Recently, the shortlist of fiction titles for the Man Booker Prize was announced for 2016. Here are some titles from this year’s shortlist and previous years’ shortlists that we have available either on CD, as eBooks, or eAudiobooks.
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh – Available as an eBook.
Summary: “Dreaming of life in the city while caring for her alcoholic father and working in a 1960s boys’ prison, a disturbed young woman is manipulated into committing a psychologically charged crime during the holiday season.”
Summary: “When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he₂ll not only be unable to overcome, but that will define his life forever.”
Summary: “‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon.’ This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The whole family–their two daughters and two sons, their grandchildren, even their faithful old dog–is on the porch, listening contentedly as Abby tells the tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different too: Abby and Red are growing older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them, and the fate of the house so lovingly built by Red’s father. Brimming with the luminous insight, humor, and compassion that are Anne Tyler’s hallmarks, this capacious novel takes us across three generations of the Whitshanks, their shared stories and long-held secrets, all the unguarded and richly lived moments that combine to define who and what they are as a family.”
The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota – Available as an eBook.
Summary: “The lives of three young men, and one unforgettable woman, intertwine over the course of one year after they immigrate from India to Sheffield, England.”
Summary: “Paul O’Rourke is a Manhattan dentist with a thriving practice leading a quiet, routine-driven life. Then one day someone begins to impersonate Paul online, and he watches in horror as a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account are created in his name. His biggest fear is that the online ‘Paul’ might be a better version of the real thing. As Paul’s quest to learn why his identity has been stolen deepens, he is forced to confront his troubled past and his uncertain future.”
How to Be Both by Ali Smith – Available as an eBook.
Summary: “The brilliant Booker-nominated novel from one of our finest authors: How to Be Both is a daring, inventive tale that intertwines the stories of a defiant Renaissance painter and a modern teenage girl. How can one be both–near and far, past and present, male and female? In Ali Smith’s new novel, two extraordinary characters inhabit the spaces between categories. In one half of the book, we follow the story of Francescho del Cossa, a Renaissance painter in fifteenth-century Italy who assumes a duel identity, living as both a man and a woman. In the novel’s other half, George, a contemporary English teenage girl, is in mourning after the death of her brilliant, rebellious mother. As she struggles to fill the void in her life, George finds her thoughts circling again and again around a whimsical trip she and her mother once made to Italy, to see a certain Renaissance fresco … These two stories call out to each other in surprising and deeply resonant ways to form a veritable literary double-take, bending the conventions of genre, storytelling, and our own preconceptions.”
Summary: “A novel of love and war that traces the life of one man–an Australian surgeon–from a prisoner-of-war camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway during World War II, up to the present.”
J by Howard Jacobson – Available as an eBook.
Summary: “A profound, darkly comedic parable set in a future where collective memory has vanished following a historic catastrophe, and one young couple’s love affair could have shattering consequences for the human race. In a world where the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited, J is a love story of incomparable strangeness, both tender and terrifying. After the devastation of WHAT HAPPENED, IF IT HAPPENED, all that should remain is peace and prosperity. Everyone knows his or her place; all actions are out in the open. But Esme Nussbaum has seen the distorted realities, the fissures that have only widened in the twenty-plus years since she was forced to resign from her position at the monitor of the Public Mood. Now, Esme finds something strange and special developing in a romance between Ailinn Solomons and Kevern Cohen. As this unusual pair’s actions draw them into ever-increasing danger, Esme realizes she must do everything in her power to keep them together–whatever the cost. With a sense of the dramatic sweep of Michael Ondaatje and the dystopian, literary sensibility of Margaret Atwood, Howard Jacobson’s J is an astonishing feat of fiction. In this exquisitely written, beautifully playful and imaginative, and terribly heart-breaking work, Jacobson gathers his prodigious gifts for the crowning achievement of a remarkable career.”
Summary: “Coming of age in middle America, eighteen-year-old Rosemary evaluates how her entire youth was defined by the presence and forced removal of an endearing chimpanzee who was secretly regarded as a family member and who Rosemary loved as a sister.”
All summaries taken from http://catalog.ccls.org/.