Women’s Prize Shortlist & Reading Group Shadowing

A quick follow-up to yesterday’s post (in which I correctly predicted three of the shortlist) with an exciting announcement. My book club is one of six selected to shadow this year’s Women’s Prize shortlist by reading and discussing one of the finalists. We’d unsuccessfully applied to this Reading Agency initiative last year but this time were chosen from nearly 50 pitches!

We are lucky to have been allocated one of our preferred titles, Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason – my favourite of the three I’ve read from the shortlist, and one with a good chance of winning overall. (Oh the relief of not having to attempt Great Circle a third time, or The Island of Missing Trees a second!)

Our copies will arrive next week and we then have until June 8th to read and discuss the book and send in our feedback to be featured on the website (e.g. last year’s roundup).

I’ll be sure to post more about how our shadowing goes.

What do you plan to read from the shortlist?

24 responses

  1. Oh, exciting! I’ve always wanted to enter that but my book group only reads books by people of colour so it doesn’t work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your chances would have been 2/3 this year, but I take your point! We put in what I think was a really fantastic application last year and weren’t chosen; this year I basically just recycled the application and emphasized that we have one man who comes regularly and others who have come occasionally (they’re keen this year to get men reading books by women) and it did the trick!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha, we’re women-only as well so would have had no chance! Look forward to hearing about your experiences.

        Like

      2. Having done research on book groups, that’s really unusual! The ones that featured as my research population were mainly exceptionally homogeneous!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the getting men to read more women initiative!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good, isn’t it? My husband is the one man who comes regularly, so he has a lot of expectation on his shoulders! We’ve also roped another husband in, and I think we may end up with an extra print copy floating around, so maybe we can get a third neighbour or spouse interested. It’s appropriate that the novel is about a marriage.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m looking out for all of these. And the Book Group Shadowing things is a great idea. But we’re all female too. Aren’t we – nearly – all?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you mean book clubs and book bloggers? In general, yes, I’m sure that’s true! Probably 80% or more. Which is why they’ve made a point this year of looking for reading groups that include men, to get more men engaging with books written by women.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, my husband reads a lot of such books, but going to a book group? Just … nah.

        Like

      2. I’ve read about a couple of all-male book clubs. Definitely the exception rather than the rule!

        Like

  4. That sounds like fun. Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope the rest of my group enjoys our assigned book as much as I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ll read Sorrow and Bliss if I have time as I have a copy. I would like to read the Erdrich though too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do! (But because they’re so similar, choose Erdrich OR Ozeki.)

      Like

  6. The reading group shadow initiative sounds fascinating. Our group only has one male participant too…
    I’ll definitely be reading Sorrow and Bliss because that happens to be our club’s reading choice for May. If time allows I’ll try the Shafak though from your comment it doesn’t sound like it was a great hit for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope your book club enjoys it!

      I’ve not read anything by Shafak before. The writing didn’t particularly draw me in, though to be fair I only tried a few pages — until I realized it was narrated by a tree.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Narrated by a tree? Oh, that’s not for me, then. I loved the Ozeki by the way!

        Like

      2. Last year I read a different book that had short passages narrated by a bat or a tree, but somehow I could cope with that!

        Like

  7. Sorrow and Bliss is the one I really want to read, although Great Circle appeals despite hearing mixed reviews. Enjoy your shadowing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorrow and Bliss is terrific. It’s got a great voice and is funny but touching.

      I really wanted to love Great Circle, but I tried twice and just couldn’t get anywhere with it. Maybe some years down the line I’ll pick it back up.

      Like

  8. How exciting! And hooray you didn’t get The Great Circle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a relief! 😉

      Like

  9. So cool! And such a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our book set arrived today! I’ll pass it out at book club tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: