2016 Walter Scott Prize longlist announced

As some of you may know, I am in the process of slowly working my way through all the shortlisted titles for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction since it began in 2010. Historical fiction is my favourite genre and I have so far found the books nominated for this prize to be of a consistently high quality.

You can learn more about the prize on the Walter Scott Prize website and you can follow my progress through the shortlists on this page. Kay of What Me Read has already joined me in this project and if anyone else would like to do the same, you’re more than welcome.

Anyway, the reason I’m posting this today is that this year’s longlist has just been announced – with the shortlist to follow in March and the winner in June. I’m not currently planning to attempt to read the entire longlist, which includes thirteen books, but I would like to dip into the list from time to time and read at least some of them.

The thirteen books are as follows:

A God in Ruins A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
Sweet Caress by William Boyd
A Petrol Scented Spring by Ajay Close
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale
Dictator by Robert Harris
Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt
Death and Mr Pickwick by Stephen Jarvis
Mrs Engels by Gavin McCrea
End Games in Bordeaux by Allan Massie
Tightrope by Simon Mawer
Signs For Lost Children by Sarah Moss
Curtain Call by Anthony Quinn
Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar

The only one I have read so far is A God in Ruins, but I do have Dictator on hold at the library and can’t wait to read it. I have heard good things about Sweet Caress – and Death and Mr Pickwick sounds interesting, although I’m not sure if I should wait until I’ve read The Pickwick Papers first. Most of the others are new to me, so I have some investigating to do!

Have you read any of these books?

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22 thoughts on “2016 Walter Scott Prize longlist announced

  1. whatmeread says:

    I have read two of these, A God in Ruins and Sweet Caress, so if they end up on the short list, that’s a head start! I was just looking at Dictator the other day, but is that part of a series? I am sure you said that one of the Robert Harris books from earlier years was part of a trilogy.

  2. TJ @ MyBookStrings says:

    I looked at the Walter Scott Prize when you first mentioned it, and I liked what I saw. This list has reinforced my positive impression. I just put Mrs. Engels on hold at the library and hope to read it next month, but I haven’t actually read anything from this list (yet).

    • Helen says:

      I think this is a great prize. I’ve enjoyed most of the shortlisted and longlisted titles I’ve read so far, and I’ve been introduced to some authors who have now become favourites. Enjoy Mrs Engels! πŸ™‚

  3. camilledefleurville says:

    I have read Mr Pickwick many times; I startedwith an abridged version in French and found it so funny, I asked for the complte version (in French), then made my way through the English version several times. I always read the merry days of Christmastide every year for Christmas. So, like you I find “Death and Mr Pickwick” very intriguing! I hope you will blog on this. πŸ™‚

    • Helen says:

      I’ve read a lot of other books by Dickens but not The Pickwick Papers as it has never sounded very appealing to me. I’m pleased to hear you’ve enjoyed reading it (more than once) and that you thought it was funny. I’ll probably try reading it soon, as well as Death and Mr Pickwick. πŸ™‚

    • Helen says:

      I loved both Imperium and Lustrum, so I’m really looking forward to reading Dictator. I’m glad you enjoyed it, even if not quite as much as Lustrum.

  4. Stephen Jarvis says:

    Hi – It is Stephen Jarvis, the author of Death and Mr Pickwick here. You don’t need to read The Pickwick Papers before reading Death and Mr Pickwick – the two novels are completely self-contained. However, if you have already read The Pickwick Papers, you will see “echoes” of that book in Death and Mr Pickwick which people who have not read The Pickwick Papers won’t see. I hope my novel will lead people towards reading The Pickwick Papers,though. . You can find out more about my novel at http://www.deathandmrpickwick.com Best wishes Stephen

    • Helen says:

      Thank you for commenting, Stephen. I would like to read The Pickwick Papers eventually anyway, but it’s good to know that I will be able to read your book first. Good luck with the Walter Scott Prize!

      • Stephen Jarvis says:

        Thank you, Helen. You might also like to take a look at the Death and Mr Pickwick facebook page http://www.facebook.com/deathandmrpickwick – I post there every day, and the great thing is that others post too. There is a real sense of a ‘fan community’ for Death and Mr Pickwick building up at that page. Also, if you go to http://www.deathandmrpickwick.com and click on the ‘Further Reading” tab, you will see an e-flipbook, The Chronicles of Death and Mr Pickwick, which is a compilation of the facebook posts from the start, and which is much easier to access than facebook. All the best Stephen

        • Helen says:

          Thanks for the links, Stephen. I love the idea of the e-flipbook. I’m sure that will be a useful resource for anyone reading Death and Mr Pickwick. πŸ™‚

  5. Judy Krueger says:

    I am always one for reading projects. I have so many! My overall project I named My Big Fat Reading Project (I created it the year My Big Fat Greek Wedding was a hit movie.) I of course am tempted to join you but it would be foolish of me. However, I looked at the short list you are working through and was surprised to see how many of them I have read. (BTW, Esi Edugyan – Half-Blood Blues is well worth reading. I loved it so much. My review: http://keepthewisdom.blogspot.com/2014/10/half-blood-blues.html Best of luck with your project and I look forward to your reviews.

    • Helen says:

      Thank you, Judy. I haven’t been in any hurry to read Half-Blood Blues as it didn’t sound very appealing to me, but your review makes it sound great. I’m looking forward to reading it now. πŸ™‚

  6. Jo says:

    I have read A Place Called Winter, which is a wonderful read and rather moving and thought provoking.
    I must get round to reading AGod inRuins.

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