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Win the Man Booker Prize longlist


It is officially harder than ever to make the Man Booker Prize longlist. Gone are the days where one's novel simply had to zip along quicker than that of any other Commonwealth writer; now it also has to compete with the serious swagger of American literature. This year's transatlantic baker's dozen — picked by AC Grayling, Jonathan Bate, Sarah Churchwell, Daniel Glaser, Alastair Niven and Erica Wagner — includes a novel by a former winner (J by Howard Jacobson), a crowd-pleaser (Us by David Nicholls — short titles are clearly where it's at), and a crowd-funded book written in an Old English-inspired 'shadow tongue' (The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth).

The full longlist, with links to all our review round-ups (some still to come, as a few of the books haven't been published yet), can be found here.

One exceptionally lucky Omnivore Digest subscriber can save themselves £200 or so by winning the ENTIRE longlist, which has been kindly donated by Four Colman Getty. To enter the competition, answer the following question: Who is the only author on the longlist to share a name with a classic fairground ride?


Entries to competitions@theomnivore.co.uk by Friday 1 August. UK entries only please, and no time-wasters.

FICTION
England and Other Stories by Graham Swift
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"Graham Swift is a master of the short story, and this collection is full of gems. This is not to say that it will delight everyone. If your idea of a good short story is an anecdote with, perhaps, a twist in the tail, the kind of story that Maugham and Maupassant wrote so well, then Swift is not the writer for you. His stories are more like Chekhov’s or William Trevor’s.” Allan Massie, The Scotsman
NON-FICTION
Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution by Laurie Penny
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"Penny is very good on the people at the margins – single mothers, the low paid, the overweight – and rightly outraged that the white career woman’s burden (not enough shoes!) takes precedence in so much media coverage." Liz Hoggard, The Observer VS "As with many writers who favour radical ideals over pragmatism, Penny’s arguments often seem to contradict themselves." Daisy Wyatt, The Independent
Summer lovin' special: OMNIVORE PIN-UP no.1

Tech totty and sweet speaker of silly nothings, Jens is 36 and currently hails from Hampstead. He talks gentle love, black masseurs and Henry Miller. 

What are you reading at the moment?
Austerlitz, W.G. Sebald. This book is like a warm, gentle rain of facts, places, words.

What’s the sexiest thing you’ve ever read?
Opus Pistorum by Henry Miller. What happens in the desert stays in the desert.

Read the full Pin-up here and if you’d like to get sexy with a Scandi, please get in touch via love@theomnivore.com quoting Box no. 8758.
In Love and War by Alex Preston
Reviews Buy | Comment |
“A bundle of Esmond’s varied correspondence from 1937-1939 gives the reader a hint as to the destiny of this vague young man ... As well as showcasing Preston’s skill, this section provides a lively intermezzo before events grow increasingly grim." Suzi Feay, The Financial Times VS "The letters are useful devices in creating the sense of a life seen from multiple perspectives, but it's hard to escape the sense that there are too many voices competing in this part, some not distinctive enough.” Stephanie Merritt, The Observer
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"Burton’s tantalising debut is beautifully poised, exquisitely detailed. She delicately plays out the drama inside the house and deftly describes the dangerous encroachments of the outside world." Eithne Farry, The Daily Express VS “For all its conceits and ingenuity, for all the lovely passages to be found among its pages, somehow it fails to convince. Again and again, I found myself thinking: that would not happen.” Rachel Cooke, The Observer
Listen to it on BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime
Best of the rest
Summer House With Swimming Pool by Herman Koch, The Fever by Megan Abbott, Painting Death by Tim Parks, Noontide Toll by Romesh Gunesekera

 

Pick of the paperbacks: 
Carthage by Joyce Carol Oates, The Siege by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, The Windsor Faction by DJ Taylor
Thrive: The Power of Evidence-Based Psychological Therapies by Richard Layard and David M Clark
Reviews | Buy Comment |
"If Layard and Clark are right, we seem at last to have found a gentle, non-disruptive and apparently risk-free way of dealing with the worst and most commonplace miseries of the mind." Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times VS "The authors of this book are not content to claim that CBT is useful, but see it almost as the key to life itself, or at least to a happy human existence for all. They have absolutely no awareness of the tragic dimension of life" Theodore Dalrymple, The Times
In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile by Dan Davies
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"Davies scarcely puts a foot wrong... If the book is considerably less depressing than you might anticipate, it’s because the act of biography itself here seems noble." David Hare, The Guardian VS "a long, odd and peculiarly inconclusive book by a journalist much too close to his subject" David Sexton, Evening Standard
Best of the rest
Blazing Star: The Life and Times of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester by Alexander Larman, The Iceberg by Marion Coutts, Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France by Caroline Moorehead, How to Be a Husband by Tim Dowling
Pick of the paperbacks
To the Letter by Simon Garfield, To Save Everything, Click Here by Evgeny MorozovFalling Upwards by Richard Holmes

 

And one for the gentlemen: OMNIVORE PIN-UP no.2
This literary vixen is Jojo Capece, sculptor, artist and author who’s lived on three continents and has a passion for great art, music, and keen minds.

What have you just finished reading?
The Disinherited: A Story of Love, Family and Betrayal by Robert Sackville-West and Price of Fame about Claire Booth Luce, a guest in my Washington D.C. house  many years ago, a woman  betrayed with a will of iron.

What will you read next?
My dream plan is to read Bel Ami in French by Maupassant because he was inspired to write this timeless tale in Portofino.

Click here for the Pin-up in her full glory and if you’d like to ask her out to the opera or a dynamite dinner, email love@theomnivore.com quoting Box no. 8902.

AUTHOR PITCH
The Blue Monk by Dave Bricker

Do readers have to be interested in sailing to enjoy The Blue Monk?
Definitely not. Though cruising sailors and Miami boaters will recognise some of the settings, the story begins at a time when I knew nothing about sailing and the lifestyle associated with it; I assume my reader is likewise in unfamiliar territory. The narrative carries the reader into my discovery of the nautical world, and it includes about a hundred footnotes to explain the nautical terms. If anything, The Blue Monk was written for people who have never sailed nor even slept under the stars. It’s a book about living fully and facing fear—themes that are important to all of us.

The Omnivore helps readers discover the best indie authors. If you would like to be considered for Author Pitch, email authorpitch@theomnivore.com

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