Howard Jacobson’s Live a Little (Book acquired, some time near the end of August, 2019)

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Howard Jacobson’s Live a Little is new in hardback in the US this month from Penguin Random House. Their blurb–

At the age of ninety-something, Beryl Dusinbery is forgetting everything – including her own children. She spends her days stitching morbid samplers and tormenting her two long-suffering carers, Nastya and Euphoria, with tangled stories of her husbands and love affairs.

Shimi Carmelli can do up his own buttons, walks without the aid of a frame and speaks without spitting. Among the widows of North London, he’s whispered about as the last of the eligible bachelors. Unlike Beryl, he forgets nothing – especially not the shame of a childhood incident that has hung over him ever since.

There’s very little life remaining for either of them, but perhaps just enough to heal some of the hurt inflicted along the way, and find new meaning in what’s left. Told with Jacobson’s trademark wit and style, Live a Little is equal parts funny, irreverent and tender – a novel to make you consider all the paths not taken, and whether you could still change course.

Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question Wins the Booker Prize

The Guardian and other sources report that Howard Jacobson has won the 2010 Man Booker Prize for his novel The Finkler Question. The novel, which we haven’t read, is apparently a comic piece about love, loss, Jewish identity, and male friendship. The win is perhaps something as an upset, as many folks had Tom McCarthy’s C pegged as the favorite (last week bookmaker Ladbrokes even suspended betting on the Booker after bets on C crowded out the competition). Read our review of C here.