You may or may not have seen the Baileys Women’s Prize for fiction shortlist was released yesterday (if you haven’t where on earth have you been?). You can check out a recap of the six books that made it here – along with my personal take on the announcement.
Stay With Me
I read this as an ARC back in Feb (check out my review) and loved it. This made me immediately biased so it obviously went straight on to my fantasy shortlist. It is the only one of the six that I have already read – typical!
This one came out of nowhere for me – I hadn’t even looked at it as a contender because I had never heard of it. Yet this proves that ignorance is no excuse and I will definitely learn to pay more attention than the book at the end of my nose.
I’m so excited to read this as I have heard nothing but wonderful things. The premise is right up my street – what if women have the power? It feels timely, relevant and it got high praise from Margaret Atwood so really it better not disappoint now.
Sport of Kings
While it didn’t make my fantasy shortlist, I had a feeling that this type of book might have made it on to the shortlist – this and Barkskins both seem to be attempts at the Great American Novel. I’m really into American literature, particularly when influenced by rural life and it is such a male dominated genre that a woman’s take might be refreshing.
The Dark Circle
It doesn’t surprise me that this made the shortlist, with the author a previous winner it was always an contender. The story seems interesting but I didn’t have it down as a must-read. With a constantly growing TBR it might be an audiobook listen, but I’m keen to see what it is all about.
Do Not Say We Have Nothing
This has been on my TBR since it was nominated for the Man Booker and thankfully the Baileys Prize is giving me the perfect excuse to read it. I’m keen to explore a novel that is set within such a different culture and it’s epic nature definitely makes it a formidable rival.
So all in all this was an interesting shortlist! Three of the books I has predicted/hoped for on my fantasy list: Stay With Me, The Power, and Do Not Say We Have Nothing while one was a total surprise. I was a little surprised that neither of the more commercial books from Perry or Flint made it, and I was disappointed that The Lesser Bohemians didn’t because I loved it. However, I’m quite glad the list is not exactly what I hoped for because I’m going to read those anyway and the prize is helping me to push my boundaries and discover new things. Time-permitting I’m hoping to get through a decent chunk of this list ready to do a more informed look at who I’d place my bets on before the announcement.