TGIF | Women’s Prize 2023.

The longlist for the 2023 Women’s Prize was announced on Tuesday afternoon (1pm ET) and I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time since then thinking about it. I’ve decided this prize season – including the Women’s, Booker International, and Booker – is going to be a treat for myself … I’m going to buy books (somewhat within reason), read with abandon, follow along on Instagram, and generally just wallow in all the bookish, geeky goodness.

Here’s the longlist photo from the Women’s Prize website (link). Their 2023 Prize page has all the key info in one place, including summaries for each book, publisher info, etc.; this is the page I’ve bookmarked. (and I haven’t shared links to the books below – please visit the link above if you’re curious about any of the titles).

and it’s Friday, so:

Thinking about … my reading plan. I had only committed (in my head) to reading the short list (six titles, to be announced April 26), but … I’ve already read four (Glory, The Marriage Portrait, Trespasses, and Demon Copperhead – and five if I count Homesick – which I’m going to re-read – see below); I had Stone Blind on my TBR … and engaging with some new-to-me authors … well … here’s where I ended up

shelved on Goodreads here

I know everyone’s heard about (and perhaps already read) Demon Copperhead and The Marriage Portrait. If you’re on the fence about the other 2 (3?) I’ve read:

I found Glory thanks to last year’s Booker Short List. I listened to the audio and read on the page; and felt like I needed both for a complete experience. The audio really gave me a feel for the language and the pronunciation and I needed to see the words to get the full impact (there’s one part where a phrase is repeated over and over and it makes an impact when you listen, but turning the pages … it’s even more powerful). I gave it 4-1/2 stars when I read it last August.

Trespasses is the reason I finally made time to read Say Nothing so I understood The Troubles. such a great investment! I described this one as “The Colony if Sally Rooney had written it and set it in Northern Ireland.” That’s maybe one of the best book blurbs I’ve come up with!

Grateful forBlackwells and my library. Blackwells is my favorite bookstore in the UK (I hope I get to visit in person someday). They offer free shipping to the US; have all the pretty UK covers; and have books that haven’t yet been released here. I’ve ordered four books – Black Butterflies, Homesick, Stone Blind, and Wandering Souls. My library has The Dog of the North and Fire Rush on order and I’m first in line for both when they come in (Dog next week and Fire in April); I’m on line for Bandit Queens. The books on hold are ones I’m not as sure about … and I might reassess my borrow/purchase based on the short list, especially Bandit Queens, which was blurbed by Téa Obrecht and Elizabeth McCracken.

Inspired by … Homesick and its “story”. I found Homesick at my library last March because it was written by Jennifer Croft and I loved her translation work. She wrote the book in Spanish and re-wrote it in English to publish here. It was published as a memoir and included photographs that she and her mom and taken. Here’s my short review “This memoir tells the story of her growing up and apart from her sister and then, using photos she took as a kid, weaves in the story of how she found her sister again. The combination of photos and words is stunning. ‘Even the simplest words keep secrets. The more you are a word for granted, the less it tells.’ (also, MINDBLOWN when I discovered she originally wrote this in Spanish).” Fast forward a year and now I discover the book was published in the UK last spring, as fiction, without photos. OK and I’m here for it! I will be re-reading the US edition and then the UK. I can’t wait to find out what happened to the photos!

Fun … only three of my predictions (Demon Copperhead, The Marriage Portrait, and Stone Blind) made the longlist. Maybe a few that missed – especially those 2023 releases – will make the Booker?

Are you planning to read any of the longlist? Please share!

and finally … more spring!

Wishing you a weekend full of good things. xxoo.

14 thoughts on “TGIF | Women’s Prize 2023.

  1. I have looked at the long list many times and have found a few at my library. Have you see the Carol Shields prize list? New to me but also some books that have my attention. Just need my foggy head to clear before I make any more decisions.

  2. Your sharing of books you read are a motivation for me. One of the things I am returning to in re-retiring is reading. Thank you for being a great reading model.

  3. What are those gorgeous Spring flowers? I’ll have to look carefully at those lists to see if any make my Spring reading list. I have some holdovers from my Winter list – The Hero of this Book, After Sappho, and Lucy By The Sea. I do enjoy reading about your reading though. You are so thoughtful about your choices.

  4. I’m surprised by how many of these titles I am NOT familiar with, and with the fact that I have not read any of them. Demon Copperhead is on my shelf waiting for me when return from our three week road trip, but none of the others are on my TBR list yet. We spent an hour plus at Parnassus yesterday in Nashville–one of my favorite independent bookstores. I left with three new titles, and a list of several more I want to add to my list. Will investigate the Women’s Prize list to see what might be added as well. We’re in Birmingham, AL tonight and spring has definitely sprung here. Rochester was expecting up to 6″ of snow. Glad to be away!

  5. I’ll be reading some from the long list but not all. I’m adding Say Nothing to my TBR list, thank you for mentioning that one.

  6. I gave a little cheer when Demon Copperhead made the list! I was happy to see that I’d already read three of the books on the long list, and in an interesting coincidence, my father just sent me the NYT review (which I couldn’t read, sadly) of Trespasses, saying he thought it sounded right up my alley. I have it on hold at the library. I also had recently bought Memphis when it was an ebook deal. I think I will likely only commit to reading the short list, but I will also be eagerly awaiting your assessment of all the titles on the long list you choose to read. So many of these books I had never even heard of!

  7. I’ve read two (Marriage Portrait and Memphis) and have an interest in a couple others, but no plans to read immediately. I just picked up a number of books at the library and friends have loaned me some recently AND I’m still trying to get through The Love Songs of W. E. B. DuBois (it is way too long and I’m starting to get annoyed/disappointed/tired!). And, of course, I’m re-reading (at night when I crawl into bed) The Shipping News for our Read With Us discussion later in the month. Too many books and too little time!

  8. I’ve read five of the books on the long list, and plan to read a few more. I used to try to read the entire Women’s Prize long list, but have stopped doing that recently. I find the long list to be . . . quite hit and miss these days. (I think it’s great that the Women’s Prize is making more space for new authors, but I don’t always think it makes for the strongest long list. Just sayin.) I usually do read the short list, though. Enjoy your planning! 🙂

  9. I’ve tried to read Demon Copperhead twice but just couldn’t get into it. (If I have to make myself read a book, I eventually give up!) I’ve got several books from the list on hold and am anxiously looking for at least one of my libraries to order Black Butterflies. I’m off to check the Carol Shields prize list that Julieann mentioned!

  10. Am sure some of those will end up on my reading list. Will see what the library can serve up before making purchases. I had hoped to clear off my nightstand- but guess it’s going to stay a bit cluttered for a while.

  11. I am grateful for my local libraries where there is so much to look at and borrow! My reading time has shortened significantly these past two weeks but I do find pockets of time to read 🙂

  12. I am trying to hard to resist these titles until the short list comes out — and that’s totally not my personality! But… Wendell Berry. Louise Erdrich. Toni Morrison. They are calling for me! I feel paralyzed by my decision to not jump on this list!!

  13. I thought Trespasses had a good chance of being on the list. Glory was a surprise for me (I didn’t think it would qualify). We’re reading many of the same books from the longlist. So much good reading ahead. (I’m reading the Bandit Queens now.)

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