I have failed in my quest

I have almost certainly failed in my quest to read all of the Booker Shortlist by the time they announce the winner tomorrow night.

Or at least, I might be able to finish them, if I decided to stop work at my clients and take the rest of the afternoon off..and tomorrow. If I don’t go to a PCA Briefing and the PCA Reception at the National Liberal Club with Nick Clegg this evening. If in addition, I didn’t undertake the short listing of applications for a Deputy Headship that I need to do as a Governor of a primary school, or not complete the Communications Grid for the Bromley Community Engagement Forum that as Chair of the Communications Working Group I need to put in place and definitely not attend a meeting to plan our Bromley Youth Conference or attend another meeting to agree the process for the assessment centre of our new Deputy Head.

OK, so it’s a particularly busy 48 hours; still, If I just stopped and didn’t do any of it then I might just be able to squeeze in finishing the very, very amusing ‘A Fraction of the Whole’ by Steve Toltz that I am currently reading and blast my way through Philip Hensher’s Booker offering, which I am still to actually purchase if truth be told.

I’m a very speedy reader, you see. So if I just stopped everything else and read for a day and a half I’d be able to do it. Or would I? Because frankly, the Steve Totlz book is very funny and often profound and I have developed the, no doubt, highly irritating habit of reading out large chunks to my partner. It is a ‘laugh out loud book’ and I am not generally a laugh out loud kind of reader (apart from Jane Austen – she can make me laugh out loud).

I feel guilty that I haven’t got around to Philip Hensher though…I will, I promise after this one. But by then I will know whether I am reading a winner or just a short listed.

So, all in all, it’s been a very interesting and pleasant failure. The short list was really, really good this year and the judges have done an excellent job. My favourite so far is still Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh but it really has been a very hard choice and I have enjoyed every one of the books. There is more to this attempt to reading the whole shortlist than just being a literary pseud, honest!


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