Hi, having been sent a link to this by Sonia I just had to join. Not in a spirit of oneupmanship but because I really enjoy reading "quality" books (literature as I like to call it) and to discuss them with likeminded people. So thank you for the invitation.
I have been reading since I was 5 (apparently when I finished my first school reading book I came home and told my mum I didn't need to go to school anymore as I had learned to read, clearly that was all I thought school was good for). If work, family and community responsibilities permit then I love nothing better than sitting down to be transported somewhere else for a while. And I can't think of anything that is better for relieving stress or depression than being able to leave your own life for a while.
I have always taken an interest in the Orange Prize so I was actually quite surprised at how few of the winners/shortlisted entries I have actually read. They are:
Kiran Desai The Inheritance of Loss
Anne Tyler Digging to America
Ali Smith The Accidental
Lionel Shriver We Need to Talk About Kevin
Jane Gardam Old Filth
Marina Lewycka A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
Andrea Levy Small Island
Margaret Atwood Oryx and Crake
Valerie Martin Property
Carol Shields Unless
Zadie Smith The Autograph Man
Donna Tartt The Little Friend
Sarah Waters Fingersmith
Margaret Atwood The Blind Assassin
Zadie Smith White Teeth
Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible
Carol Shields Larry's Party
Margaret Atwood Alias Grace
Amy Tan The Hundred Secret Senses
Anne Tyler Ladder of Years
However, the list does correctly show me as a big fan of Margaret Atwood, Anne, Tyler, Carol Shields, Barbara Kingsolver and Amy Tan. Other authors who have appeared on the list but I haven't read the shortlisted works are Helen Dunmore, Jane Gardam, Jane Smiley and Shena Mackay.
I will be posting up reviews of the books I have read as I go along. So far I have read The Gathering, The Keep, The Blood of Flowers and Sorry. I find I need a little while for the book to settle in my mind before I do a review but with 4 down and I am feeling very excited. The only downside to it is realising how many books there are and how few, all told, I will ever get to read!