It’s the end of September, kids are back in school, and my mental countdown to Halloween is almost at an end. October not only brings the greatest global holiday of them all (in my opinion); it brings us the 2016 Man Booker Prize, i.e. ‘the best book of the year’.
So, here are the contenders (shortlisted books in bold):
J.M. Coetzee’s The Schooldays of Jesus
A.L. Kennedy’s Serious Sweet
Ian McGuire’s The North Water
David Means’ Hystopia
Wyl Menmuir’s The Many
Virginia Reeves’ Work Like Any Other
Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton
Paul Beatty’s The Sellout
Ottessa Moshfegh’s Eileen
Deborah Levy’s Hot Milk
Madeleine Thein’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing
David Szalay’s All That Man Is
Graeme Macrae Burnett’s His Bloody Project
In my completely uneducated and wholly amatuer opinion, the ‘best book of the year’ should be the book that really got under your skin, that really left an impression with you. Since thirteen books is a bit much for one review post, I’ll cover the stories that stood out for me, for better or for worse. Any books that I’ve left out you can assume were a solid ‘meh’.