Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Choosing a book

Book group met on Monday evening but sadly, due to a diary mess-up with B husband, BM could not attend.   As happens sometimes, the meeting broke up without an agreement about what's next on the reading list.  Yesterday, following discussion by email we settled on 'Netherland' by Joseph O'Neill, a book beloved by everyone I know who has already read it. 

In discussion of what to read next, I was reminded of something I read once, possibly by a wine expert, that when looking at prize-winners, it's often best to go for the 2nd prize-winner as opposed to the 1st: the rationale being that the winner is often (but not always) a compromise whereas 2nd & 3rd will have been passionately supported/loved by some judges.  

This arose because one of the Bermondsey readers suggested Barbara Kingsolver's Orange Prize-winning book 'The Lacuna' but like the wise and wonderful Norman Geras, I have to admit I was surprised to hear of Kingsolver's win.   If you follow the link, you will see that Norman has good reason to suspect that the Orange prize judges may not simply have chosen the winner because they believed it to be the best in show.

Full disclosure - I have read none of the shortlisted titles, but once again B husband (yes, he reads a lot) had read and admired 'Wolf Hall' (indeed has pressed BM to suggest it or 'A Place of Greater Safety' to the book group) and of course it won the Booker Prize.    (Does that defeat the hypothesis  set out above ?  Oops... )

No comments:

Post a Comment