Shadowing The Bailey’s : Keep Calm And Carry On


The Bailey’s Prize long list has been revealed. Now all I have to do is read them all ahead of the announcement of the shortlist on April 13th . No biggie then !

Prior to the announcement, I had confidently and, as it turns out, arrogantly assumed that I would have already read at least half of all the books chosen.The judges, of course, had other ideas and have selected a varied and interesting collection of books.

Obviously there are the usual unexpected omissions ย – Jane Smiley and Marylinne Robinson to name but two Pulitzer prize winners; as well as All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews ,currently causing quite a stir and shortlisted for both the Folio and the Wellcome prizes. I could go on.

As it turns out, I have read only six of the long-listers already and only reviewed three on the blog : Elizabeth Is Missing; Crooked Heart and The Paying Guests. I suppose this is a good thing in some ways as it gives me ย time to write a few reviews while I get on with the easy task of reading 14 books in just under six weeks, still trying to work full time and have a social life.

I have decided to post only short reviews of the long listed books I read , possibly even two at a time. I will maybe post longer reviews once books are shortlisted – but I reserve the right to change my mind and do things completely differently . Your statutory rights are unaffected.

Secretly, I am very much looking forward to discussing , shouting about and flouncing out over the books with my fellow ‘Shadows’ – Naomi from ( @Frizbot) ; Antonia from ( @antonia_writes) ; Eric from lonesome ( @lonesomereader); Dan from (@utterbiblio) and Paola ( @paola_ruocco).

I had grown a little weary of blogging recently. Endless book reviews can become tedious to write as well as to read. This project has given me a fresh impetus. Thank you to Naomi for organising it ……………….and Ssssshhhhh!!!! I’m reading !



24 thoughts on “Shadowing The Bailey’s : Keep Calm And Carry On

  1. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will be shadowing the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize this year and the longlist of 15 books comes out on Thursday so I understand how you feel! As you say, keep calm and carry on – I look forward to your thoughts about the longlist ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Well I do know what you mean ….slightly gobsmacked about some that are NOT there. Having said that it IS a v diverse list ….with a couple of books I hadn’t even heard of . Don’t want to sound arrogant but I do read a lot !!! I am looking forward to it ….as well as feeling a bit overwhelmed !

  2. Wow good luck with that. I have read A God in every stone and am fully intending to read The Bees and Elizabeth is Missing. Several of the list I haven’t heard of I’m afraid.

  3. Bravo You! Yes, I noticed it a bit quiet over here, but knew you were reading as much as ever, probably more than ever, when not having to write about it all! Short reviews sounds like a good idea to get through the list, can’t wait for those glimpses into the very many I haven’t read!

  4. Full marks for making me chuckle this morning Helen: ‘but I reserve the right to change my mind and do things completely differently . Your statutory rights are unaffected’ … May adopt this as my mission statement as sums my erratic approach to reading & writing at the moment..

    Saw first review of The Bees yesterday and completely intrigued – look forward to your thoughts on that on, and others ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Tonight I’ve read of your sterling efforts with the Bailey’s list and elsewhere of others who are taking on the IFFP list – makes me think you should adopt the old advertising slogan for your blog that said something like “Working Hard So You Don’t Have To!’ Your energy and commitment in this is truly impressive – and puts me to shame – so hats off to you!

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