Oh hang it all, it's foolish and folly I know but on Booker Longlist day and as Bookerthon 2008 looms, time to gaze into the crystal ball, go out on that limb and make a few wild predictions.
We've all been offering our long list suggestions over on the Picador blog in an effort to win £50 worth of books.If I win those are going to be offered as a prize on here but don't hold your breath, I've done my best on your behalf but it's all a bit subjective and you know me and the Booker, never chosen the winner yet. Quite a few books are cropping up again and again, some of them I've read, some I've meant to and some I hope I don't have to.
CONFESSION : I have never reached the far end of a Salman Rushdie novel, ever, the 2008 Bookerthon could be floundering from the off if other predictions are right.
It's heart ruling head time so here goes with my Booker Thirteen and there have been some very last-minute amendments after a weekend of reading.
His Illegal Self - Peter Carey
A shoo-in surely? I'm not a huge fan of Peter Carey but I truly loved this book and have vowed to try harder with the rest.
The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry
I have a soft spot for Sebastian since he was robbed, the year A Long Long Way didn't win. I have a minor misgiving about the ending but it's very minor in the grand scheme of Sebastian's mesmerising writing.
The Rowing Lesson - Anne Landsman
It would be nice to know someone else had read and loved this other than just me,I feel a bit lonely waving its flag but love it I did.
The Spare Room - Helen Garner
Because Susan Hill says so and last year she predicted Winnie & Wolfe as a winner and just look what happened? We had a great disagreement over that one but this year I'm with her all the way, this is one of those special books, they come along so rarely, but when they do you know it.
Carpentaria - Alexis Wright
If this makes it I'll be kicking myself for not having tucked it under my belt already.Started it twice and got distracted but I knew as I read it was a very important book in the scheme of things but one that requires total concentration.
The Behaviour of Moths - Poppy Adams
I loved this and love it even more having heard Poppy Adams speaking about it at Ways With Words last week. It's a book of far greater depth than I first realised and you hear those dusty moth wings fluttering long after the final page.
Resistance - Owen Sheers
I realise this probably puts Faber over the limit for entries but it's far too good to leave off the list.
Crusaders - Richard Kelly
Another Faber but a parable of our times and another book I relished, real people, living real lives...well as real as fiction can get. It's an outsider but I'll risk it.
The Northern Clemency - Philip Hensher
Well Sam Leith predicts this one to be there so who am I to dissent? Huge doorstop of a book, more real people living real lives. I have it ready and waiting and will read it regardless.
Deaf Sentence - David Lodge
Another I've loved this year, a book that says many things and covers much ground.
Remember Me - Melvyn Bragg
I've barely scraped the surface of this one but even so I think it's shaping up into a masterpiece.
Feather Man - Rhyll McMaster
Marion Boyars have been urging me to read this and I kept saying 'but the first chapter is too upsetting'...'carry on, persevere' they said and assured me it would be worth the effort. I've read it this weekend and how right they were, I would love to see this book on the longlist.
Sputnik Caledonia - Andrew Crumey
This is a very last-minute addition because it's another I've been reading this weekend and only because John Self has been saying all year it will be a Booker longlister and he's always right about this sort of thing. But I'm in agreement, it's been a revelation of a book, one I thought I wouldn't like but have loved.
So you see if it was all down to me I'd only have to read a couple of books for Bookerthon 2008 and that would free up my August reading time nicely.
Most unlikely because I have no Indian subcontinent writers in there and they always deserve a place or two, so may the best book win.
Except it never does.