Last year I made an effort to read the entire Women’s Prize longlist, along with some friends. I ended up reading 10 of the 14 longlisted books and had a blast doing it! We’ve kept up our Women’s Prize Squad group chat and have added some members as the year has passed. This year I decided not to read the longlist along with the group (they kindly kept me in the chat, ha!), as I’ve been working through grad school and (my real reason) had little-to-no interest in the books longlisted. I chose well, as most everyone has found it a struggle to read through the longlist. Since we felt our thoughts on the best books of the year were not aligned with those of the judges, we thought why not make our own longlist!
Without further ado, I present to you the 2020 Women’s Prize Squad Longlist! Using a draft, each of us chose 2 books to come up with the 16 book longlist. We used the Women’s Prize rules so that our list would be somewhat comparable and plan to vote on both a shortlist and a winner. I’ll run through the list here and give you all my thoughts. I am planning on reading all of the books (ideally before we vote) and have already knocked out one since we made the list on Saturday (I’m writing this on Monday)! I’ll hopefully also be making a wrap-up post once I’ve finished most or all of these.
My full list with no commentary is here (and you can find my ratings and reviews there as they’re updated). Fellow Women’s Prize Squad members are (in no particular order):
Posts by the rest of the squad:
- 2020 Women’s Prize Take 2: Blogger Edition by Emily
- What If? by Callum
- Women’s Prize for Fiction SQUAD Presents: Book Bloggers Take Over the 2020 Longlist by Naty
- An Alternate Women’s Prize Longlist by Rachel
Books I’ve Already Read
These were both 5-star reads for me, which bodes well for the rest of the list (I hope!). My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 and did not disappoint and The Body Lies by Jo Baker blew me away in January and will definitely be one of my favorite books of the year.
Already on my TBR
- Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I really liked the SoC duology and already had a copy of this out from the library!
- Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. I already have a copy of this since it was the one WP book I wanted to read (give me the polyam rep!!) and tried it last month while on vacation. I couldn’t focus enough to get through it so I put it on pause, but plan to pick it up again soon!
- The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Inspired by real events?? Queer?? Witch trials?? Sign me tf up.
- Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman. Emily has been stanning this since she read it for the Booker prize (you’ll never guess whose pick this was) and I have been intending to read it but am… intimidated. Understandably. Still tentatively looking forward to it!
- Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips. Another book I put on my TBR because of Emily, I’m looking forward to this one as well.
- Bunny by Mona Awad. I love dark New England books!
- My Name is Monster by Katie Hale. Added this to my TBR because of Molly Elizabeth Marcelle’s review; I think I’ll either love it or hate it. Hopefully love it!
- Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater. Another book I put down during a slump with the intention of picking up again. Hopefully now is the time!
- Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson. I love Jeaneatte Winterson. The formatting of my eARC made this absolutely impossible to read and I wasn’t sure whether I’d give it another try, but… guess I will!
On My Radar
- The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy. Most of my friends loved this, but I wasn’t sure it was my cup of tea. Guess I’ll find out!
- The Fire Starters by Jan Carson. I’m not particularly into Irish lit, unlike someone I know, but I’m up to giving this a shot.
- Actress by Anne Enright. This feels fairly well-liked by the WP Squad, so I’m okay with giving this a shot as well!