My friend Lyn emailed me an interesting link earlier this week - here it is - to an article about the Man Booker Prize. They managed to get a judge from each of the 40 years to talk about the process, the books, and the winners. Fascinating, and shows how utterly arbitrary the procedure actually is - in so many cases the judges simply picked a compromise. We all know how it is when we champion a book and no-one will understand our praise, or conversely, listening to someone eulogise about a novel we privately think excreable. Imagine those discussions when the world is waiting for your decision... and imagine having to read over a hundred books in a few weeks beforehand. Sounds fun, but reading to a deadline takes quite a lot of the fun out of things, and trying to power through that lot... the article certainly made me feel sympathy for them.
Second snippet of news is the new Penelope Fitzgerald website. PenelopeFitzgerald.com, succinctly enough. They spotted that I'd been reading The Bookshop, a gift from Lynne Hatwell, and have posted my review over on their affectionate and intelligent website. 'All things pertaining to Penelope', that's their mantra, and a very intriguing collection of items it is. Articles, especially to do with Letters; newspaper mentions; Penelope Fitzgerald's visual art - looks like an excellent site to bookmark and pop back to. In the same line as Blogging Woolf, also always worth a visit.