First of all, I want to congratulate author Benjamin Myers on winning this year’s Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, which was awarded at the Borders Book Festival last night. As some of you will know, I am currently attempting to work my way through all of the shortlisted titles since 2010, so I have a particular interest in following this prize.
The six books on the 2018 shortlist were:
Jennifer Egan – Manhattan Beach
Jane Harris – Sugar Money [My review]
Paul Lynch – Grace
Patrick McGrath – The Wardrobe Mistress
Rachel Malik – Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves
Benjamin Myers – The Gallows Pole
I haven’t read The Gallows Pole yet (in fact I haven’t made much progress at all with this year’s list, as you can see) but I’m looking forward to reading it and finding out why it impressed the judges so much.
This is what the book is about:
From his remote moorland home David Hartley assembles a gang of weavers and land workers to embark upon a criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history.They are the Cragg Vale Coiners and their business is clipping – the forging of coins, a treasonous offence punishable by death.
Have you read it? Do you think it is a deserving winner?
Last week also saw the launch of this year’s Reader Survey hosted by M.K. Tod, Heather Burch and Patricia Sands. This annual survey used to be specific to historical fiction, but this year it has been expanded to cover all genres. The results, when they are made available, are always interesting to see, so I definitely think it’s worth participating in this survey.
This is what the survey hosts have to say about it:
What do readers want? What constitutes a compelling story? How do men and women differ in their preferences? Where do readers find recommendations? How do readers share their book experiences?
ANNOUNCING A 2018 READER SURVEY designed to solicit input on these topics and others.
Please take the survey and share the link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/68HL6F2
with friends and family via email or your favourite social media. Robust participation across age groups, genders, and countries will make this year’s survey – the 4th – even more significant.