Meet this year’s Man Booker International Prize reading groups. These 6 groups will be shadowing the shortlist process by reading one of the six shortlisted titles. You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as they discuss their books and chat with each other over the coming weeks leading up to the prize announcement on Wednesday 14 June.
Book and Brew
Book and Brew has been meeting once a month for over two years now. We met via social media and have been sharing our love of books in person and online ever since. We’ve been lucky enough to shadow a literary prize before so we know how much fun it is. International fiction is not something we usually choose so we’re excited to discover new authors and books. We can’t wait to wait to get reading! We’ll be reading Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin (Argentina), translated by Megan McDowell.
Houghton Reading Group
Houghton Reading Group meets once a month at the local pub – The Near Boot Inn. It is a fun informal group. We all enjoy reading and discussing books, nothing quite unites us as a book we all really love or really hate. We borrow sets of reading group books from the fantastic Cumbria Libraries book group service – we also enjoy attending their events together. We have been meeting for over 10 years now, and still our all-time favourite book is Dirt Music by Tim Winton. Shadowing a book prize means getting to try different authors and an award evening party to enjoy. We like to share our thoughts across the digital space, look out for Houghton Books and our Man Booker International Prize journey on Instagram and Twitter. We’ll be reading Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors (Denmark), translated by Misha Hoekstra.
Much Ado About Books
Our book group meets once a month in a local coffee shop and was founded by one of our members when she couldn’t find a local book group which met at a suitable time for her. We all met online via our love of books and have all become good friends, enjoying bookish evenings together too. We read a variety of fiction and the occasional non-fiction and particularly enjoy reading and discussing prize lists. We were proud to shadow the other prizes for the last two years and like to share our thoughts via twitter and Instagram! We have read quite a lot of translated fiction for our book group and feel that it adds to the discussion on our interpretations of the text. We’ll be reading A Horse Walks Into a Bar by David Grossman (Israel), translated by Jessica Cohen.
The Society of Young Publishers London Book Club
We are the Society of Young Publishers, and we have a monthly London book club. The Society of Young Publishers is open to anyone in publishing or a related trade – or who is hoping to be soon. Brought together by our passion for the publishing industry and our huge obsession with books, at our London book club we love to explore a different genre each month, and meet for discussion on plot, character, genre and anything else that comes to mind. At the Society of Young Publishers, one of our main areas of interest is diversity. We have previously hosted diversity panel events, and this year have focused on channelling this interest in our book club by reading a wide variety of books by authors from different backgrounds. The Man Booker International prize is a symbol of diversity, exploring language, and celebrating the differences and nuances translation can allow us, and we are absolutely thrilled to be part of the process. We’ll be reading The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen (Norway), translated by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw.
Isle of Wight College Reading Group
The Isle of Wight College Book group was started by students, for staff and students of the College, in 2014 and has been kept going by the LRC ever since. We are a bit of a lottery as a book group – each group starts again at the start of the academic year, so we are never quite sure who our new members will be! However, we are extremely passionate about reading and encourage students to read for pleasure. We meet once a month to discuss what we have read over cake and fine china, which always makes our students smile! We are excited to shadow the Man Booker International Prize, as we will be introduced to an author that we probably wouldn’t have explored before. It also gives the group chance to think about the role of the translator in International fiction, the fact that someone else has had to rewrite the book in another language for us to enjoy it. We’ll be reading Judas by Amos Oz (Israel), translated by Nicholas de Lange.
Found in Translation
Found in Translation is a book group from Edinburgh. We have been meeting every month in Central Library for the past 2 years. We read and discuss English translations of fiction from around the world. Every book takes us on a literary and cultural travel to a different country. Our most recent read was The Vegetarian by Han Kang, the winner of the last year’s Man Booker International Prize. We are a diverse group spanning many nationalities, backgrounds and careers. We come from different parts of Europe: Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Scotland and Ireland. As we only read books in translation the Man Booker International Prize is a perfect fit for us. We have gained so much from reading books from many languages and cultures and look forward with relish to the 2017 shortlist. We’d encourage readers to get out of their reading comfort zones and join us. We’ll be reading Compass by Mathias Enard (France), translated by Charlotte Mandell.
Read more about the shortlisted books and let us know what you think.
There are supporting booklists for all of the Man Booker International shortlist books on our resources page.
Tell us which book you think should win the prize this year. Share your thoughts using #MBI2017 or comment below. Don’t forget to leave your reviews on the books by clicking on any title above.