The Week That Was…

Question of the week:

How does a book that has not even been released get to score a spot on a literary prize longlist? The Booker, no less.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood is not due to release until September. Has the universe become THAT obsessed with The Handmaid’s Tale that its sequel is lauded before anyone has even read it? I’m inclined to boycott this novel.

To quote Booktopia:

The longlisted book most likely to cause a stir this year is Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, the hugely anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. This book isn’t out until early September and its contents are being kept as a closely guarded secret by Atwood’s publisher, so expect the buzz on The Testaments to skyrocket from this point onward.


Joke of the week:


Read of the week:


Highlight of the week:

Buying tickets for this!


#rebeccabuddyread is fast approaching. Time to pull out my glorious copy from the classics cabinet in preparation. I spoiled myself a couple of years ago in a Folio Society sale and acquired this beautiful edition:


What I’m reading next:


Until next week…

24 thoughts on “The Week That Was…

  1. It does seem a bit unfair. But while I’m sure all the people who are on the Booker committee have read it already, it feels like she’s getting nominated only because of the iconic status of Handmaid’s Tale combined with the TV series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does! I think a book needs to be released and even perhaps have some reviews out there behind it to warrant a nomination. This is all so ‘putting the cart before the horse’ and it almost stinks of a marketing ploy, which prizes are meant to be immune to. I don’t think it’s fair at all to the other nominees.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. The reason this occurs is because of the publication dates of books and their eligibility for submission to the Booker. There are in fact two as yet unpublished books on this year’s Booker list. If their publishers hadn’t submitted them then they wouldn’t have qualified for next year’s as their publication date would have fallen outside of the official time period so would have missed out all together for consideration. The judges would have received an ARC much as reviewers do. What we’re seeing here is not uncommon. Pre-publication submission of books to judges for some Australian literary awards also occurs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know this! Of course, I know there are some prizes that are specifically for unpublished works but I thought prizes such as this were for published/released ones.
      You’ve answered my question of the week! Thank you! 😊


    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets prickly about these sorts of things! 😁
      Did you see Sally’s comment? She gives an explanation about it that I had no prior idea about – but I still stand by my feelings of unease. I’d just rather see a book that’s already out get listed.


  3. Love the Kid-joke. Perfect.

    The Atwood situation sounds weird, but I guess I’d need to know more about how the Booker works. If the judges have read it as presumably they have, then I don’t really think the book has to have other reviews out there. In fact, in a sense, having the judges decide on their own reading without the pressure of other reviews out there could make the prize more “pure”. You could argue that they are taking a risk and placing it all on their own heads. And at least no one can argue that they have been swayed by the opinion of others? Just another way of looking at it. I’m good with “on the one hand, but then again on the other” arguments! Here’s one of the “others”: It’s a shame that other readers who want to read the longlist can’t. Will it be out by shortlisting time (if indeed it is shortlisted?) I don’t follow the Booker as much as I used to so am not looking at the timeline for it. I actually don’t blame publishers for marketing ploys – it’s a tough business (though, and here’s the “other hand” again, you’d imagine that of all authors, Atwood doesn’t need much marketing)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are good with these arguments. I love it! I’m so glad I asked this question.
      I have to agree, Atwood’s books probably walk themselves out of the shops!
      You make a valid point though with regards to those who would like to read the longlist, as there are plenty of readers out there who fall into this category. Some of the blogs I follow make a habit of reading and reviewing certain prize lists. As Sally pointed out, there are two on there that are as yet not released but I only really took notice of the Atwood because of the high anticipation about this book.


      • yes, I know of people who love to read short and long lists. It’s not something I ever attempt. But, it’s interesting that unless you do, or it’s a high profile book, you don’t know.

        As for the Atwood, it is Atwood, so I’m interested in this book, but only a bit, as I’m not a keen reader of sequels. It’s rare for me to read them.

        BTW Yes, your question was good. We learnt something!

        Liked by 1 person

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