Crisp mornings, warm sunny days and cool autumn evenings are upon us. With the fun of summer behind us but snowflakes too far ahead, it is the perfect time of year to get back into reading. It’s timely then that 2 major literary awards have recently released their short and long lists: The Man Booker Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. So if you’re looking for recommendations on what to read this fall, check out the lists below and place your hold today! We’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’ve enjoyed so far this season – write us a message in the comments section below.
Man Booker Shortlist 2013*
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
Follows ten-year-old Zimbabwe native, Darling, as she escapes the closed schools and paramilitary police control of her homeland in search of opportunity and freedom with an aunt in America.
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
Arriving in New Zealand in 1866 to seek his fortune in the goldfields, Walter Moody finds himself drawn into a series of unsolved crimes and complex mysteries.
Harvest by Jim Crace
A stable fire in a remote English village leads to disputes between newcomers who are wrongly accused and long-term residents who refuse to believe one of their own could be responsible.
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue vastly different lives–Udayan in rebellion-torn Calcutta, Subhash in a quiet corner of America–until a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Nao Yasutani is a Japanese schoolgirl who writes her own life story. The diary eventually washes up on the shore of Vancouver Island, where a novelist named Ruth finds it.
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín
Years after her son’s crucifixion, Mary lives alone and in fear, trying to piece together the events that led to her son’s brutal death.
*Winner announced October 15, 2013
Scotiabank Giller Prize Longlist 2013*
Going Home Again by Dennis Bock
Charlie Bellerose, a world traveler and businessman, returns to Canada to renew family relationships after he has separated from his wife.
The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
A visceral portrait of life at a crossroads, opening with a brutal massacre and the kidnapping of the young Iroquois Snow Falls, a spirited girl with a special gift. Her captor, Bird, is an elder and one of the Huron Nation’s great warriors and statesmen.
Hellgoing by Lynn Coady
Eight unforgettable new stories, each one of them grabbing our attention from the first line and resonating long after the last.
Cataract City by Craig Davidson
Owen and Duncan are childhood friends. In adulthood their paths diverge, and as Duncan, the less privileged, falls deep into the town’s underworld, he and Owen become reluctant adversaries at opposite ends of the law.
How To Get Along With Women by Elisabeth De Mariaffi
Infused with a close and present danger, these stories tighten the knot around power, identity, and sexuality, and draw the reader into the pivotal moments where – for better or for worse – we see ourselves for what we truly are.
Extraordinary by David Gilmour
Over the course of one Saturday night, a man and his half-sister meet at her request to spend the evening preparing for her assisted death.
Emancipation Day by Wayne Grady
Steeped in jazz and big-band music, spanning pre- and post-war Windsor-Detroit, St. John’s, Newfoundland, and 1950s Toronto, this is an arresting, heartwrenching novel about fathers and sons, love and sacrifice, race relations and a time in our history when the world was on the cusp of momentous change.
October 1970 by Louis Hamelin
October 1970. Two kidnappings. One dead. A crisis unlike anything the country had ever seen — here is the story behind history…
The Son of a Certain Woman by Wayne Johnston
Percy Joyce, born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in the fifties is an outsider from childhood, set apart by a congenital disfigurement. Taunted and bullied, he is also isolated by his intelligence and wit, and his unique circumstances: an unbaptized boy raised by a single mother in a fiercely Catholic society.
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
Nora Eldridge, a 37-year-old elementary school teacher has become the “woman upstairs,” a reliable friend and tidy neighbour always on the fringe of others’ achievements. Then into her classroom walks a new pupil, Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale.
Caught by Lisa Moore
Twenty-five-year-old David Slaney, locked up on charges of marijuana possession, has escaped his cell and sprinted to the highway. But evading the cops isn’t his only objective; Slaney intends to track down his old partner, Hearn, and get back into the drug business.
The Crooked Maid by Dan Vyleta
Vienna, 1948. The war is over, and as the initial phase of de-Nazification winds down, the citizens of Vienna struggle to rebuild their lives amidst the rubble.
Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter
Henry Hayward is a drowning man. With a soured long-term romance finally at an end, no family, and no refuge to be had in work, he progressively spends his days in the solace of alcohol and his nights with a series of interchangeable partners.
*Winner announced November 5, 2013