Sigh. All good things must come to an end, and so it is with Orange July — or Orangey Goodness, as I like to call it. This month, I read the 2010 Orange Prize winner, and 4 nominees (links take you to my reviews):
- The Lacuna (Kingsolver)
- The Outcast (Jones)
- Black Water Rising (Locke)
- The Invention of Everything Else (Hunt)
- Burnt Shadows (Shamsie)
And what fun it was. There were sprawling sagas, like The Lacuna and Burnt Shadows, and tightly-written dramas, like The Outcast. There was even a crime thriller (Black Water Rising). The only book that didn’t really grab me was The Invention of Everything Else, which suffered by comparison to all the others.
I’ve now met my 2010 Orange Prize Project goal. And of course I’m already thinking about my next batch of Orangey Goodness, Orange January! At this point, having read all the prize winners, I’m focusing on the shortlist. By my count there are now 73 shortlisted works, and I’ve read 22 of them. I’m not particularly interested in reading every single shortlisted work just for the sake of checking things off a list. But I really, really enjoy these books! So I’m mulling over my approach to reading Orange Prize nominees. I know a lot of people like to read the long- or shortlist in its entirety every year before the prize is announced. I enjoy following their progress, but have not been inspired to do the same. Instead, I’ve been “catching up” on nominees from earlier years.
My current thinking is to stay flexible, continuing to read each year’s winner, and several from recent shortlists — maybe about 10 books each year. Here’s what I’ve read so far.
Will you help me create my 2011 reading list?
What are your favorite books from the Orange Prize shortlist?