The annual guessing game about who will get this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature is on in earnest. You can follow the betting at Ladbrokes (currently Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Cormac McCarthy and Haruki Murakami are the top three) and follow the bitching about who is or isn’t under consideration (at least in the minds of the literati, as we don’t really know which writers the Swedish Academy are considering) on Twitter.

I’m hoping for Salman Rushdie to be recognized, of course, but would be delighted if Thomas Pynchon, Chinua Achebe, Lousie Erdrich or Margaret Atwood proved to be this year’s laureate. Watch this space for the announcement on Thursday morning. Regardless of the winner, I think it’s time I dived into Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Wizard of the Crow.

And if literary betting appeals to you, check out the Booker Prize odds here.  I haven’t read enough of the contenders to hazard a guess yet, but Room is riding high, and from what I’ve read so far appears to be great.

UPDATE (Wed.) As expected in some quarters, Cormac McCarthy has taken the lead among punters (possibly because he’s the most-recognized name among the contenders). 24 Hours to go…

UPDATE And the winner is Mario Vargas Llosa! And about time, too.