The Booker Prize Challenge

For as long as I can remember, I've utterly adored reading. Even when I was a kid I'd get nervous when the cereal packets were taken off the breakfast table and I'd have nothing to read, and my mum would never let me open books first on Christmas or my birthday because I'd sit there reading them. She hid my books before we went on holiday as well, otherwise I'd read them all before we went away and then complain for most of the trip that I was bored (well until I bought a new book anyway).

However, as sad and nerdy as it sounds, one of my ambitions in life has been to read every Booker Prize-winning novel. Often considered the biggest prize in British literature, the Booker has been controversial over the years, but of the ones I have read I've enjoyed them very much so I'm keen to see how I feel about the rest. It'll also be an interesting experience to see how the winners have evolved, as well as discovering some of the more obscure winners especially from the early years.

So, this is the list (those in bold are the ones I have already read):
  1. P H Newby – Something to Answer for (1969)
  2. Bernice Rubens – The Elected Member (1970)
  3. J G Farrell – Troubles (1970, ‘The Lost Booker’)
  4. V S Naipaul – In a Free State (1971)
  5. John Berger – G (1972)
  6. J G Farrell – The Siege of Krishnapur (1973)
  7. Nadine Gordimer – The Conservationist (1974)
  8. Stanley Middleton – Holiday (1974)
  9. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala – Heat and Dust (1975)
  10. David Storey – Saville (1976)
  11. Paul Scott – Staying On (1977)
  12. Iris Murdoch – The Sea, the Sea (1978)
  13. Penelope Fitzgerald – Offshore (1979)
  14. William Golding – Rites Of Passage (1980)
  15. Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children (1981)
  16. Thomas Keneally – Schindler’s Ark (1982)
  17. J M Coetzee – Life and Times of Michael K (1983)
  18. Anita Brooker – Hotel du Lac (1984)
  19. Keri Hulme – The Bone People (1985)
  20. Kingsley Amis – The Old Devils (1986)
  21. Penelope Lively – Moon Tiger (1987)
  22. Peter Carey – Oscar and Lucinda (1988)
  23. Kazuo Ishiguro – The Remains of the Day (1989)
  24. A S Byatt – Possession: A Romance (1990)
  25. Ben Okri – The Famished Road (1991)
  26. Michael Ondaatje – The English Patient (1992)
  27. Barry Unsworth – Sacred Hunger (1992)
  28. Roddy Doyle – Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (1993)
  29. James Kelman – How Late It Was, How Late (1994)
  30. Pat Barker – The Ghost Road (1995)
  31. Graham Swift – Last Orders (1996)
  32. Arundhati Roy – The God of Small Things (1997)
  33. Ian McEwan – Amsterdam (1998)
  34. J M Coetzee – Disgrace (1999)
  35. Margaret Atwood – The Blind Assassin (2000)
  36. Peter Carey – True History of the Kelly Gang (2001)
  37. Yann Martel – Life of Pi (2002)
  38. DBC Pierre – Vernon God Little (2003)
  39. Alan Hollinghurst – The Line of Beauty (2004)
  40. John Banville – The Sea (2005)
  41. Kiran Desai – The Inheritance of Loss (2006)
  42. Anne Enright – The Gathering (2007)
  43. Aravind Adiga – The White Tiger (2008)
  44. Hilary Mantel – Wolf Hall (2009)
  45. Howard Jacobson – The Finkler Question (2010)
  46. Julian Barnes – The Sense of an Ending (2011)
  47. Hilary Mantel – Bring Up the Bodies (2012)
  48. Eleanor Catton – The Luminaries (2013)
  49. Richard Flanagan - The Narrow Road to the Deep North (2014)
  50. Marlon James - A Brief History of Seven Killings (2015)
  51. Paul Beatty - The Sellout (2016)
I make that 42 books to read (48 minus the seven I've already read, although chances are I'll end up re-reading those by the time I get to that end of the list!). The goal ideally would be to read them all by the time I turned 30, in 2017, and although this may be a slight cheat as the Booker winner is normally published shortly after my birthday, I will also try to read the 2014, 2015 and 2016 winners. So that's 44 books total.

I'm really excited to attempt this challenge, I'm aware it's a huge undertaking but I'm hoping that it'll be worth it. Already I'm itching at the thought of so many new books to discover. And of course I'll be posting my reviews so you can find out what I thought, in case you want to read any of these. Wish me luck!

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