The Memory Police
by Yoko Ogawa
Translated by Stephen Snyder
We’ve created a bespoke shortlist for the five winners of our Christmas competition, each containing six titles from the Booker Library inspired by a loved one’s favourite reads
Whether it’s a Secret Santa or a stocking filler, there’s no better gift at Christmas than a new book - except perhaps several books. There’s a particular joy to hunkering down with an extra-special new read, cracking the spine and turning those crisp new pages as the light fades on a day of festivities.
With this in mind, last month we launched the ultimate Christmas competition for book lovers around the world. We offered you the chance to win one of five individually curated Booker shortlists for a loved one, each made up of six books from the Booker Library and inspired by their favourite reads.
To enter, you simply had to tell us who you would like to win the prize for and list some of their favourite books, as well as some of their other interests. We then selected five winners at random at the beginning of December, to receive these Christmas-themed parcels.
Here are the winners and the bespoke shortlists that Gaby Wood, Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, has chosen for them. Perhaps you’ll be inspired by some of these recommendations for your own reading pile, too.
Our first winner is based in India, and entered on behalf of their partner who they told us was particularly fond of Salman Rushdie’s 1981 Booker winner Midnight’s Children, as well as the winners of the 2022 Booker and International Booker prizes, Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree and The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka. They also love sci-fi films. Here is the bespoke Booker shortlist that we selected for them:
Our second winner is based in Canada, and selected books for their partner whose favourite novels were Bernardine Evaristo’s 2021 Booker Prize winner Girl, Woman, Other; Mieko Kawakami’s debut Breasts and Eggs; and Booker-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel, Klara and the Sun. They also enjoyed hiking, knitting and yoga. Here are the books that were selected for them.
Our third winner, based in Australia, chose books for their mother, who cited Eleanor Catton’s 2013 Booker Prize winner The Luminaries as one of their top reads, alongside Hilary Mantel’s 2009 winner Wolf Hall. They also enjoy Agatha Christie, sports, and cooking. Here are the books we choose for this winner.
Our fourth winner, based in the UK, selected books for their partner who referenced Booker Prize-winning author Pat Barker’s novel The Silence of the Girls as one of their favourite books, alongside If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor. In their spare time, they also enjoy running, baking and travelling. Here are the books we chose for this winner.
Our fifth winner, based in the Netherlands, entered the competition for their boyfriend, whose favourite books are 2021 Booker Prize-winner Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart and 2015 winner A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, alongside Panchiko by Min Jin Lee. Their interests include beer, synthesizers and bonsai. Here are the books that we chose for this winner.