Winstonsdad books of the year

Well, I only managed to review 84 books last year a miss of the 100 I try for every year. But with Covoid and maybe just a loss of focus I  was down well it’s a new year so let’s look back and I’ll mention some of the favourite books in the last 12 months here at Winston towers.

Billards at the Hotel Dobray by Dusan Sarotar

I always seem to feature a book or two from Istros books as they publish books I just seem to connect with here is such a case the second book from Dusan to reach us in English took a look at his home town and the events in world war two around the town of Sobota and the returning Jews and the Hotel at the centre of town life.

The roar of morning by Tip Marugg

This book is so atmospheric a man wrestling with his soul, and looking back over his life in the space of one evening as he drinks and the events that have lead to this dramatic night unfold before the roar of morning of the title those dark demons of night weight heavy in this book.

The bell in the lake by Lars Mytting

As they take apart the distinctive church in a distant Norwegian village Butangen the special sister bells of the church lead to the story of the twin that wove with four hands that lead to the bells being brought and the spirit of the village and its folklore.

Restless by Keneth Moe

Anopther publisher I have featured a lot in recent years is Nordisk books and here was a book that became the 1000th to be reviewed on the blog a man and sits and writes a letter to an ex but as he tries his personal story is told in bits another gem.

Grove by Esther Kinsky

Grove is a writer dealing with loss and what better writer than the poetic Kinsky I loved river her we see her coping with the death of her husband the English Translator Martin Chalmers we see the journey of her grief as she moves on and around the world remember her life with Martin but also her own earlier life.

A glass eye by Miren Agur Meabe

Another book that mixes both personal and history together. A story of a writer that has lived since her teens with a glass eye is mixed with a history of how the glass eye came about over the years an unusal book and one that should be better known.

Hunter school by Sakinu Ahronglong

Now if there was a single book of the year from me this would be this collection of stories we see how the Pawian tribe world is shrinking and how his father taught him to hunt but now even that isn’t being past on stories of a dying world evocative and heartwrenching these gems are why we read books in translation!!

Ankomst by Gøhril Gabrielsen

A woman is sent to a remote island to observe the migrating seabirds to see the effect of global warming but as she does the remote and lonely island and the space left from a lover that isn’t turning up see her descend into a sort of madness another gem from Peirene another one of those publishers I have loved over the years of blogging.

An Inventory of Losses by Judith Schalansky

A collection of short stories of things that are not there now from lost painting from the war to an island that only a few people saw an unusal collection of tales.

Venice The lion, the City and the Water by Cees Nooteboom

Well, I haven’t been to Venice but feel I have umpteen times now as this book brings every corner to light through the eyes of the wonderful dutch writer Cees Nooteboom a writer with an enquiring mind who recalls his first visit and the changes over the years as he rediscovers and uncovers the city on every visit.

 

Journey through a Tragicomedy Century (The Absurd life of Hasso Grabner) by Franci Nenik

if there is a thread through this year’s books it is personal history and here is another I reviewed two books by this writer here is the second from the new publisher V and Q the story of Hasso Grabner that lays bare the old saying the truth is stranger than fiction as here is a life of a german that saw the world change and had so many dealings in the events of Germany over that time.

When we cease to understand the world by Benjamin Labatut

Here another selection of personal histories and stories. That sees us learn the history of Prussian blue and the struggle snd descent into personal isolation of a mathematician that sees his rivals as enemies and tries to escape into maybe a world of maths beyond maths

 

Tatouine by Jean-Christophe Rehel

A suffers from cystic fibrous that works in a  Super C use his love of all things star wars and modern culture to make his mundane life seem better and his dreams of being on Tatooine in the Star Warsverse!!

Here is my books of the year. A  baker’s dozen of books it is hard to pick this year so many great books but for today that was my favorites last year. What were yours last year?

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. booklit
    Jan 01, 2021 @ 11:52:12

    Just looking at this list of titles – almost all unknown to me – shows me how far behind I’ve let myself become in terms of knowing what’s out there. Definitely going to have to remedy this.

    84 books is still an achievement. Well done!

    Reply

  2. kaggsysbookishramblings
    Jan 01, 2021 @ 16:58:26

    Some interesting choices there Stu, three of which I have read. It’s often hard to read in these strange times, but as long as you’re enjoying what you read that’s all that matters!

    Reply

  3. Lisa Hill
    Jan 01, 2021 @ 22:58:30

    Well done, Stu, the numbers really don’t matter… counting in this year, given the circumstances, doesn’t seem to matter when really the goal has been to stay safe and well!
    You’ve been a wonderful support to all who follow your blog… chatting about interesting books, adding to our wishlists, and making the authors and publishers happy too. Thank you:)

    Reply

  4. roughghosts
    Jan 02, 2021 @ 10:14:55

    What a super list, Stu. The only one I’ve read is Dušan’s which made my list last year. I have a couple others on hand but there are many that strike my curiosity. I had a very poor reading year—35 books, maybe 29 reviewed—largely due to medication challenges. I made a list of books for 2020 but I’m not sure I’ll publish it.

    Reply

  5. 1streading
    Jan 02, 2021 @ 19:57:12

    A great list – largely because I haven’t read many of them – just Grove (I wasn’t a fan I’m afraid) and Ankomst. I do now have An Inventory of Losses though (Waterstones sale – £20 is not cheap!)

    Reply

  6. kimbofo
    Jan 03, 2021 @ 00:43:49

    As ever, this is a great and interesting list, Stu. I’ve not read any of them but have taken note of the Nooteboom, as I love Venice (have visited 4 times!) and had not heard of this book before. I read a Nooteboom in 2020 (Lost Paradise) which was set in Australia and my newly adopted city of Perth. It was flawed, but I liked his style enough to want to read more by him.

    PS > you read one more book than me. I read 83.

    Reply

  7. Vishy
    Jan 05, 2021 @ 19:51:07

    Wonderful books you’ve read, Stu! Thanks for sharing your favourites list! Congratulations on a wonderful reading year!

    Reply

  8. BookerTalk
    Jan 11, 2021 @ 18:50:10

    Even if you didn’t make it to 100 you still had a richly rewarding year judging by the variety of these books. I’ve not heard of most of them but then you usually find hidden gems.
    My eye is taken especially by the Lars Mytting. I really enjoyed his powers of description in 16 Trees of the Somme even if the story was a bit stretched

    Reply

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