Independent Booksellers' Prize 2009

From TheBookbag
Jump to: navigation, search

The 2009 Independent Booksellers' Prize shortlist allowed for voting in independent bookshops around the UK. It was a strong shortlist, with a richly-deserved winner. Here's what Bookbag thought of them. Why not tell us about your favourites too? (Although we've got links to Amazon as with all our lists, we really would rather you went out and supported your local bookshop instead of buying online this time! Tell them Bookbag sent you!)


The Winner

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

4star.jpg

Barry's latest Booker-shortlisted, Costa-nominated novel explores the human impact of Ireland's troubled 20th century history. A very, very good book indeed, beautifully written from start to finish. It is, however, let down by a surprisingly poor ending - but is a recommended read nevertheless. Full review...

The Shortlist

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

4star.jpg

Leo is a hero after World War 2 and a successful agent in the MGB; a man unquestioningly loyal to his mother Russia, despite having to do questionable duties, until he discovers a mistake in the system and is powerless to do anything. A flawed but engaging detective thriller, which will almost certainly make a great movie. Full review...

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

5star.jpg

An entertaining and moving study of love, friendship and literature against the backdrop of the German Occupation of the Channel Islands. Full review...

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks

3.5star.jpg

A look by Oliver Sacks, physician and neurologist, at the powers of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians and everyday people, largely through a series of individual case histories. Full review...

Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill

3star.jpg

A memoir of the writer and former book reviewer, reflecting on approaching death as well as random thoughts, episodes, likes and dislikes from her ninety years. Full review...

Spilling the Beans by Clarissa Dickson Wright

4.5star.jpg

Not just reminiscences about Two Fat Ladies but a story of a life not always lived wisely but always lived to the full. Highly recommended. Full review...

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale

4.5star.jpg

On the night of 29th June 1860 a three year old boy, Saville Kent, had his throat slashed and his body stuffed into a privy in the grounds of Road Hill House, Wiltshire. True crime told as a gripping story. Highly recommended. Full review...

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

3star.jpg

Purple prose over vivid description, soap opera over genuine emotional depth. Bookbag didn't enjoy this any more than it enjoyed its predecessor, The Kite Runner. Its weighty setting belies what is in actuality, a pleasant but incredibly light and schmaltzy plot-driven read. Full review...

When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson

4.5star.jpg

Funny, literary, sharp as a knife, and moving in a dark direction from the horrifying first few pages, this is a deeply gratifying read. Full review...

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

4.5star.jpg

The 2008 Booker Prize-winner constrasts India's growing economy with its rural poverty. Full review...

Bookfeatures.jpg Check out Bookbag's exciting features section, with interviews, top tens and editorials.

Comments

Like to comment on this feature?

Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.