In 2007 we (Suzy and Rachel) undertook our first Bookerthon, with the naive idea we could channel the judges’ thoughts and pick a winning book when we saw one.

While we did not agree with the judges that year, we appreciated the fact we were reading six of the year’s best books in one hit. And so, a new literary passion was born, as was a new arm of bookclub.

We loved it so much, we began undertaking ‘Back-Bookers’ reading and judging shortlists where the result was already known. Thus we have completed amateur judging on every shortlist since 2001!

Booker 2022

Winner: The Seven Moons of Maali Ameida – Shehan Karunatilaka
Suzy’s pick to win: Glory – NoViolet Bulawayo
Rachels pick to win: Small Things Likes These – Claire Keegan

Booker 2021

Winner: The Promise – Damon Galgut
Rachel’s pick to win: No One Is Talking About This – Patricia Lockwood
Suzy’s pick to win: The Promise – Damon Galgut

Booker 2020
Winner: Shuggie Bain – Douglas Stuart
Rachel’s pick to win: Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
Suzy’s pick to win: The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

Booker 2019
Joint winners: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo & The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Suzy & Rachel’s pick to win: Ducks, Newburyport – Lucy Ellmann

Booker 2018
Winner: Milkman – Anna Burns
Suzy’s pick to win: The Overstory – Richard Powers
Rachel’s pick to win: The Long Take – Robin Robertson

Booker 2017
Winner: Lincoln In The Bardo – George Saunders
Rachel & Suzy’s pick to win: Lincoln In The Bardo – George Saunders

Booker 2016:
Winner: The Sellout – Paul Beatty
Rachel & Suzy’s pick to win: Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien

Booker 2015:
Winner: A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James
Rachel & Suzy’s pick to win: The Fishermen – Chigozie Obioma

Booker 2014:
Winner: The Narrow Road To The Deep North – Richard Flanagan
Rachel’s pick: The Narrow Road To The Deep North – Richard Flanagan
Suzy’s pick: How To Be Both – Ali Smith

Booker 2013:
Winner: The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
Suzy & Rachel’s pick: The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

Booker 2012:
Winner: Bring Up The Bodies – Hilary Mantel
Suzy’s pick: The Garden of Evening Mists – Tan Twan Eng
Rachel’s pick: The Lighthouse – Alison Moore

Booker 2011:
Winner: The Sense of An Ending – Julian Barnes
Rachel’s pick: The Sense Of An Ending – Julian Barnes
Suzy’s pick: The Sisters Brothers – Patrick de Witt

Booker 2010:
Winner: The Finkler Question – Howard Jacobson
Rachel’s pick: In A Strange Room – Damon Galgut
Suzy’s pick: Parrot & Olivier in America – Peter Carey

Booker 2009:
Winner: Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
Suzy’s pick: The Quickening Maze – Adam Foulds
Jo’s pick: The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters
Rachel’s pick: Summertime – J M Coetzee

Booker 2008:
Winner: The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga
Rachel’s pick: The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga
Suzy’s pick: Sea of Poppies – Amitav Ghosh

Booker 2007:
Winner: The Gathering – Anne Enright
Suzy’s pick: Mister Pip – Lloyd Jones
Rachel’s pick: Animal’s People – Indra Sinha

line of writing

In the name of true nerdiness, Suzy and Rachel have also completed back-Bookers, where obviously pre-empting the winner is impossible, but we do still meet to discuss the lineup and proclaim our favourites. Here’s the info:

2006 Booker

Back Booker 2006:

The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai            (winner) (Suzy’s pick)
In The Country of Men – Hisham Matar        (Rachel’s pick)
The Secret River – Kate Grenville
Carry Me Down – M J Hyland
Mother’s Milk – Edward St Aubyn
The Night Watch – Sarah Waters

line of writing 


Back Booker 2005

The Sea – John Banville                         (winner)
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro       (Rachel & Suzy’s pick)
The Accidental – Ali Smith
A Long, Long Way – Sebastian Barry
On Beauty – Zadie Smith
Arthur & George – Julian Barnes

line of writing 

Back Booker 2004

The Line of Beauty – Alan Hollinghurst (winner) (Rachel & Suzy’s pick)
Bitter Fruit – Achmat Dangor
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
I’ll Go To Bed At Noon – Gerard Woodward
The Electric Michelangelo – Sarah Hall
The Master – Colm Toibin

line of writing 

2003 Booker

Back Booker 2003

Vernon God Little – DBC Pierre          (winner)
Oryx & Crake – Margaret Atwood      (Suzy & Rachel’s pick)
Brick Lane – Monica Ali
Astonishing Splashes of Colour – Clare Morrall
The Good Doctor – Damon Galgut
Notes on a Scandal – Zoe Heller

line of writing 

2002 Booker

Back Booker 2002

Life of Pi – Yann Matel               (winner) (Rachel & Suzy’s pick)
Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
Dirt Music – Tim Winton
Family Matters – Rohinton Mistry
Unless – Carol Shields
The Story of Lucy Gault – William Trevor

lline of writing 


Back Booker 2001

True History of the Kelly Gang – Peter Carey   (winner)
Atonement – Ian McEwan             (Rachel & Suzy’s pick)
Number9dream – David Mitchell
Oxygen – Andrew Miller
Hotel World – Ali Smith
The Dark Room – Rachel Seiffert

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