Thursday 28 May 2009

Oranges are not the only list

A few days ago I spotted on Danielle's blog the Orange Prize Longlist 1996-2009. It was put together by Kimbofo, and comprises all the books longlisted for the Orange Prize in that time. That's 260 books, by my quick count. And I've read... 7 of them. Seven. Gosh. The ones struck-through. (Eight, if you count the first 50 pages of the quite dreadful Lionel Shriver book.) And I read mostly books by women... though not, it must be said much modern fiction. Still. My head is hanging in shame. See if you can do better!

A L Kennedy Everything You Need
A L Kennedy So I am Glad
Ajay Close Official and Doubtful
Ali Smith Hotel World - shortlist
Ali Smith The Accidental - shortlist
Alice Greenaway White Ghost Girls
Alice McDermott Charming Billy
Alice Sebold The Lovely Bones
Allegra Goodman Intuition
Amy Tan The Bonesetter's Daughter
Amy Tan The Hundred Secret Senses - shortlist
Andrea Barrett The Voyage of the Narwhal
Andrea Levy Never Far from Nowhere
Andrea Levy Small Island - winner
Anita Desai Fasting, Feasting
Anita Desai The Zigzag Way
Anita Rau Badami The Hero's Walk
Anita Shreve The Weight of Water - shortlist
Ann Patchett Bel Canto - winner
Ann Patchett The Magician's Assistant - shortlist
Ann Weisgarber's The Personal History of Rachel DuPree
Ann-Marie MacDonald Fall on your Knees
Anna Burns No Bones - shortlist
Anna Quindlen Black and Blue
Anne Donovan Buddha Da - shortlist
Anne Michaels Fugitive Pieces - winner
Anne Enright The Gathering
Anne Tyler Digging to America
Anne Tyler Ladder of Years - shortlist
Anne Tyler The Amateur Marriage
Audrey Niffenegger The Time Traveler's Wife
Barbara Ewing A Dangerous Vine
Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible - shortlist
Barbara Neil A History of Silence
Bella Bathurst Special
Bernadine Evaristo Blonde Roots
Beryl Bainbridge Every Man for Himself
Beryl Bainbridge Master Georgie
Carol Shields Larry's Party - winner
Carol Shields Unless- shortlist
Carrie Tiffany Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living - shortlist
Catherine Chidgey In a Fishbone Church
Catherine O’Flynn What Was Lost
Célestine Hitiura Vaite Frangipani
Charlotte Mendelson When We Were Bad
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Half of a Yellow Sun - winner
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Purple Hibiscus - shortlist
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni The Mistress of Spices
Chloe Hooper A Child's Book of True Crime - shortlist
Christina Koning Undiscovered Country
Christine Dwyer Hickey Tatty
Christine Pountney Last Chance Texaco
Clare Allan Poppy Shakespeare
Clare Clark The Great Stink
Cristina Garcia The Aguero Sisters
Crystal Wilkinson Water Street
Curtis Sittenfeld American Wife
Curtis Sittenfeld Prep
Danzy Senna From Caucasia, with Love
Deborah Robertson Careless
Debra Adelaide The Household Guide to Dying
Deirdre Madden One by One in the Darkness - shortlist
Deirdre Purcell Love Like Hate Adore - shortlist
Dinah Lee Küng A Visit from Voltaire
Donna Tartt The Little Friend - shortlist
Drusilla Modjeska The Orchard
E Annie Proulx Accordion Crimes - shortlist
Edna O’Brien In the Forest
Eilis Ni Dhuibhne The Dancers Dancing - shortlist
Elizabeth Knox The Vintner's Luck
Elizabeth McCracken Niagara Falls All Over Again
Elizabeth Strout Amy and Isabelle – shortlist
Ellen Feldman Scottsboro
Elspeth Sandys River Lines
Emma Richler Sister Crazy
Esther Freud Summer at
Esther Freud The Wild
Gail Jones Dreams of Speaking
Gillian Slovo Ice Road - shortlist
Gina B Nahai Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith
Gina Ochsner The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight
Haven Kimmel The Solace of Leaving Early
Heather O’Neill Lullabies for Little Criminals
Helen DeWitt The Last Samurai
Helen Dunmore A Spell of Winter - winner
Helen Dunmore House of Orphans
Helen Dunmore The Siege - shortlist
Hilary Mantel Beyond Black - shortlist
Hilary Mantel The Giant O'Brien
Ingrid Hill Ursula, Under
Isla Dewar Keeping Up with Magda
Jackie Kay Trumpet
Jacquelyn Mitchard The Most Wanted
Jamaica Kincaid The Autobiography of My Mother
Jane Gardam Old Filth - shortlist
Jane Hamilton The Short History of a Prince - shortlist
Jane Harris The Observations - shortlist
Jane Mendelsohn I Was Amelia Earhart - shortlist
Jane Rogers Island
Jane Rogers Promised Lands
Jane Smiley Horse Heaven - shortlist
Jane Smiley Ten Days in the Hills
Jane Urquhart The Underpainter
Janet Davey English Correspondence
Jayne Ann Phillips Motherkind
Jeanette Winterson Gut Symmetries
Jeanette Winterson The PowerBook
Jennifer Clement A True Story Based on Lies
Jhumpa Lahiri The Namesake
Jill Dawson Fred & Edie - shortlist
Jill Dawson Watch Me Disappear
Jo-Ann Goodwin Danny Boy
Joan Brady Death Comes for Peter Pan
Joan Didion The Last Thing He Wanted
Joan London Gilgamesh
Joanne Harris Five Quarters of the Orange
Joolz Denby Billie Morgan - shortlist
Josephine Humphreys Nowhere Else on Earth
Joyce Carol Oates Middle Age
Joyce Carol Oates Rape A Love Story
Joyce Carol Oates The Falls
Judy Budnitz If I Told You Once - shortlist
Julia Blackburn The Book of Colour - shortlist
Julia Blackburn The Leper's Companions - shortlist
Julia Darling Crocodile Soup
Julia Leigh The Hunter
Julie Otsuka When the Emperor was Divine
Karla Kuban Marchlands
Kate Atkinson Case Histories
Kate Grenville The Idea of Perfection - winner
Kathryn Heyman The Breaking
Kathy Page The Story of My Face
Kira Cochrane Escape Routes for Beginners
Kiran Desai The Inheritance of Loss - shortlist
Kirsten Bakis Lives of the Monster Dogs - shortlist
Kitty Aldridge Pop
Laura Fish Strange Music
Laura Hird Born Free
Laurie Graham Dog Days, Glenn Miller Nights
Laurie R King With Child
Leila Aboulela Minaret
Leila Aboulela The Translator
Leone Ross All the Blood is Red
Lesley Glaister Now You See Me
Lesley Glaister The Private Parts of Women
Leslie Forbes Fish, Blood & Bone
Lily Prior La Cucina
Linda Grant The Cast Iron Shore
Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs
Linda Grant When I Lived in Modern Times - winner
Lindsey Collen The Rape of Sita
Lionel Shriver We Need to Talk About Kevin - winner
Lisa Moore Alligator
Lissa Evans Their Finest Hour and a Half
Liz Jensen Ark Baby
Liz Jensen Egg Dancing
Liz Jensen War Crimes for the Home
Lori Lansens The Girls
Lorraine Adams Harbor
Louise Welsh The Cutting Room
Louise Young Baby Love
Lucy Ellmann Dot in the Universe
Lucy Ellmann Man or Mango?
M J Hyland Carry Me Down
Maggie Gee The Flood
Maggie Gee The White Family - shortlist
Maile Meloy Liars & Saints - shortlist
Manda Scott Hen's Teeth - shortlist
Margaret Atwood Alias Grace - shortlist
Margaret Atwood Oryx and Crake - shortlist
Margaret Atwood The Blind Assassin - shortlist
Margaret Forster Over
Marianne Wiggins Eveless Eden – shortlist
Marilyn Bowering Visible Worlds - shortlist
Marilynne Robinson Gilead
Marina Lewycka A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - shortlist
Marly Swick Evening News
Mary Kay Zuravleff The Frequency of Souls
Mary Morrissy Mother of Pearl
Maureen Duffy Restitution
Meaghan Delahunt In the Blue House
Meera Syal Anita and Me
Meg Wolitzer The Position
Melanie Finn Away From You
Melanie Wallace The Housekeeper
Michele Roberts Impossible Saints
Michelle de Kretser The Lost Dog
Michelle Huneven Round Rock
Michelle Lovric The Remedy
Miranda Hearn Nelson’s Daughter
Miriam Toews The Flying Troutmans
Monica Ali Brick Lane
Nadine Gordimer The House Gun
Nancy Huston Fault Lines
Nani Power Crawling at Night
Naomi Alderman Disobedience
Nell Freudenberger The Dissident
Nell Leyshon Black Dirt
Nicole Krauss The History of Love - shortlist
Nora Okja Keller Comfort Woman
Nora Okja Keller Fox Girl
Oonya Kempadoo Buxton Spice
Pagan Kennedy Spinsters - shortlist
Pat Barker The Ghost Road
Patricia Ferguson It So Happens
Patricia Ferguson Peripheral Vision
Patricia Wood Lottery
Paulina Simons Red Leaves
Pauline Melville The Ventriloquist's Tale - shortlist
Penelope Fitzgerald The Blue Flower
Philippa Gregory The Constant Princess
Preeta Samarasan Evening is the Whole Day
Rachel Cusk Arlington Park - shortlist
Rachel Seiffert Afterwards
Rachel Seiffert The Dark Room
Rebecca Gowers When to Walk
Rose Tremain The Colour - shortlist
Rose Tremain The Road Home
Rosina Lippi Homestead - shortlist
Rupa Bajwa The Sari Shop
Sadie Jones The Outcast
Samantha Harvey The Wilderness
Samantha Hunt The Invention of Everything Else
Sandra Benitez Bitter Grounds
Sandra Cisneros Caramelo
Sarah Hall The Electric Michelangelo
Sarah May The Internationals
Sarah Waters Fingersmith – shortlist
Sarah Waters The Night Watch - shortlist
Sena Jeter Naslund Ahab's Wife
Shauna Singh Baldwin What the Body Remembers
Shena Mackay Heligoland - shortlist
Sheri Holman The Mammoth Cheese - shortlist
Shirley Hazzard The Great Fire - shortlist
Siri Hustvedt The Enchantment of Lily Dahl
Siri Hustvedt What I Loved
Sonya Hartnett What the Birds See
Stef Penney The Tenderness of Wolves
Stella Duffy State of Happiness
Stephanie Grant The Passion of Alice
Stevie Davies Kith & Kin
Stevie Davies The Element of Water
Sue Gee The Mysteries of Glass
Sue Miller Lost in the Forest
Sue Monk Kidd The Secret Life of Bees
Sunetra Gupta A Sin of Colour
Suzanne Berne A Crime in the Neighbourhood - winner
Toni Morrison Love
Toni Morrison Paradise - shortlist
Tracy Chevalier Girl with a Pearl Earring
Trezza Azzopardi The Hiding Place
Tricia Wastvedt The River
Valerie Martin Property - winner
VV Ganeshananthan Love Marriage
Xiaolu Guo A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers - shortlist
Zadie Smith On Beauty - winner
Zadie Smith The Autograph Man - shortlist
Zadie Smith White Teeth - shortlist
Zoë Heller Notes on a Scandal


  1. I am not much better! I have only read ten but have started several and not finished them (including the Kevin book).

  2. You've beaten me to it with posting this list. I have managed 15 but considering how bad the list is I am amazed by how many I have read. My post on it will be up tomorrow. There are obviously some outstanding writers and works on there, but a heck of a lot of also rans.

  3. Not sure if I managed 7 or 8. The trouble with having a TBR mountain is that you end up thinking you have read something because it ctached your eye evry time you rearrange the heap.
    I have some near-misses as well where I have read something by the author but not the ones on the list. Are we allowed to score half points for those?

  4. 31 for me. Amzed at some of the really good stuff which didn't even make the shortlist, plus so many which seem to have sunk without trace.


  5. 5 read, 4 may have read - or was it just that I meant to read them? How shameful!
    (I have read quite a few others by authors on the list.... does that exonerate me?)

  6. I've managed 83 of those, with a further 3 sitting on my to-be-read-bookcase.
    I attribute this to getting interested in the prize back in 2003 and I was working in a public library. We were all encouraged to read something from the list, so I tried to read as many as possible. I really liked the way that doing that introduced me to a lot of new things and made me read things that I wouldn't normally have read. So since then I've always looked out for the orange prize promotion in the library.

  7. I don't think anyone else need worry...I've only read 2. Yes, 2!! I need to lie down.


  8. Also 31. Some of the books I have never even heard of and some do not appeal to me at all.

  9. Respect for Verity - just 2 for me I'm afraid - if you allowed films (which I know you don't Si) I could add at least one more.

  10. My answer's 25, which surprised me. I didn't realize I'd read so many Orange Prize books! But I need to read many more of these.

  11. Only one for me, I'm afraid. And it wasn't great.

  12. About the same! Yikes!
    Ann Patchett is definitely worth the read.

  13. I've read 17, and have one(Rachel Dupree)on my TBR stack. I live in the US and have been "monitoring" the Orange List for only a couple of years. By the way, I really liked "We Need to Talk about Kevin" (by L. Shriver). My bookclub (all women) read it; about half really liked it, half really didn't, but we had a very lively discussion.

  14. I've read only five, and three are on my TBR list.

  15. 8 - and two of this I did not finish

  16. I wouldn't feel bad as you tend to read more older fiction rather than contemporary. Besides these lists are so very subjective it's impossible to create a 'best of' book list. But I, too, tend to have the same reaction when I see these prize lists and then realize I've not read very many of the books...I swear I'm reading good stuff (it just might not end up on any of these lists!).

  17. 46 for lucy! and can i recommend fall on your knees by ann marie mcdonald.


  18. 28 for me. Simon, I think you might be interested in Sue Gee's 'The Mysteries of Glass'. It's a modern author's take on a nineteenth century novel and more successful than most in my opinion.
    Deb W

  19. Oh wow - I too have only read 7 - quite a few the same as you!! Never heard of half of them!!

  20. I've read 4% of the list (11 books)!

    In my humble opinion, you should check out Ann Patchett, Carol Shields, and of course, Margaret Atwood.

  21. I read 21 which surprised me. At one point I was housebound and had books delivered, which meant I had books I wouldn't have otherwise read - and she knew I liked 'good' writing as well as potboilers (which I also read a lot of!) I'd like to read more of the list as I enjoyed most of the ones I read. Must read more Rose Tremain, for example.


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