Last year I was privileged to be on the official Shadow Judges Panel for this super award – you can read about my experiences here. One of the key events in the awards calendar each year is the Bloggers Event which is held at the Groucho Club in London, and I was delighted to be able to attend this year’s one again this weekend.
It was lovely to finally meet Susan of A Life in Books – we’ve corresponded for years now but never met until yesterday. It was lovely too to see familiar friends again – Eleanor of Elle Thinks, Clare of A Little Blog of Books, Elizabeth of Fictionbitch and her author blog, Naomi of The Writes of Woman, Eric of Lonesome Reader and Erica of The Bookshop Around the Corner. Susan is one of the Shadow Judges this year (see the full panel here).
This year’s shortlist comprises four books – two novels, two non-fiction, and all very different. They are:
- Kings of the Yukon by Adam Weymouth – who travelled down the Yukon river following the salmon, meeting bears and the local peoples in Alaska.
- Elmet by Fiona Mozley – shortlisted for the Man Booker 2017 (the prizes have different dates), a gripping slice of contemporary Gothic
- The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar – a historical novel set in the 18th C, which is one for fans of Golden Hill so Andrew Holgate said (which I loved).
- The Reading Cure by Laura Freeman – a memoir about how reading helped Laura conquer her anorexia.
I hadn’t read any of these books, although I devoured Elmet on the train home, finishing it this morning! Having met all four of the authors at the event which was chaired by Andrew Holgate of the Sunday Times, heard them read from their books and talk about them, I’m desperate to read all of them as soon as possible. Please excuse the awful photo below, the lighting wasn’t good and without my reading glasses on, I couldn’t see whether I’d got a good snap of the four! However, they were all lovely and engaging to talk to.
The Shadow Panel meet to select their winner on Monday and I will be fascinated to see who they will pick. The Judges (Andrew Holgate, Kamla Shamsie and Susan Hill) will announce the winner of the award on December 6. Thank you to PFD for hosting another lovely afternoon.