Well, the longlist has been announced, and I am underwhelmed. But before we get into that, here it is:
- Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith
- Careless by Kirsty Capes
- Creatures of Passage by Morowa Yejidé
- Flamingo by Rachel Elliott
- Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
- Remote Sympathy by Catherine Chidgey
- Salt Lick by Lulu Allison
- Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason
- The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
- The Bread the Devil Knead by Lisa Allen-Agostini
- The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson
- The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton
- The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
- The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
- The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
- This One Sky Day by Leone Ross
Some stats to start off with—as always, let me know if you spot any errors:
New Zealand: 1
New Zealand/Australia: 1
White authors: 8
Authors of color: 8
I got 2 predictions correct: Great Circle and This One Sky Day.
I’ve only read one book: Great Circle, 4 stars.
Here’s where I usually go through the books one at a time and give you a reaction per title, but honestly I can’t be bothered, because half of these books I’d never even heard of until today, and the ones I had heard of, I hadn’t been particularly interested in reading. After reading through all of these summaries, nothing really leaps out at me either. So, here’s what I’m thinking…
Will prioritize: Build Your House Around My Body, Salt Lick because I got roped into a group read, Sorrow and Bliss, Creatures of Passage
Maybe: Remote Sympathy, The Book of Form and Emptiness, The Bread the Devil Knead, The Exhibitionist, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, The Island of Missing Trees, The Paper Palace, This One Sky Day
Probably not: Flamingo, Careless, The Sentence
This list just feels bland and commercial and uninspiring to me, on the whole. That said, it’s much more diverse than last year’s list, so that’s the good news. And who knows, maybe there will be a couple of hidden gems in here.
How do you guys feel about this year’s longlist?