Baileys Longlist 2016: waking up

baileysprize2016Enough nickle and diming the longlisters of 2016. At this rate I’ll never get through introducing them, much less narrowing down my list of must-find-and-read-no-matter -how-much-sleep-I-must-lose-in-the-process.

Because you can always sleep when you’re dead, am I right? Not while there are books you’re still alive to read.


“…there will be sleeping

enough in the grave….”

  • Ben Franklin

“I’ve visited his grave, and he’s not kidding. There’s really not much going on there.”

  • Lisa Guidarini


There are TEN debut novels on the Baileys Longlist this year. T-E-N. While I’ve been piddling my way through, barfing up blog posts at midnight just to get something out there about this list, as if I’m the first pioneer to crest this particular hill, it’s totally passed me by that this list is dominated by new writers.



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Well, if it’s going to be a prize for first novels, now that’s a different animal. I’m all about finding new writers. Pitting first novels against literary heavyweights, that’s what I question. I mean, perhaps throwing in a brand new writer or two is one thing, but ten?

That takes some serious balls.


Kate Atkinson. The phenomenon that is Hanya Yanagihara. Elizabeth Strout and Geraldine Brooks vs. 10 neophytes.

Now, on what by now must be the third or perhaps even fourth hand, read a bit about these ten and you’ll see how mind-blowingly good these books sound. As in, how on earth did the judges unearth so much new talent? A thousand book scouts on a thousand book hunts could scarcely have found such wealth.

But they have.

This has officially blown my reading mind. It’s shut me up, readers. Or, rather, stunned me into temporary confusion while I have time for the little gears in my brain to catch up.

I do not know what to make of this prize. It’s either the most brilliant list ever or it’s broken every rule and must be punished.

All I know is I’m riveted. Positively riveted.



This. Is. Big.


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