Thursday, August 16, 2012

Exclusive Books Announces Boeke 2012

It is that time of year again, when the Boeke gets announced, Publishers feign delight and readers flock to counters to nibble, dabble and bicker about who the winner will be.

According to the Press Release, the history to the Exclusive Books’ Boeke campaign is an unforgettable one. The Boeke Prize first began in 1995 as a tongue-in-cheek take on the celebrated British Man Booker Prize. The South African ‘Boeke’ celebrate top English fiction published in the preceding year. The books can provide for light, fun reading or can be appropriate additions to academic literature. The winning book can also be rather controversial having seen strict criteria being applied in the last few years. In all respects, the Booker Prize embodies the stiff British upper lip that is so revered in the UK, and the South African Boeke pokes fun at this, while at the same time still remaining a celebration of literature.

So drumroll please, here are the nominees ...

Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison

Ahalya Ghai is just seventeen when a tsunami rips through her Indian village. Ahalya and her sister Sita are the sole survivors of their family. Destitute, their only hope is to find refuge at a convent in Chennai, many miles away. A driver agrees to take them. But the second they get into that car they are doomed - the two sisters are sold. Ahalya doesn't understand why any man would pay so much money for them. She will soon find out. On the other side of the world, Washington, D.C. lawyer Thomas Clarke witnesses the kidnapping of a young girl. Struggling to cope after the death of his baby daughter and the collapse of his marriage to Priya, he takes a sabbatical from his high-pressure job and accepts a position with the Bombay branch of CASE, the Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation. He is now on a path that not only involves saving himself and his marriage, but the lives of Ahalya and Sita Ghai. A Walk Across The Sun is about cruelty and loss. It is about family and survival. And ultimately it is about love, and the immeasurable strength of the human spirit.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

'It is never what you worry over that comes to pass in the end. The real catastrophes are always different - unimagined, unprepared for, unknown...'

What if our 24-hour day grew longer, first in minutes, then in hours, until day becomes night and night becomes day? What effect would this slowing have on the world? On the birds in the sky, the whales in the sea, the astronauts in space, and on an eleven-year-old girl, grappling with emotional changes in her own life..? One morning, Julia and her parents wake up in their suburban home in California to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth is noticeably slowing. The enormity of this is almost beyond comprehension. And yet, even if the world is, in fact, coming to an end, as some assert, day-to-day life must go on. Julia, facing the loneliness and despair of an awkward adolescence, witnesses the impact of this phenomenon on the world, on the community, on her family and on herself.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. 

He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone.

All he knows is that he must keep walking. 

To save someone else's life.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman

A stunning debut novel about a lighthouse keeper and his wife and the moral dilemma they face. For fans of The Island.

Would you accept a chance for happiness even if it wasn't yours to have? This is a story about a lighthouse keeper and his wife, who live on a lonely island with just seagulls, stars and buffeting winds for company. It's about a tiny baby and a dead man in a boat that drifts ashore one April morning, and the apparently harmless decision made that day. More than anything, it's a story about right and wrong, and how sometimes they look the same.

The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya

A visceral, unforgettable novel about one of the defining events of our age.

Following a desperate night-long battle, a group of beleaguered soldiers in an isolated base in Kandahar are faced with a lone woman demanding the return of her brother's body. Is she a spy, a black widow, a lunatic or what she claims to be: a grieving sister intent on burying her brother according to local rites?

As she persists, single-minded in her mission, the camp's tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil as the men argue about what to do next.

The Watch takes an age-old story - the myth of Antigone - and hurls it into present-day Afghanistan. The result is an unputdownable, deeply affecting book that brilliantly exposes the realities of war. It is also our most powerful expression to date of the nature and futility of this very contemporary conflict. 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Marriage can be a real killer. 

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

So which one would you vote for?

The list is narrowed down by Exclusive Books’ booksellers selected on demand in store, receiving a good amount of reviews and what is most talked about. At the end of the promotion there will be two winners announced: a Judge’s Choice and a Reader’s Choice, which will be revealed at the Boeke Prize 2012 awards event in September.

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violininavoid said...

I've only read Gone Girl, but it was brilliant! The others would have to be seriously impressive to steal my vote.

Julia said...

i haven't read it, but the only one i would want to read is - "a walk across the sun" - it's been on my to read list for a while ...

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