take a head count.

27 Responses

  1. I am on goodreads. great way to keep track of my books. 🙂

  2. I look forward to reading your reviews of the books on the Booker shortlist. I think I’m only planning on reading The Secret Scripture so far.

    I’m on goodreads! I use it to keep track of my reading. I use LibraryThing to keep track of my buying. 🙂 I’ve found that goodreads is the easier to use.

  3. you do a great job of selling me on The Little Giant. I’ll have to start it soon! 🙂

  4. oh yeah- I’m on GoodReads under Boston Bibliophile 🙂

  5. I love the cover of The Little Giant! I would most definitely pick it up off the library or bookstore shelves to take an extra look.

    And I’m on goodreads! My username is estellasrevenge (no surprise there).

  6. The Little Giant book sounds wonderful. That is definitely on my list. By the way, I’m on GoodReads so let’s be friends 🙂

  7. Good for you having started this list! I am still lagging behind dreadfully and of course completely misjudged the longlist, expecting some of those to go forward that actually did not. Never mind. It keeps the tbr pile high and mighty. Interesting to know what you make of the others! Enjoy the reading.

  8. I recently acquired a copy of The White Tiger and am looking forward to reading it. I did read your review when you posted it–which I thank you for! I have The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry sitting on my TBR shelf as well, which sounds like it will be quite intriguing. Some of the other books sound really good as well. I hope you have a great week, Matt!

  9. Don’t know if you know me or not but I read your blog. I’m on goodreads as callista83 if you want to add me.

  10. I would live to read The Little Giant after reading your thoughts on the book. Good luck with your Booker Prize reads! Great idea!

  11. Both literary prizes this year, the Nobel prize for Literature and Man Booker Prize, seem to stir up a lot of noise and critics have flooded the art sections of most papers.

    I’m looking forward to reading The White Tiger after reading your thoughtful and detailed review. As for the rest of the titles, I might have to rely on your opinions, because I can never read as much as you do!

  12. Yay, I’m also on Goodreads, as – you never would have guessed it – tuesday 🙂

  13. mari:
    I heard from many of you that goodreads is easier to use than LT. I’m looking forward to building up my goodreads account. 🙂

  14. Jessica:
    I’ll read The Secret Scripture next and then Sea of Poppins. I’m not under the pressure to whittle this list but I’m very curious to see how The White Tiger measures up to them. 🙂

  15. Marie:
    I hope you enjoy The Little Giant. We can compare notes! 🙂

  16. Andi:
    You’ll have to mark The Little Giant down. It’s scheduled to release on January 9, 2009. Better get in the queue if you’re checking from the library! 🙂

  17. Iliana:
    I’ll add you on goodreads for sure. 🙂 I’m halfway through The Little Giant and this is getting very interesting.

  18. seachanges:
    Salmon Rushie has made the longlist but I haven’t intended to read that one. The short-list looks pretty interesting and promising. I’m very curious to read them and see how they compare to one another.

  19. Literary Feline:
    Thank you Wendy. I recommend The White Tiger which requires a right mood to read. I wasn’t really in the mood when I first started but once I’ve got over the first chapter the story began to hook on me. 🙂

  20. callista83:
    Thank you so much. I have recognized you from a comment in the past. I’ll add you to my goodreads list. 🙂

  21. Lisa:
    It won’t be long until I finish The Little Giant. 🙂 Booker Prize books are usually up my alley. They’re not as obscure (and unheard of) as the Nobel Prize winners!

  22. John:
    Thank you. You’re always so kind and sweet! I agree with your verdict on the literary prizes this year. JM Le Clezio is a surprise because I haven’t heard of him until the day the Swedish Academy announced the winner.

  23. tuesday:
    Thank you tuesday. I’ll add you to my contact. 🙂

  24. I’m listed under AngieN. I’m glad you finally joined. 🙂

  25. I tend to think the Nobel Prize preponderates on politics, as if the Swedish Academy is making sure that every country is getting the sweets.

  26. Angie:
    Thanks Angie. I’ll add everyone all at once! See you at Goodreads! 🙂

  27. John:
    Oh yes and they don’t like Americans! The honorary secretary said in an interview that American literature is too insular.

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