The shortlist is a bit disheartening. Simple as that. It makes you wonder if the judges really tried with the longlist or actually just went for the names they knew. The presence of the Ishiguro suggests so (it is a terrible book). Of course if we know an author it is easier to like their stuff, but what is the Booker testing. My tip (the Ali Smith) is still in there, though they may prefer Zadie’s bored north London glamour (can that woman smile?)

Still, our favourite Booker comentator Chris Loxley is sanguine about the play it safe list.

I’m quite upset The People’s Act of Love wasn’t selected, though. I mean, come on people! Though most of my fellow Bookered Out judges disagreed, I think it deserves the wider audience that shortlist nomination would have garnered.

But anyway, I shan’t dwell on it. There are four new Doctor Who books out this month, so I’ve got my own mini-Doctored Out Challenge to start!