Longlist Announced for “Not the Booker Prize” and Your Chance to Vote

The British daily newspaper, The Guardian, has been around since 1821.  The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year by a panel of judges for the best original novel, written in the English language, and published in the UK; since 1968, winning the Man Booker Award has been Britain’s most prestigious literary honor.

And now we have the Not the Booker Prize, a cheeky but totally legit effort by The Guardian, that appears to have Not the Booker Prize mugbeen inaugurated in 2009 on the newspaper’s Book Blog in response to readers’ disappointment over the books being awarded the Man Booker Prize.

In an effort to “get people talking about books, to promote previously unknown authors and to reward some quality books,” The Guardian called upon its readers to nominate their own choices for their favorite books of the year, stating in a July 29, 2009 article:  “The judges of Britain’s most prestigious literary award pick the wrong book far too often. But who could be trusted to make a better choice? Why, the readers of this blog, of course.”  Voila!  The Not the Booker Prize was born.

From a fairly humble beginning (two books tied for the winner of the 2010 Not the Booker Prize; the top book of 2011 – Michael Stewart’s King Crow – won with 114 votes), the floodgates are now open for anyone – including you! – to help pare the longlist of 70 freekin’ titles down to six shortlisted finalists.  In a process that they call “as democratic as you can get”, The Guardian has laid out the process for voting:

If you want to become part of this noble process, all you have to do is vote for two books from the longlist, from two different publishers, and accompany those votes with a review of at least one of your chosen books in the comments section below. This review should be something over 100 words long, although, as the rules state, we probably won’t be counting all that carefully.

So what are you waiting for?  Here’s the list of the 70 longlisted books for the 2015 Not the Booker Prize.  Look ‘em over.  Decide which ones would be your top two choices.  Then go to The Guardian Book page and log in to comment (you can do it directly or through social media).  Add to the comments, and voila! there you go!  It’s that freekin’ easy.

  • Louis Armand – Abacus (Vagabond Press)
  • Kate Atkinson – A God in Ruins (Doubleday)
  • Sara Baume – Spill Simmer Falter Wither (Tramp Press)
  • Richard Beard – Acts of the Assassins (Vintage)
  • Patricia Borlenghi – Dorek: Deaf and Unheard (Patrician Press)
  • Liam Brown – Real Monsters (Legend Press)
  • Emily Bullock – The Longest Fight (Myriad)
  • Joanna Campbell – Tying Down the Lion (Brick Lane Publishing)
  • Alex Christofi – Glass (Serpent’s Tail)
  • Gavin Corbett – Green Glowing Skull (Fourth Estate)
  • Peter Cowlam – Across the Rebel Network (CentreHouse Press)
  • Michael Crummey – Sweetland (Corsair)
  • Melanie Finn – Shame (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Esther Freud – Mr Mac and Me (Bloomsbury)
  • Andrew Raymond Drennan – The Limits of the World (Cargo)
  • Claire Fuller – Our Endless Numbered Days (Fig Tree)
  • Ryan Gattis – All Involved (Picador)
  • Kat Gordon – The Artificial Anatomy of Parks (Legend Press)
  • Stephen Grant – A Moment More Sublime (Upper West Side Philosophers)
  • James Hannah – The A to Z of You and Me (Doubleday)
  • Sarah Hall – The Wolf Border (Faber & Faber)
  • Kent Haruf – Our Souls at Night (Picador)
  • Julietta Harvey – One Third of Paradise (Polar Books)
  • Aleksandar Hemon – The Making of Zombie Wars (Picador)
  • Nicholas Hogg – Tokyo (Cargo)
  • Alex Hourston – In My House (Faber)
  • Debbie Howells – The Bones of You (Macmillan)
  • Michael Hurley – The Lonely (Tartarus)
  • Kirstin Innes – Fishnet (Freight Books)
  • Peter Jaeger – A Field Guide to Lost Things (If P Then Q)
  • Marlon James – A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld)
  • Benjamin Johncock – The Last Pilot (Myriad)
  • Tasha Kavanagh – Things We Have in Common (Canongate)
  • Niyati Keni – Esperanza Street (And Other Stories)
  • Catherine Lacey – Nobody Is Ever Missing (Granta)
  • Atticus Lish – Preparation for the Next Life (Oneworld)
  • Joanne Limburg – A Want of Kindness: A Novel of Queen Anne (Atlantic)
  • Oliver Langmead – Dark Star (Unsung Stories)
  • Attica Locke – Pleasantville (Serpent’s Tail)
  • Colin MacIntyre – The Letters of Ivor Punch (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Richard Makin – Mourning (Equus Press)
  • Tom McCarthy – Satin Island (Cape)
  • Gavin McCrea – Mrs Engels (Scribe)
  • Paul McVeigh – The Good Son (Salt)
  • Philip Miller – The Blue Horse (Freight Books)
  • Stefan Mohamed – Bitter Sixteen (Salt)
  • Margaret Montgomery – Beauty Tips for Girls (Cargo)
  • Paul Murray – The Mark and the Void (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Chigozie Obioma – The Fishermen (Pushkin Press)
  • Tony O’Neill – Black Neon (Bluemoose Books)
  • Peter Nichols – The Rocks (Heron Books)
  • Leslie Parry – Church of Marvels (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Sarah Pinborough – The Death House (Gollancz)
  • Wayne Price – Mercy Seat (Freight Books)
  • Lucy Ribchester – The Hourglass Factory (Simon & Schuster)
  • Marilynne Robinson – Lila (Virago)
  • Robert Ronsson – Out of Such Darkness (Patrician)
  • David Rose – Meridian (Unthank)
  • Jim Shepard – The Book of Aron (Quercus)
  • JP Smythe – Way Down Dark (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Colette Snowden – The Secret to Not Drowning (Bluemoose Books)
  • Neal Stephenson – Seveneves (The Borough Press)
  • Sara Taylor – The Shore (William Heinemann)
  • Scarlett Thomas – The Seed Collectors (Canongate)
  • Laura Van Den Berg – Find Me (Ebury)
  • Rebecca Wait – The Followers (Picador)
  • Catriona Ward – Rawblood (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Benjamin Wood – The Ecliptic (Scribner UK)
  • Hanya Yanagihara – A Little Life (Doubleday)
  • Nell Zink – The Wallcreeper (Dorothy Books)


You only have until 23:39 BST on 2 August 2 to get your vote in, so do it, now!  The shortlist will be announced the following week.

Oh, and the trophy?  What exactly does the ultimate winner of the Not the Booker Prize get?  Why, a Guardian mug (see, above), whether they want it or not.

It doesn’t get any better than that.  (Well, it does, but still….)  So, “put your mouse where your mouth is” and VOTE!!!

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