My Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 Wishlist

My Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 Wishlist

When Naomi (The Writes of Woman) Frisby asked if I’d like to be on this year’s shadow reading panel for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, I fell over myself to say yes. Then I sat down to think about which books would be on my wish list. I have a very bad memory and, for one horrible moment, it felt as though I’d read nothing all year. NOTHING. Until I remembered how much of the year I’d spent reading, instead of writing my next novel and feeding my children. I can’t blame the lack of housework on reading. I don’t ever really do housework.

I’ve read some brilliant books which don’t fit the rules (which specify they should be novels, written by a woman, in English, published between April 2015 and March 2016). I’ve not read a number of books that I’m fairly sure will be on the official longlist (due to be announced next week). What to do? Choose books I liked but which probably weren’t in contention? Books that would make me appear smart? If I buried my head in a suitable reading list before the longlist time, should I choose books that the publishers had clearly lined up as candidates? Or books that I just wanted to read because I’d heard other readers raving about them?

I canvassed some opinions among various reading/writing/blogging groups on Facebook. I visited some of the review blogs I particularly trust (among others, Isabel Costello’s Literary Sofa and Susan Osborne’s A Life In Books). I went back through my year’s reading history. I talked to friends. I got a pile of books out from the library.

This is where I’ve ended up:


Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 2016

Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 2016

Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 2016

Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 2016

What’s on your list? I’d love to hear!


  1. Eric
    4 Mar 2016

    Ooh, great choices! I haven’t read most of these and particularly intrigued to read Judy Blume, Margaret Atwood and Sarah Hall’s books. The Green Road is so wonderful. I loved it. And Baume’s book is so fascinatingly written.

  2. Martine Bailey
    5 Mar 2016

    Thank you so much for picking The Penny Heart, Sarah, and in such amazing company. It’s great to see 18th century Manchester in there along with some other fabulous locations and times. My TBR is toppling now…


  1. The Penny Heart, by Martine Bailey - Sarah Jasmon - […] first read The Penny Heart a year or so ago, and it was on my wishlist when I was on…

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