Now, I'm a great one for 'to do' lists. I use them to set out what I want to achieve in the year, the week, the day, even the hour on some occasions - yes, really.
But I'm not so keen on book lists.
A friend sent me her 16-year-old daughter's A level reading list this week. It made me feel very inadequate. And all the various book prizes tend to overwhelm me. So many books, so little time.
I'm never short of reading material, but I do like to receive recommendations. And it is good to keep having our reading habits challenged, I think. Imagine the gems we'd miss if we didn't occasionally step out of our comfort zone.
It's fascinating to see what some people are reading. I'm always interested in taking a look at Barack Obama's lists, for example. And Transport for London is hoping to encourage conversation among passengers through introducing a book club with its recommended fiction and non-fiction titles each month.
It's a shame, then, that a number of book prizes have been discontinued recently - the cancelling of the Costa Book Awards came as a shock to the whole industry, it seems, and the axing of the Blue Peter prize seems the end of an era. The Sunday Times Short Story Prize is under threat and the Desmond Elliot prize which recognises debut novelists, will be paused next year as a new sponsor is sought.
With this backdrop, it seemed a relief to learn of the release of the longlist for the Booker Prize 2022 last week - at least it was going ahead! And, of course, there are some interesting novels included. So, once again, by popular demand, we are going to run the Browsers Booker Challenge!
Participants will agree to read one or more of the titles on the longlist and report back on how they liked it, whether they thought it might make the shortlist, and if it might even win the prize overall. We'll meet together on the evening of Monday 5th September, the day before the shortlist is announced. It will, as always, be interesting to see if our opinions match those of the judges.
It's always a fun and interesting meeting, so if you'd like to take part, please email me as soon as possible, and I'll let you know which books need a reader. You're also welcome to attend if you wish only to listen to the reviews and perhaps compile your own reading list as a result. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for reading.