The Booker longlist is out and it’s a “low-key”, “giant-felling” one. I hadn’t even heard of three of the books on the list, and the only ones I've read are Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (my review and author interview here and here) and Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach. Have also just started Nikita Lalwani’s Gifted.
On another note, though I don’t usually think much of competitive awards, here’s one that's applause-worthy: many congratulations to Baradwaj Rangan for winning the National Award for the best film critic. Agree with every word (or nearly every word) of the citation, which reads: “…for intelligent and reader-friendly reviews of popular cinema with a depth of understanding of the form, a discernible passion for the medium bulwarked consistently by a knowledge of the trends and touchstones of global cinema”.
Like many of the commenters on Baradwaj’s blog, I stumble over “bulwarked”, but the rest is spot on. The general quality of "movie-reviewing" in our papers makes his writing stand out even more, but I think he'd hold his own against the top rung of reviewers anywhere in the world. (I also have high regard for his open-ended, non-instructive attitude towards reviewing, which he touches on in this post.)