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The 2019 Booker Prize Shortlist

A little later today the short list for the Booker Prize is going to be announced, with the final winner revealed October 15, 2019. There are some great titles and big names on this year’s list, with Margaret Atwood’s sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale”, “The Testaments” a clear front runner given the Hulu show and general topical fascination with her dystopian creation. That’s not to say Salman Rushdie doesn’t have a chance, and I’ve heard great things about “Last Boat to Tangier’s” and “Frankissstein”.

I’m a big fan of last year’s winner, George Saunders—I’ve written about his “Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil“—and even managed to start reading his ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ before being buried alive in a TBR pile avalanche….. 🤷🏻‍♂️

I’m way ahead of the curve this year though since I read Oyinkan Braithwaite’s ‘My Sister the Serial Killer’ and have two other books on my ‘to read’ list already. Braithwaite’s book was fantastic and left me wondering which sister was really the most dangerous…..

Congratulations to all of the authors whose books have made the longlist and the soon to be announced shortlist. Check out the Booker Prize to stay up to date on what you need to read next!

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Margaret Atwood & the Happy Face Killer


Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” 
― Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood was born November 18, and is a poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher and environmental activist. Among the seventeen books of poetry, sixteen novels, ten books of non-fiction, eight collections of short fiction, eight children’s books, and one graphic novel, Atwood is perhaps best known at the moment for her novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and it’s adaptation as a tv series with Hulu.

There are a number of reasons why the quote at the top is relevant today, and tomorrow there will be even more examples.  Whether that means another shooting at a yoga studio, or a rapist gets off because of his victim’s clothing, or a rapist who let his victim die while he played video games gets off because he had no prior record, or, or, or, or….. 

While its become one of the more popular and visible Atwood quotes, I thought to share it since it was fresh in my mind because of a podcast I’ve been listening to, ‘Happy Face’.

It’s produced by the daughter of the Happy Face Killer, Keith Jesperson, who raped and murdered eight women, and only turned himself in because two other people had been convicted of his crimes. He wanted the credit. While in prison Jesperson did interviews and spoke calmly and thoroughly about his victims, about how he raped and murdered each woman, and how he disposed of their bodies.  And he spoke about how it was ultimately their fault he killed them. If only she hadn’t spoken that way about men, if only she hadn’t provoked him, if only she hadn’t made him do it.

If only she hadn’t laughed.

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