Booker's golden egg

<p>After another lengthy session of judging yesterday, we eventually laid another egg, in the form of the shortlist.<br />
<br />
There seems to be an assumption that if you have taken a long time to decide, you must have had a row. The second question at the press conference:&quot;Was there blood on the carpet?&quot;<br />
<br />
Quite apart from the fact that we would not have dared to spill water, let alone blood, on the Man Group's tasteful shag pile, the truth is that we were rather enjoying ourselves. There were divergences of view, some of them quite sharp, but I think that is one of the virtues of a collective process. And as the growing popularity of book clubs shows, the process of debating fiction is itself a rewarding and illuminating activity.</p>
<p>You can read Howard's full blog at <a href="">themanbookerprize...