Well it was a mystery a postcard from the post office arrived the other day three pound something owed in postage so with Easter and work I didn’t get chance to sort paying it til Tuesday and then when I arrived home from work today found this had arrived . I had to laugh that this book lost luggage had lost its postage en route to me .The book is the story of four brothers spread across Europe with the same father but different mothers all called Christopher or a variant on that name but they don’t know each of yet ! El Mundo called the An astonishing literary artefact
05 Apr 2013 10 Comments
13 Mar 2013 20 Comments
I ve often moaned about my places in the blogging world .But I was just thinking I m in a purple patch of blogging feeling on top of things and my lot in the world .I feel as thou my interaction in the blogosphere is at its best level since I started blogging over three years ago .Its much easy to write a post letting steam off ,as I am now struggling to write a positive post about my joy in blogging .I think what I m trying to say is that after a number of years struggling to wonder where my voice and blog belonged in the grand scheme of things .I have decide maybe it belongs where I am at moment . A fair bit of content and taking part in great projects like Man Asian with Matt Lisa and Mark or my own shadow iffp with Gary Mark Lisa and Tony . Then another part is joining in thing like Lizzie and Caroline German Lit month ,Tony’s January in Japan.I think I wanted to be Fonz when I started blogging but I never was the cool kid at anything ,so I m happy being a Richie I want feel part of a family and I finally feel that I am part of the blogosphere .Anpother joy is the people I ve meet over last few years people like Mark ,Simon ,Rob my fellow bloggers ,Nikesh and the book trust folk ,Meike ,Maddy ,Henry ,Fiona and Beth from the world of publishing and of course Frank one of my favourite translators .All in All for a lad from Chesterfield that start this as a project to do something in my own small way ,I feel I have .
So thanks to all that have stuck with me in lkast few years and here is to many more
03 Feb 2013 18 Comments
Well the nights are starting to lighten its been a busy month here at Winston’s tower ,some how shocked how I managed to get 14 books read this month but a number where rather short .I had a number of night shifts and was off for the last five days of the month .I managed to have a little more time than normal to read .Any way favourite book of the month Train to Budapest by Dacia Marani ,which I shall review early next month ,other honorable mentions go to The eleven by Pierre Michon and the two Donald Antrim reissues I read .A good book finding month as many of you may know I tend to have tight book finances ,when it comes to what is available to spend sad to say I had to return to Amazon after nearly a year just because of cost and availability of the books I want for three books ,I hope in summer trips out to cities with Amanda will mean I can buy books in shops I want .But the other side of this is I am a huge second-hand buyer and this month saw me hit gold with a number of penguins a Roman Gary ,Andre Gide ,Henrich Boll and a Samuel Beckett novel .Which eased my conscious re using amazon as some of these books are out of print and will be reviewed on here which I hope will get people to find them all out as they are all writers I feel the need to read and think other people should these are the ones that explain modern literature in France and Germany as they tend to inspire or have been read by most modern writers in these countries .So the month ahead well here at Winston towers two dates spring to mind ,the first is valentines day as a romantic at heart I’ve my book ready for the day and will be spending time myself with the darling Amanda .The other date in my diary is Amanda’s birthday which may not be so bookish as she isn’t a huge reader but sure we will have a lovely time and I ll get her some great gifts .For the blog I sit on the verge of a quarter million views in my stats sometime today or tomorrow I will pass that total so thanks to every one who visits on a regular or just once all welcome great that you all come and visit the blog .The picture at the top was taken in the middle of the month out with Winston in the middle of the snow .
What was your favourite book last month ?
Plans for next ?
01 Jan 2013 28 Comments
Well it’s that time of year again New years day the time to make resolutions and plans for the coming year and also a chance to look back and digest how the last twelve months have gone on the blog and reading wise for myself .
Last year was a strange one it felt for me , I drifted in my blogging. But when I got my year-end report from wordpress I was surprised what I had done and after reading Sue’s post .I thought well it was a busy year really and maybe I just relaxed as a blogger and gone with my natural flow .So highlights of last year was doing the two shadow juries the first was the man Asian one last January with Lisa in charge ,with matt ,sue ,mark and Fay .Then I took a leaf out Lisa’s book to start a shadow IFFP jury with Rob Lisa Mark Simon Tony and Gary .I loved doing both these and am at moment stuck in the middle of this years Shadow Man Asian jury .I also started Spanish Lit month with Richard to highlight Spanish language fiction from all round the world .That’s not to mention Henry Green week .I also loved joining Lizzie and Caroline in German lit month ,once again and the fact it brought a chance to enjoyed a new chunk of Germanic literature .So in looking back on my year I did a lot really, made lots of new blogging friends and help promote fiction in translation which is the main aim of the blog these days.
So 2013 another year resolutions reading and blog wise ,I have debated doing a post a day and I know it be hard to keep up my job and life just isn’t able to support a post a day so my resolutions is to try to post a little more and maybe do 50 more post than last year which equates to a post every other day or so which seems achievable .I have previously tried to set reading totals but I m leaving them behind I feel my reading is at a constant level and pushing it to read more will a. spoil my enjoyment of books as I rush trough rather than saviour them ,b..do I really need to add load more books to the unreviewed pile (close to 60 books already on it ) .Another blog resolution is to try over next twelve months to clear pile of books I ve read but not covered on the blog so far ,hopefully doing a few more posts will even this out and cut the pile down .challenges I will be doing some more challenge of my own next year and joining in a few along the way I m sure I prefer month or week long challenges to year-long ones hence I ve not signed up for any this time again .So my first challenge is Tony’s January in Japan I ve one book read and currently on my second book .
So a very happy new year to you one and all and may the year be a very bookish one for you .
03 May 2012 10 Comments
Its been while since I ve done a library loot post ,I ve been getting book from library but lot time I’ve left them unread and returned I manage to read all IFFP title but return a number of other books unread .So I choose some new books to get out and hopefully get to all these this time .
Omon Ra by Victor Pelevin – A classic of post modern fiction satire the russian space programme ,sounds like a great mix to me .
Guilty by Anna Kavan – I think after reading Max’s post on Ice by Kavan I fancied trying here books so there was ice and this one on the library shelves so I choose this one a Kafkaesque style as mark struggles with life after his father returns from the war
Let the wind speak by Juan Carlos Onetti The Uruguayan writer is someone I ve read once before so a return is due and this was his first novel written in Exile a looking back at his coming of age in Santa Maria
A few quick ones by P G Wodehouse – I m always mention Wodehouse as a writer I love as he makes me smile a bygone world of high jinx and care free lives ,then other day noticed I not reviewed a book by him on the blog so this collection of ten short stories which I ve not read shall be a great place to start .
Difficult loves by Italo Calvino Another short story collection must be robs influence on me .I want to try to read all Calvino’s books so this is another one ticked of the list a collection from early on in his writing life stem from mid forties to early fifties .
Another part of the wood by Beryl Bainbridge Gaseklla is hosting a Bainbridge reading week after the success of the Spark week so I choose this one from 60′s a couple of families at war on holiday in Wales .Appealed as my first read by her .
Oroonoko by Aphra Behn A classic from 1600′s she was one of the first female writers this is about her visit to Surinam told from the point of view of a slave at the time he was a noble in his homeland and this helps him win respect of his english captors .
The Child by Jules Valles a french classic rather like great expectations but also with a dark realism ,be truthful I like the cover so picked it for that it made me smile .
A hunger artist by Franz Kafka I read all his novels and a collection of short stories in my twenties so saw this and not heard of the title before it is a collection of short stories bring together two of Kafka’s collection and some other stories ,yet more short stories .
The piano cemetery by Jose Luis Peixoto I read blank Gaze by Peixoto this is his latest book that came out last year Lazaro family make piano’s but one member of the family is also a marathon runner this is his story ,suitably quirky like blank gaze was .
Have you read any of these books ?
11 Feb 2012 15 Comments
Well last week I went for a day trip to a book launch that I ll tell you about next week ,but as ever a trip to London means a chance to meet my good friend again Simon from inside books and a trip to a larger better stock book shop .Again it as the London review bookshop we visited so we had a nice coffee and chatted for an hour then Simon had to return to work and I browsed but I d already checked a number of books I had on the wish list for a while I end up buying three two I ve pictured and Niki the story of a dog by TIbor Dery a NYRB classic .
The two books are mind at peace by Ahmet Handi Tanpinar called the Turkish Ulysses written in thirties translated last year Orhan Pamuk calls it the greatest novel on Istanbul praise indeed .The other a thousand deaths plus one by Sergio Ramirez a Nicaraguan writer a story of a photograph told in two parts from a man considered one best Latin American writersand this got a A review on complete review which is good enough for me .after my L.R.B visit, a quick twitter chat with Henry of Bloomsbury books I got to spend half hour talking books and putting a name too a twitter face also I got two proofs and told about Henry’s new venture with Bloomsbury called Bloomsbury circus a return to the daring fiction they started with .These are in nice large trade paperbacks with lovely flaps on .There out soon the two proofs are
Dan Vyleta a German based in Canada Writer set in Vienna he has been compared to Graham Green and this seems like a dark novel set at the start of the war .The other book is ignorance Michele Roberts two women in wartime in a small French village secrets and life during wartime it’s been compared to Faulks and Nemirovsky due out in may .I ve also had a number of books in the post in last two weeks firstly
Thanks to miles of milo’s rambles who I meet and had kindly passed my name on to the new pr for Europa editions that are now setting up in uk as well as USA the three books are The hottest dishes in Tatar cuisine by Alina Bronsky Rosa tries old folk-lore remedies on her stupid to stop the pregnancy of her daughter but then when Aminat is born she loves her granddaughter and tries to wrestle her from her daughter then years later they have chance to escape from Russia .This is one I wanted to read when I heard about it last year .Rondo by Kazimierz Brandys a polish classic set during occupation of Warsaw and Tom an ordinary man drawn into the resistance .The third is I hadn’t understood Diego De Silva A comic novel set Naples about a hapless lawyer Malinconico.
The panda theory by Pascal Garnier from Gallic books a noir novel set in a small French village Gabriel a stranger in a Breton village and comes embroiled in the locals lives ,dark and humorous by the late French writer .
Seven house in France by Bernardo Atxaga the basque writer I ve read two of his earlier books this seems slight change as its set 1903 in Congo at a garrison another dark and comic tale with what sounds like Atxaga’s usual cast of surreal characters .I know jackie from farmlane books wasn’t very keen on this so I want to see what she may have not liked and i feel the same .
And last but not least is the seventh book from Peirene Press and the first from the year of the small epic a finnish novel call the brothers by Asko Sahlberg the story of two brothwer on opposing sides during the Finnish Russian war .I used my new camera app on the ipad .
08 Jan 2012 19 Comments
I didn’t get many books for christmas ,well that is a lie really I ‘d in a way I got an I Pad from the lovely Amanda ,which via i books ,kobo and kindle has a infinite number of books and will replace my broken E-reader .Any way to make up for the lack of paper books I had five arrive in the last week they were -
The silver bridge by Paul Michael Francis ,a love story Karmia a pop star and Claire ,he has secrets and we follow his journey from Hollywood to Greece ,I m an old romantic at heart so look forward to this .
The Detour BY Gerbrand Bakker – many thanks to Elie how sent this just because I said I love the twin by him ,this story is also set in a rural area ,this time it is wales not Holland .A women on the run after a scandal her husband in pursuit and geese our disappearing add up to an odd story I would imagine .
Where Tigers are at home by Jean Marie Blas de Robles – a triple prize winning french novel that took ten-years for Jean-Marie to write and nearly as long to publish as he didn’t want it chop as it is 700 pages long .set in Brazil this novel ahs multiple layers set in modern brazil and 16th century europe .I was kindly sent this by Daedalus books .
Adventures in the rocky mountains by Isabella Bird & Black Hawk -life of black hawk or ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak -two classic bits of american lit one native american and the other a brave women .These were sent kindly by one of my favourite blogger Richard from Caravana de recuerdos
All photos via my instagram accout .What books did you get for Christmas ?
16 Aug 2011 16 Comments
Been a while since I posted some books that have arrived at Winston towers ,well last week I had five books arrive ,although to be truthful two had been at post office for a number of days but postman hadn’t let me know luckily Simon from the post office three door down from me manage to grab me and tell me they’d been left there .so here are the books -
The books are -
The milk man in the night by Andrey Kurkov – this is the latest offering from th Ukrainian writer ,a satire a man keeps disappearing every night so hires some one to follow him and report back ,with shocking results .I loved death and the penguin by him and have read 50 pages so far and loving it .
The manual of darkness by Enrique De HÉriz - this is one of Frank Wynne’s latest translations .We follow Victor Losa a magician he is in the middle of an act when he loses his vision ,this sends him on a journey into the past and discovering more about Peter Grouse a famous pickpocket who challenge the famous Victorian magicians to see who was best among them .I m looking forward to this another great Spanish writer by the look of it .
River of shadows by Valerio Varesi – I was sent the paperback by Machlehose books ,but had reviewed the hardback last year here is my review ,if you ,like you crime tinged with the past this is the book for you .
Killed at the whim of a hat by Colin Cotterill – we follow Jimm Jureee a crime reporter as he tries to find who killed two skeletons that have been discovered they ve been dead for thirty years and one of them is wearing a hat .I must admit I may have put this to one side as it isn’t a translation but I like the cover and the story sounds great as well .
ANd last but no means least
Maybe this time by Alois Hotschnig – now the arrival of a new Peirene is alway a treat and here it is number six from the nymph and her girls ,a collection of short stories this time from one of the most well-known writers in Austria ,stories include a man lured into a house where he finds a doll that looks like him .His works have been compared to the late great Thomas Bernhard which is praise indeed .
Which of these books would you enjoy ?
10 Jul 2011 21 Comments
well its been a while since I ve done a sunday post or a post on books I ve got but as I ve done a hug library haul on friday rather than one or two which I have been doing and also visited the local book sale and found three gems that I want to show off .
From the top left -
Marie chapdelaine by Louis hemon – a french Canadian novel from 1913 ,about Maria who choose a rural french Canadian life exploring the early french settlers .
The match – Romesh Gunsekera -
I saw chasing bawa mention this a bildungsroman about a young Sri lankian boy growing up ,I read reef and monkfish moon years ago and her post reminded me of him so I grabbed this when I saw it on the shelves .Oh and I m also a cricket fan .
Four novels by R K Narayan
this is an everyman collection of his first four novels they are swami and his friends ,the bachelor of arts and the english teacher that where a trilogy when published and the dark room as with most of his works they are set in the made up southern Indian town of Malgudi ,Mel from reading lives is reading his books at moment ,and I loved painter of signs I want to return to his world
Next row -
This is the trilogy of your face tomorrow by Javier Marias -I m late getting these as Richard of Caravana de recuredos is doing a readalong I hope to catch up and join in from vol 2 .The book ,part spy novel /part romance set during the forties .It has been on my wish list to read for ages .
No-one loves a policeman by Guillermo Orsi
I read Matt’s review over at reader dad and after being sent Ashes by Sergios Gakas also from Machlehose it seem a great companion to it both set to a backfall of economic mayhem .this one in 2001 in Argentina .
Cedilla by Adam Mars Jones – this has been mention as a booker contender it looks long follows John Cromer the anti-hero of his last novel through his late teens and early twenties in the 60′s and 70′s .I like the fact that he has a disability which is something you don’t see a lot in fiction .
book sale books
Some one in our local area is a folio member and brings them to book sale so my two buys are the beige book is Aubrey’s brief lives a collection of small biographies published in the 17th century ,the blue patterned book is Robert Byron’s the road to Oxiana -this is considered a classic of english travel writing cited as influence by Bruce Chatwin ,it follows Byron through Iran and Afghanistan at turn of 20th century .
The paperback is Geographies of Home by Loida Maritza Perez – set in Brooklyn it follows a young black latino women as she confronts what has happened to her sisters ,I choose this as the writer is from the Dominica republic and I ve not read a book from there nor a latino fiction book .
So there are my books ,I m settling down this evening with Night watch by Sarah water ready for the new BBC series on Tuesday ,I ll have a post ready for then hopefully .Winston is sleeping on his step this evening .
What are you reading ?
What have you brought or borrowed ?
03 Apr 2011 16 Comments
Been a while since done a post about book coming into Winston manors well here are a few I ve brought and some library books for IFFP longlist reading .
First of five from the IFFP longlist -
Villain by Shuichi Yoshida – Japanese Noir ,was lot said about this when it came out a different Japanese book than the ones I ve read before .
The secret history of costaguana by Juan Gabriel Vasquez -The Columbian writer has used Conrad’s Nostromo as a start for a book about the character that inspired Conrad’s book .
I curse the river of time by Per Petterson -Avrid Jansen a man in his thirties looks back at his life and his relationship with his mother .
The sickness by Alberto Barrera Tyszka – the Venezuelan writer tackles sickness real and imagined using three characters in two strands .
these came from Library .
Kamchatka by Marcelo Figueras – this is Harry story a ten-year on the run in Argentina following a coup ,full of childhood memories mix with a life on the run .this was sent to me via Frank Wynne the translator of the book .
Another from IFFP long list and a new spanish Novel
The Museum of innocence by Orhan Pamuk -Kemal a business man has a twenty year affair with a shop girl compared to Madame Bovary .
The anatomy of a moment by Javier Cercas – a book about the attempt coup in 1981 where a solider burst into the parliament building .
some new and used books brought -
Exercises in style by Raymond Queneau – the founder of the Oulipo movement ,this is classic Oulipo the same passage told in 99 different styles of writing .
Ordained by the oracle by Asare Konadu – A Ghanaian novel about a man following a ritual of being by his dead wife for forty days and nights .
Only joking by Gabriel Josipovici – a clown is hired by a baron to spy jokes lies and art mix into one .
Against nature by Joris -Karl Huysmans – a classic french book follows the dreams and nightmares of a ailing Aristocrat .