In a surprising upset, Howard Jacobson won the Booker Prize for The Finkler Question. I got further on the Booker shortlist this year than ever before, having cracked four of the six titles (I only made it through three though, as I found Peter Carey's book so dull I had to put it down after 100 pages).
Oddsmakers gave the advantage to Tom McCarthy's C, which was a strange, but enjoyable read. Also strange was Damon Galgut's In a Strange Room, which I enjoyed, even though the protagonist was annoying spineless. I was rooting for Emma Donogue's Room, my favorite book I've read so far this year. It's an amazing story told from the point of view of a 5-year-old boy whose lived his whole life trapped in a room with his mother, who was abducted 7 years prior by a creep who keeps her locked up and rapes her regularly. As dark and disturbing as such a premise could be--and it has its moments of breathtaking cruelty--the overall tone is actually one of youthful discovery, as the boy begins to fully grasp how small his world is and the larger world beyond.
Booker Prize Pop Music Trivia: Which book included a reference to a pop musician who had a UK #1 hit earlier this year? Which artist was it?