Winstons Dozen my favourite books of 2017

I read and reviewed more than in the last couple of years so have decided to pick 12 books of the year.

Brothers by David Clerson


QCFINF16 - CoverBrothers_v9













Two brothers go on a quest to find the father in a mythical coastal world. The older brother has an arm missing, the arm is his younger brother with his stumpy arms and legs. One of the first reads of this year and one of the funniest and strangest books I have read.

Havoc by Tom Kristensen

Danish modernist novel one mans downward spiral from journalist to drunkard. A lost gem of European modernist fiction coming out in 1930. Partly inspired by the writer’s own life.

Summer before the dark by Volker Weiderman









The fictional meeting of Stefan Zweig and Joesph Roth in Ostend in the summer of 1936 two men at the height of there fame. Both their lives will take different roots after this meeting.

Compass by Mathias Enard









A lament for a lost world of Syria and for a lost love as a man goes through a sleepless night as Franz dreams of Sarah and his romance alongside their travels.

The Major Refutation by Pierre Senges









An imagined thesis that discredits the discovery of the new world another quirky book that has had a champion it like a lot of the books on this list.

Bricks and Mortar by Clemens Meyer

Post east german history told through the oldest profession and the characters involved in that industry as they go from simple german girls to digital and woman of all nations. Another Fitzcarradlo novel on the list.

Hair everywhere- Tea Tulic 

A family saga told from the daughter in fragments of stories as her mother is dying of cancer another wonderful choice from Istros books.

Belladonna  by Dasa Drndric

A novel for today a warning of ignoring the rise of right-wing rhetoric as a retirng academic looks back and forward on his life. from one of my favourite writers.

The ultimate Tragedy by Abdulai Sila

The Ultimate Tragedy

Ndani story in postcolonial Guinea Bissau is the testament to what many young women have to do in her position to get by working in a family homemade to join the church and avoid the advance of the male head of the householder.

That’s how whales are born by Anxos Sumai


This follows a young woman who had escaped to study whales in Mexico but her mother ill health bring her home to her Galician home and the secrets of the past.

Three days by Thomas Bernhard

A film he made years ago has a companion book a wonderful insight into a great writers feeling. I still love the lines I am a story destroyer.

The house of remembering and forgetting by Filip David

A man remembers his survival of the death camp and recalls it all after visiting an exhibition. I have loved the six peter own istros titles this year but this was my favourite of them.

A common thread in these books is families, loss, past and remembering. In the year I lost my mum this list maybe reflects my journey and how books help us get over things. What have been your books of 2017?



18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sharkell
    Dec 27, 2017 @ 22:16:24

    Looks like a fascinating list Stu – you have read some fantastic books this year. If you had to pick just one from that list that you would happily recommend to anyone that asked which one would you choose?


  2. Melissa Beck
    Dec 27, 2017 @ 22:33:01

    Excellent list, Stu! I have a few of these sitting on my shelves that I will have to get to in the new year.


  3. travellinpenguin
    Dec 27, 2017 @ 23:06:47

    Such an unusual range of books. Refreshing list.


  4. BookerTalk
    Dec 28, 2017 @ 00:35:50

    Lots of good ideas for my wish list. Hair Everywhere and Belladonna appeal most right now,


  5. Bellezza
    Dec 28, 2017 @ 00:57:42

    It was such a pleasure to read Compass, as well as Bricks and Mortar, with you and the others for the MBIP2017. Being on the panel with you is one of the highlights of my reading (and blogging) year. I, too, received Brothers and am so looking forward to reading it.

    Happy New Year, Stu! I hope your elf has settled down now, as I have caught a few of his adventures on facebook.😊


  6. kimbofo
    Dec 28, 2017 @ 12:18:31

    A wonderful list, as ever, Stu. Hope 2018 is another book filled one for you.


  7. kaggsysbookishramblings
    Dec 28, 2017 @ 16:21:49

    Nice list Stu. Wasn’t Summer Before The Dark great?


  8. 1streading
    Dec 29, 2017 @ 05:48:40

    I see we have two in common (Compass and Belladonna) and Brothers was also close to my top ten. Now I have a few others to check out as well!


  9. Max Cairnduff
    Jan 03, 2018 @ 16:23:19

    Well, I have to say I’m disappointed to see Bricks and Mortar here. I was hoping to skip it and now I’m not sure I can…

    Compass isn’t a surprise and will probably be on my best of 2018 list given I plan to read it this year. And to echo Kaggsy, Summer Before the Dark really was great wasn’t it?

    I missed your Belladonna review first time round so I’ll take a look now (which is sort of the point of us all doing these lists isn’t it? To flag to people books they might otherwise have missed).

    Excellent list Stu.


  10. Vishy
    Jan 11, 2018 @ 22:29:26

    Wonderful favourites list, Stu! I want to read Compass and Summer Before the Dark. Looks like Fitzcarraldo Press is your favourite 🙂 Have a great reading year in 2018! Happy reading!


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December 2017


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