Orange Prize. Clearly, when I commit to something, I have a harder time getting to it. Must have something to do with write-it-down-file-it-away, like the Archive button in Google emails. (Next time, I really want to do a challenge, I'll remember not to join it.) But now I have a chance for redemption, for proving that I can stick to a challenge, an awesome challenge, that too. The Magic Lasso is hosting the Orange July project next month. Since the Orange Prize winner was just announced, and I came across several amazing posts on the nominated books, I'm extra eager to read them.
I have quite a good bunch of books that I own at present or received for review, and those are most likely my first priority, before I head with my wallet to the bookstore. I know I won't get to all of them in any probability, but I like to have a list of possibilities and pick from them what I'm in mood for. Here's what I have on my shelves, listed in the order of most-likely-to-read to least-likely. If there's any book in the list that you absolutely loved or any that didn't live much of an impression, let me know. I may do some more tossing up of this list.
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin (Orange Prize, 2011 longlist): This book has been teasing me for the past one year. On the one hand, it has got a fabulous cover. On the other, all that I heard about this book so far have been really intriguing me.
Annabel by Kathleen Winter (Orange Prize, 2011 shortlist): I picked this one a few months back, when this standout cover with its brilliant hues of blue and black caught me. Then, its synopsis turned to be fascinating. One of my online book groups is reading this next month, which has me excited for some awesome discussion.
The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey (Orange Prize, 2010 shortlist): I had requested this one on Netgalley at some undetermined time, and soon forgot about it. Then, one of my friends (who never used to read), was swooning over this book. He insisted that I read. Choosing not to tease him about finally picking a book to read (we all need readers, right?), I decided this was something I could read for Orange July.
Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch (Orange Prize, 2011 longlist): I was interested in this book even before it got the Orange stamp on it. It's not usually a premise I read - animals and the wild and sea adventures. But I still loved the sound of it. I had planned to read this one in June but I never got to it yet.
A Mercy by Toni Morrison (Orange Prize, 2009 longlist): I found this book in the Bargains section of my local Barnes & Noble. I hadn't known at the time that this was on the Orange Prize longlist. I took it mainly because I had heard aplenty of Toni Morrison's books and I figured this may be a good place to start.
Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (Orange Prize, 2010 shortlist): I won this one on Helen's blog last year and never got to it yet, even though it sounded awesome. You know how that goes. I wonder if I knew then that this was on the shortlist last year. Maybe I did. But I was nevertheless very surprised when I rechecked the complete shortlist and found this one on it.
Home by Marilynne Robinson (Orange Prize, 2009 winner): This is another wonderful discovery from a bargain bin in New York. At the time I hadn't heard of this book but I loved the cover and every thing about it seemed to scream literary fiction. Someday I would also love to read her more renowned, Pulitzer prize winning Gilead, which many have recommended to me.
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (Orange Prize, 2010 winner): This is another author that every one has read but me. And I know that my likelihood of reading this one is low, which means I'm still going to remain in the haven't-read-this-author-yet group. My excuse is that it's huge. I will mostly need a readalong for this one.
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Orange Prize, 2011 longlist): Unless I do read this one right away, I know that I may never get to it any time soon. I read a couple of chapters and didn't connect with the book at all. It is not terrible but it isn't standing out. Besides, I am no music fan - all those music band references and the effect of song on people are just swimming at the edge of my consciousness. What a pity, because I wanted to check out that powerpoint chapter.
And so, two winners, three books from the shortlists, and four from the longlists later, I have a structure. I only just realized that I have no books from before 2009. I may have to snag some of those later.
Any particular book that I should bump to the top or the bottom?