Some of you will know that I'm a bit of a purist. Or you might call it naïve. Idealistic, certainly. I even recognise it in myself as a bi-product of being away-with-the-fairies, but call it by whichever name you see fit, it means that I would never cheat at Trivial Pursuit. And believe me, never has somebody had more reason to cheat at Trivial Pursuit. I'd never look up an answer to a quiz question on my phone, underneath the table in the pub, amidst much giggling and defence that 'everyone's doing it', and probably much to the disdain of my team mates who'd be grateful that I was at least doing something to contribute to the greater good of the team. I just don’t see the point. I only want to win if it's for real. I've always been like that. I know, I can be so dreadfully dull.
But no matter, I'm 47 and I don't see any of that changing now.
So, when I bring your attention to the Guardian's, Not the Booker Prize 2016 with its, ahem, esteemed Guardian mug up for grabs, and when I tell you that I appear to be rubbing shoulders with the most revered Julian Barnes and most treasured Maggie O'Farrell on its longlist, please believe me when I say that I am not asking you to vote for Glass Houses if it just doesn't float your boat.
I also wouldn’t want you to vote for it if you hadn't read it. Even though I recognise that it would be a very sweet thing to do.
Now, that isn't to say that I wouldn't love to be on that shortlist of books which is to be read and voted on by readers for the Guardian's somewhat tongue in cheek but nonetheless, quirkily respected, Not the Booker 2016.
I'd love to be on that list. It would be beyond my wildest dreams. [note to self: change that cliché in the edit]
But only if readers wanted me to be there.
So, if you have read Glass Houses and you enjoyed it and if you would like to encourage others to read it for themselves, if I asked you really nicely, would you consider voting for it over at the Not the Booker competition site?
The link is here:
Once in, you have to choose two books from the longlist, from two different publishers, and include a short review (around 100 words) of at least one of the books you nominate. You put all this in a comment which you can access either at the top of the article or underneath the list of the hundred books on the long list. I think quantity of nominations and the quality of the review will both be used to sway the final decision, but I'm guessing. The emphasis is certainly on this being the readers who decide so please don't think you have to be any way a pro in writing reviews.
One more thing, you only have a few days to do it – the deadline is 23.59 on 14 August 2016.If you vote for Glass Houses, thank you! If you don't, I respect your integrity :)
Did I mention how much I love you all…?