The short list for the Man Booker Prize has now been announced:
Aravind Adiga: The White Tiger
Sebastian Barry: The Secret Scripture
Amitav Ghosh: Sea of Poppies
Linda Grant: The Clothes on Their Backs
Philip Hensher: The Northern Clemency
Steve Toltz: A Fraction of the Whole
Now the Booker is something on which I am spectacularly ill-qualified to comment. Whilst I could tell you in detail about the "difficult" horse stories of Helen Griffiths, or the non-appearance in bibliographies of the Junior Country Life Library, when it comes to modern literature of the more challenging kind, I am floundering. Actually, "floundering" implies that I've made an attempt at something with which to flounder, and I haven't.
So, I'm sorry that this post is me-me-me rather than an intelligent discussion of the Booker nominees, but I have a challenge for the blog's readers. Vote for the one book on the Booker shortlist that you think I should read, and I promise, faithfully, that I will read it. I might even go to Simon French for a glossy first, though I think it might feel a little uneasy amongst my fine collection of pony books: but read it I will, despite any nervous shying and refusing to be caught it might indulge in, aghast at the company I am forcing it to keep.