When I first started this blog, I looked to the Guardian First Book Award list for books to read and write about. Like the Center for Fiction First Novel prize list, this award often singles out books that I have really enjoyed and notices books off the beaten path, widening the readership of an array of new authors. I continue to value their choices.
This year’s long list is out and it includes a quirky Irish novel that was nominated by their readers: Sara Baume’s, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, which is about the relationship between an older man and his rescue dog. The book was published by a small press in Ireland. I find it remarkable, and exciting, that this book has developed such a following that enough readers voted for it, and wonder if a title published by a small press in the US could build a similarly enthusiastic popular following.
The long list contains a combination of first novels, a short story collection and books of non-fiction, with many titles being published by small presses. It includes, Nell Zink, who is getting a lot of press for her debut, The Wallcreeper, and Chigozie Obioma whose book, The Fishermen, has also been nominated for a Booker Prize.
Check out the list…which books stand out to you?
Next up I review Disgruntled by Asali Solomon.