Winston’s books of the year

Well its been a bumper year and I always find picking my books of a year hard so here we go with 12  from what I’ve read the year .of course there is many more I would have added but a dozen  seems a good number and  the dozen I chosen have challenge me in some ways and maybe pushed me as a reader .I also include a similar book this year on each book .

1.Heaven and hell / The sorrow of angels by Jon Kalman Steffanson

The first two books of a trilogy of novels that I finally got to read this year set in Iceland follow a young man’s journey through Iceland ,.Both these need two readings by myself but in the end I feel in love with Stefansson poetic vision of the world . also butterflies in November by Audur ava Olafsdottir

SOrrow of angels

2 The search warrant by Patrick Modiano

Well a quick jump in his betting before winning the Nobel prize prompt me to try the only book that was readily available at the time . A man trace a young Jewish woman’s journey during the war , but also finds intersections with his own life .Great that he won the Nobel so now we can get more of his book to read ! also The safety net By Heinrich Boll





3 Zone by Matihas Enard

Zone follows a man’s train journey through Italy as he remembers how europe fell apart and how he has in his case the secrets to this and the chance to redeem himself by selling this to the vatican also the tower by Uwe Tellkamp


4 The corpse washer by Sinan Antoon

A gem discovered via this years IFFP prize a young man in Iraq’s dreams shattered as he returns to his father’s career as a corpse washer during the war . also The Iraqi christ by Hassan Blasim

The Corpse Washer

5 The ingenious gentleman and poet Federico Garcia Lorca ascends into hell by Carlos Roja

Well it wins the title for the longest title this year a clever novel that follows the spanish poet Lorca through hell as he relived parts of his life .also The sermon on the fall of Rome by Jerome Ferrari

Carlos Rojas the ingenious gentleman and poet Federico Garica Lorca ascends to hell

6 Bilbao – New York – Bilbao by Kirmen Uribe

A writer think ing about his novel he is writing about growing up in a small fishing port on a flight to New york . A clever ode to a dying world of his family and their fishermen lives . also A notebook by Agota Kristoff



7 A french novel by Frederic Beigbeder

Auto fiction a story of a night after he won a prize and was arrested and then remembering the relationship he has had with his brother . also Liveforever by Andres Caciedo

a french novel

8 The false apocalypse by Fatos  Lubonja

The collapse that followed capitalism dawning in Albania is captured and told on the national and personnel level by one of the leading minds in the country . also Sworn Virgins by Elvira Drones


9 The Neruda case by Roberto Ampuero

A young solider is enlist by the great Chilean poet to trace the woman in Neruda’s life to find out what happened to them a journey that takes him around the world . also twilight of the eastern gods by Ismail kadare

10 Zenith Hotel by Oscar Coop -Phane

Well I am on the cover of this book quote a woman sits in  a hotel as the flotsam and jetsam of the local city sleep with her we hear her story and their stories .also The people in the photo by Helene gestern

zenith hotel cover

11 Dead lake by Hamid Ismailov

The story of a man that stayed a child after swimming a lake in the former soviet unions hinterland .Also Solar plexus by Rustam Ibragimbekov

the dead lake

12 Harraga by Boualem Sansal

Two women bought together in a house one young a modern arab woman the other dreamy and quiet a typical arab woman see the changing world of Algeria outside them .also Barbarian spring by Jonas Luscher



19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maryom
    Dec 20, 2014 @ 10:29:13

    I’m struggling to get my Best of the year list down from 30! The Dead Lake’s certainly making the final cut though.


  2. Tony
    Dec 20, 2014 @ 10:34:53

    Some great books there, Stu – I thought there were only meant to be twelve? 😉

    I’ll be publishing my annual round-up on New Year’s Eve – that is, if I’ve managed to pick my book of the year by then (I’m currently involved in some rather heated shortlist discussions…).


  3. hastanton
    Dec 20, 2014 @ 10:53:57

    Interesting choicces . Definitely want to read New York Bilbao New York


  4. Col
    Dec 20, 2014 @ 11:30:36

    I am impressed that youve been able to whittle it down to so few – I would have struggled to whittle down to twelve the number of books I’ve got into from your recommendations this year alone! There are still several I’ve not read so Im just going to convert your choices into my Christmas Book Shopping list for this year!


  5. Messy_tony
    Dec 20, 2014 @ 11:40:33

    A few more I now have to hunt down or raise higher in the “to be read” pile!!! Great list Stu


  6. whisperinggums
    Dec 20, 2014 @ 13:40:44

    Love seeing these roundups, Stu. Like Tony, I’ll be publishing mine around NYE or the first few days of January. Unfortunately there won’t be many translated books among them – It’s been a terrible year for that reading priority!


  7. MarinaSofia
    Dec 20, 2014 @ 14:09:13

    The Dead Lake made my list as well. I’ve actually been compiling lists for other websites – and these were more specific – short story/novella or crime fiction or poetry etc. – so have not yet done my own (overall) one. But I certainly want to read Zenith Hotel and The Neruda Case.


  8. heavenali
    Dec 21, 2014 @ 00:40:46

    I haven’t started my list yet, but I too will do a dozen. I always find it hard, I better start thinking although I already know a couple that will definitely make the list. Probably post my books of the year around New Year.


  9. JacquiWine
    Dec 21, 2014 @ 07:51:54

    I love seeing these lists. Fascinating choices, Stu, and I’m pleased to see Stefansson and The Dead Lake in yours. Plenty of ideas for the future too – I’d like to read more by Kadare.

    I’m struggling to get my list down to twelve. but I’ll probably post it in January.


  10. BookerTalk
    Dec 21, 2014 @ 10:40:50

    with the number of books you’ve read this year it must have tough to get to just 13 Stu. From your list its Bilbao by Kirmen Uribe that appeals to me most.


  11. Caroline
    Dec 21, 2014 @ 12:59:31

    A list I have to bookmark. It’s got some really interesting titles.


  12. Claire 'Word by Word'
    Dec 21, 2014 @ 20:30:27

    Ok, I’m going to try and read The Dead Lake before the end of the year! Posting mine on 31 Dec too and putting Heaven and Hell and The Sorrow of Angels in my 2015 lineup. The Nerdua Case is a fabulous cover and sounds like an interesting premise for a story.

    So many great choices Stu, thanks so much for sharing and giving us all the links to your reviews. Happy Reading for 2015!


  13. Sarah
    Dec 22, 2014 @ 13:08:01

    I haven’t read a single one of these books. I must get cracking!


  14. Bellezza
    Dec 31, 2014 @ 01:57:27

    I really hated, I mean loathed, The Iraqi Christ. But, I completely agree with The Sorrow of Angels. That has to be in my top three for 2014.


  15. beckylindroos
    Dec 31, 2014 @ 20:23:45

    Excellent list, Stu! I really enjoy the international recommendations!


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December 2014


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