And Yet Another Man Booker Reading List

by

Krishna from S.Krishna’s Books, and Nidhi and Veens over at Giving…Reading a Chance have compiled a nice list of Booker award winners and nominees of the past 20 years. This being Booker season, and somewhat in continuation of my earlier post, I am happily including their list here crossing off the books I have read. The books in bold are the Man Booker winners.

So, without further ado, here is the list:

Best of the Booker:

  • Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie – Finally crossed this off my list. Here’s my review.
  • The Siege of Krishnapur – J.G. Farrell
  • The Conservationist – Nadine Gordimer
  • Oscar and Lucinda – Peter Carey
  • The Ghost Road – Pat Barker
  • Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee

2016:

  • The Sellout – Paul Beatty
  • Hot Milk – Deborah Levy
  • His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet
  • Eileen – Ottessa Moshfegh
  • All That Man is – David Szalay
  • Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien

2015:

  • A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James – Brutal, crazy, sex, drugs, and rock n roll style of novel. Not an easy book to read, but well worth the effort. Review here.
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • A Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler
  • Satin Island – Tom McCarthy
  • The Fishermen – Chigozie Obioma
  • The Year of the Runaways – Sunjeev Sahota – Not one of my more memorable books. I liked it, all right, but in style, it was a bit too pedantic for me. Review here.

2014:

  • How to be Both – Ali Smith
  • J – Howard Jacobson – Very unusual love story set in a dystopian world. Loved the love story, the dystopia not so much. Overall, a disappointment. My review here.
  • To Rise Again at a Decent Hour – Joshua Ferris
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler
  • The Lives of Others – Neel Mukherjee – Beautifully written historical fiction. I liked it but thought it was a bit too slow and scattered. My review here.
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan – A little up and down in the beginning, but once the story gets going, it is a great, powerful, and moving read.

2013:

  • A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki Well-written, intelligent book, but in the end it all felt a bit too much. Still a very good read. Here’s my review.
  • Harvest – Jim Crace
  • The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri – Lovely writing, cliched plot. Loved it anyway. My review here.
  • The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
  • The Testament of Mary – Colm Toibin
  • We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo A lovely but uneven book. Loved it despite its flaws. My review here

2012:

  • The Garden of Evening Mists – Tan Twan Eng Lovely book. Highly recommend. Sad but still uplifting. My review here
  • Swimming Home – Deborah Levy
  • Bring up the Bodies – Hilary Mantel Fast-paced and enthralling. I loved this insight into Anne Boleyn’s downfall. Review here.
  • The Lighthouse – Alison Moore
  • Umbrella – Will Self
  • Narcopolis – Jeet Thayil

2011:

  • The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes Enjoyable book with some lovely writing. My review here.
  • Jamrach’s Menagerie – Carol Birch
  • The Sisters Brothers – Patrick deWitt
  • Half Blood Blues – Esi Edugyan
  • Pigeon English – Stephen Kelman
  • Snowdrops – A.D. Miller

2010:

  • Parrot and Olivier in America – Peter Carey
  • Room – Emma Donoghue. I think I liked the idea of the book more than the book itself. Somehow, I wasn’t quite convinced of the tone of the book (aka the childspeak). I am probably in the minority though, as most people who read this book seem to have loved it. Review here.
  • In a Strange Room – Damon Galgut
  • The Finkler Question – Howard Jacobson
  • The Long Song – Andrea Levy
  • C – Tom McCarthy

2009:

  • Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel Thoroughly enjoyed this slow meditative account of Thomas Cromwell. Can’t wait to get started with the next book in the series. My review here
  • Summertime – J.M. Coetzee
  • The Quickening Maze – Adam Foulds
  • The Children’s Book – A.S. Byatt
  • The Glass Room – Simon Mawer
  • The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters. Very nice book. Atmospheric and spooky. But quality-wise, I am a bit surprised it made it to the Man Booker shortlist. My review here.

2008:

  • The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga Nice powerful novel, one of the few Man Booker award winners I whole-heartedly enjoyed. My review here
  • The Secret Scripture – Sebastian Barry
  • Sea of Poppies – Amitav Ghosh
  • The Clothes on Their Backs – Linda Grant
  • The Northern Clemency – Philip Hensher
  • A Fraction of the Whole – Steve Toltz

2007:

  • The Gathering – Anne Enright Very dark and depressing. A novel about alcoholism, child abuse, and suicide. Not for the easily depressed. Lovely writing though!
  • Darkmans – Nicola Barker
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Mohsin Hamid
  • Mister Pip – Lloyd Jones
  • On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan Lovely little gem of a book. Ignore the so-so reviews on the web and read it yourself. You just might like it. I know I loved it. My review here
  • Animal’s People – Indra Sinha

2006:

  • The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai Nice moving story with a lot of depth, beautiful descriptions, made me want to move to the Himalayas.
  • The Secret River – Kate Grenville
  • Carry Me Down – M.J. Hyland
  • In the Country of Men – Hisham Matar
  • Mother’s Milk – Edward St. Aubyn
  • The Night Watch – Sarah Waters Beautifully written, atmospheric chronicle of the lives of four people in Britain during and after World War 2. My review here.

2005:

  • The Sea – John Banville
  • Arthur and George – Julian Barnes
  • A Long, Long Way – Sebastian Barry
  • Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro One of my faves. I was bawling like a baby by the time I finished this book.
  • On Beauty – Zadie Smith Comme ci, comme ca…nothing exceptional, but not boring either.
  • The Accidental – Ali Smith

2004:

  • The Line of Beauty – Alan Hollinghurst
  • Bitter Fruit – Achmat Dangor
  • The Electric Michelangelo – Sarah Faber
  • Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  • The Master – Colm Toibin
  • I’ll Go To Bed At Noon – Gerard Woodward

2003:

  • Vernon God Little – DBC Pierre
  • Brick Lane – Monica Ali
  • Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood. Not one of my favorite Atwoods. I would have preferred the book to also answer the questions it raises. Review here.
  • The Good Doctor – Damon Galgut
  • Notes on a Scandal – Zoe Heller
  • Astonishing Splashes of Color – Claire Morrall

2002:

  • Life of Pi – Yann Martel Overhyped novel, but still a really fun read with a surprising ending that makes you reflect a bit. I think everyone who reads this novel has a different take on it.
  • Family Matters – Rohinton Mistry
  • Unless – Carol Shields
  • The Story of Lucy Gault – William Trevor
  • Fingersmith – Sarah Waters Fun lesbian romp through Victorian England. Lots of Dickensian and Wilkie influences. Highly enjoyable.
    My review here.
  • Dirt Music – Tom Winton

2001:

  • True History of the Kelly Gang – Peter Carey
  • Atonement – Ian McEwan Crossed this off my list last year. My review here
  • Oxygen – Andrew Miller
  • number9dream – David Mitchell
  • The Dark Room – Rachel Seiffert
  • Hotel World – Ali Smith

2000:

  • The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood This is one book I just didn’t get. I managed to complete it, but could just never put it together in my mind. To be honest, I didn’t care enough to even try.
  • The Hiding Place – Trezza Azzopardi
  • The Keepers of the Truth – Michael Collins
  • When We Were Orphans – Kazuo Ishiguro
  • English Passengers – Matthew Kneale
  • The Deposition of Father McGreevy – Brian O’Doherty

1999:

  • Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee
  • Fasting, Feasting – Anita Desai
  • Headlong – Michael Frayn
  • The Map of Love – Ahdaf Soueif
  • The Blackwater Lightship – Colm Toibin
  • Our Fathers – Andrew O’Hagan

1998:

  • Amsterdam – Ian McEwan
  • Master Georgie – Beryl Bainbridge
  • England England – Julian Barnes
  • The Industry of Souls – Martin Booth
  • Breakfast on Pluto – Patrick McCabe
  • The Restraint of Beasts – Magnus Mills

1997:

  • The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy Very nice and moving book. I loved the doomed love story.
  • Quarantine – Jim Crace
  • The Underground Man – Mick Jackson
  • Grace Notes – Bernard MacLaverty
  • Europa – Tim Parks
  • The Essence of the Thing – Madeleine St. John

1996:

  • Last Orders – Graham Swift
  • Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
  • Every Man for Himself – Beryl Bainbridge
  • Reading in the Dark – Seamus Deane
  • The Orchard on Fire – Shena Mckay
  • A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

1995:

  • The Ghost Road – Pat Barker
  • In Every Face I Met – Justin Cartwright
  • The Moor’s Last Sigh – Salman Rushdie Not Salman Rushdie’s best. Enjoyed it, but if you have never read Rushdie, this is not the book to start off with.
  • Morality Play – Barry Unsworth
  • The Riders – Tim Winton

1994:

  • How Late It Was, How Late – James Kelman
  • Beside the Ocean of Time – George Mackay Brown
  • Reef – Romesh Gunesekera
  • Paradise – Abdulrazak Gurnah
  • The Folding Star – Alan Hollinghurst
  • Knowledge of Angels – Jill Paton Walsh

1993:

  • Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha – Roddy Doyle
  • Under the Frog – Tibor Fischer
  • Scar Tissue – Michael Ignatieff
  • Remembering Babylon – David Malouf
  • Crossing the River – Caryl Phillip
  • The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields

1992:

  • The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje – Whew, finally done with this book. Lovely writing but overall surprisingly uneven. My review here
  • Sacred Hunger – Barry Unsworth
  • Serenity House – Christopher Hope
  • The Butcher Boy – Patrick McCabe
  • Black Dogs – Ian McEwan
  • Daughters of the House – Michele Roberts

1991:

  • The Famished Road – Ben Okri
  • Time’s Arrow – Martin Amis
  • The Van – Roddy Doyle
  • Such a Long Journey – Rohinton Mistry
  • The Redundancy of Courage – Timothy Mo
  • Reading Turgenev (from Two Lives) – William Tevor

1990:

  • Possession – A.S. Byatt
  • An Awfully Big Adventure – Beryl Bainbridge
  • The Gate of Angels – Penelope Fitzgerald
  • Amongst Women – John McGahern
  • Lies of Silence – Brian Moore
  • Soloman Gursky Was Here – Mordecai Richler

And that’s it folks! Looks like I have read only a handful 🙁

I was quite surprised to realize that not only were most of the books unknown to me but also most of the authors.

Huge reading gaps!!

Oh well, that just means more books left for me to read right? 🙂

So, what do you think about reading Man Bookers, do you think it is your kind of reading? Or are you left frequently underwhelmed? My experiences have been pretty mixed. Some good, some ok, and some were what the hell were they thinking?

Which is your fave Man Booker novel? Which one did you loathe?

If you’d like to take this meme, feel free to post about it in your blog and link to me.

34 Responses
  • Nidhi Pande
    July 25, 2016

    Love this list! And you’re so right, we are unaware of so many great authors and possible great books ❤

    • Nishita
      July 25, 2016

      @nidhi_pande:disqus yeah, I am reading last year’s Booker winner – A Brief History of Seven Killings, and I would never have picked it up normally, or even have heard of it. Because of the Booker prize, it’s so easily available here. And it’s one awesome novel so far 🙂

  • guiltlessreading
    October 9, 2014

    I’ve read 9 and was shocked that I’d actually read that many! If you haven’t yet tried Ian McEwan (and he shows up quite a bit here), I suggest you try him!

    I have been thinking of stopping with blog tours to get lots of backlisted books – including some select Bookers – read but I always get waylaid!

  • Five-Eyed Bookworm
    January 8, 2014

    Another book in my TBR list for this year. Have you watched the movie?

  • Keri B.
    October 21, 2013

    I’ve read 14 of these — and I find that Man Booker works are usually great. I mean, even the ones I don’t personally care for as much I still recognize as being great. I’m kind of surprised Time’s Arrow is on there. I liked it, but it doesn’t seem like it’s quite in the same league as the rest of the list. It’s about this guy who is trapped in another guy’s body and living life in reverse. Oh, and the body he’s trapped in is that of a Nazi.

    • Nish
      October 22, 2013

      @Keri: Same here. I don’t always love them, but they’re almost always worth reading. I haven’t heard much about Time’s Arrow. Sounds like a weird sort of book.

  • I’ve read amazingly few of these. Some of them I crossed off my list a while ago for various reasons, and some of them I’m ashamed to say I’ve never even heard of.

    • Nish
      July 15, 2013

      @Jenny: Same here. I’ve read precious few of these. I am not much for reading lists, but Man Booker books usually tend to work for me, especially when they are based in countries I know very little about.

  • Avada Kedavra
    July 12, 2013

    I have read very few from this list. 🙁

    • Nish
      July 15, 2013

      @Ava: So have I 🙂

  • Fake Watches Outlet
    June 27, 2013

    Thanks for the comment. I just got online for the first time 2 monthsago. I am an addict, but enjoying the new found discovery. Thanks again.

  • VIKRAM ROY
    December 1, 2012

    Nish I see you have crossed 13 when I read only 9 out of your list, thanks! 🙂

    • Nish
      December 1, 2012

      @Vikram: Cool 🙂

  • Chinoiseries
    August 1, 2012

    I don’t recognise that many titles from this list, not even all the winners are familiar to me :s I’m not sure whether I’m going to read all of them, including the nominated books. What about you?

    The White Tiger and The God of Small things are my favourites. Inheritance of Loss was alright, but it somehow didn’t grab me.

    I’ve started the audio version of The Satanic Verses (and temporarily abandoned Midnight Children before that), and I’ve decided that despite Salman Rushdie’s writing talents, I prefer my books to veer off course a little less. Wolf Hall and Life of Pi are on my to-read list 🙂

    • Nish
      August 1, 2012

      @Chinoiseries: Great to hear from another book blogger who hasn’t read Wolf Hall. I keep meaning to read it and then get sidetracked with something else altogether.

      I didn’t much care for The Inheritance of Loss either, I couldn’t relate. Life of Pi is a nice and easy read.

  • dmanji
    October 13, 2009

    Actually I too have read only a handful of them 🙁 . Your list is a reference point for me for future reads 😀 quite useful…

    • Nish
      October 13, 2009

      Thanks…glad to be of use 🙂

  • sumanam
    October 8, 2009

    Oh my Goodness!!!! I have to hurry, so many books left to read!!!!!!! I just did review of Ian McEwan’s “Atonement” in my blog ,here is the link:(http://sumanam.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/atonement-by-ian-mcewan-a-review/)
    and Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children”, here is the link:
    http://sumanam.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/salman-rushdies-midnights-children-a-review/
    Thanks for the list.

  • Erratico
    October 8, 2009

    New blogger. Was at blog adda adding my blog to the list there when I saw yours. 😀

  • Erratico
    October 8, 2009

    This is one overwhelming list.

    There is so much to read. But thank you for putting this up on you blog. I am going to dig into the rest of you blog now.

    Keep writing.

    • Nish
      October 8, 2009

      Thank you for visiting and commenting 🙂 Just curious, how did you hit upon my blog?

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