Well the first book I got sent this year is from a writer I have reviewed before Boualem Sansal is an Algerian writer that has had his works banned and censored in his homeland. I reviewed Harraga Two years ago. This is of course an homage in a way to Orwell’s great book 1984 and also a work against all totalitarian regiemes here in the future a country called Abistan after its spiritual leader a place where like in Orwell’s world every move is watch we find one man who is trying to find a new truth. What was your first book of 2017
13 Jan 2017 4 Comments
10 Jan 2017 5 Comments
Well 25th February sees the 100th anniversary of the birth of Anthony Burgess one of the most influential writers of the last hundred years . He wrote from Sci fi , lit and historic fiction . From tales in Shakespeare’s day to the future and violent gangs Burgess had an impressive output I have tried to add his books over the years but when I saw the anniversary was near last year i decide to up my buying now having 26 novels two of those include the Malay trilogy and the enderby books adding to a total and 31 novels of the 35 he wrote also have two non fiction books his 99 novels and a book about language also a short story collection. With a month to go I plan from next month to read one a month for the next few years.
07 Jan 2017 3 Comments
I treated myself for five books that were on various end of year lists that I read up and I hadn’t come across.
A new translation of an old book from a Nobel great is always worth reading this is a saga style tale of two brothers that use the past to look at the cold war which was effecting Iceland at the time. as the two brother crazy ways leaves them with nothing a metaphor for the modern world.
Another from archipelago books , Cockroaches is a memoir of a family growing up Tutsi in an increasingly Tutsi run Rwanda we see through the piece her the tensions that lead up to the genocide of 1994 in Rwanda this is also the first book from Rwanada I have read.
Another novel from the mexican writer Yuri Herrera this is the story of two families at war during a plague and the man trying to help them return their dead to one another , a man called The redeemer is trying to help them out.
We follow a poet that has been accused of rape and has been sent away and his task when he is sent away is to write poetry in this darkly lynchian type tale.another of those short novels from Latin America that is much more than its meager 110 pages.
this is the story of a man researching his family discovering he is related to a great anarchist ,which leads him to going to New york. as the occupy Wall street movement is in full swing this leads him to Pittsburgh and the ghosts of the 1920’s
What books have you treated yourself too ?
05 Jan 2017 17 Comments
It was three years ago I did the first Pushkin press fortnight in 2014. As a publisher whose books I have enjoyed not just reading but also there design . Since the original fortnight Pushkin Have grown with a number of new imprints Pushkin Vertigo doing crime fiction One of their books I recently saw was by Frederic Dard,which caught my eye , he was a friend of Simenon he wrote nearly as many as his fellow writer with 200 books in french.Pushkin Children whihc has been publishing the Dutch fantasy series by Tonke Dragt. Pushkin Collections this is where all those Tranlsated classics we all love . The most recent is The Odessa stories by Isaac Babe was a paperback of the week in the Guardian l. One the best of english lit The fisherman was on the booker list from this imprint. As for me I’m looking forward to reading The Evenings by Gerald Reve for the fortnight.Why now you ask well it is thanks to Lizzy from Lizzy Siddal who herself is trying to cut her TBR pile and in doing so found a number of Pushkin books so ask me if I would do a second Pushkin press fortnight , SO the last 15 days in Feburary if you could try and read one of more books from Pushkin press it would be great . Have you a favourite from them ? Please leave a comment of post on twitter with the Hashtag#ppf2
30 Dec 2016 12 Comments
Well I reviewed less than other years this year so I am only going pick a few highlights of my year this year.
The Prophets of the eternal fjord by Kim Leine
Was an epic Danish novel following a priest sent in the 18th century to Greenland to try to wrestle the natives back to the christian line a tale of times now gone. This would make a great HBO series full of mud and ice .My review
The Dirty Dust by Maitain O Cadhain
This was one of two translation of this classic Irish novel into English. Set in a small village graveyard we here the generations buried there talk about their lives and the past they had together and the hates they had together and the loves together.My review
Byron and the beauty by Muharem Bazdulj
Bryon in the Balkans falls for a beautiful woman only to find she is out of his reach for once the bad boy of british poetry struggle to gets what he wants .My review
Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrigue
A fiction tennis match between an italian painter and a spanish poet is the backdrop to this tale that flows around the world of the time just as man is discovering science and thought the age of enlightenment is on them.My review
One Million cows by Manuel Rivas
This was a gem of short stories by one of my favourite spanish writers Manuel Rivas by a press started by his translator her we see the shackles of Franco be shaken of a people return to spain other have their last day at school looking forward .I have recently read his debut novel also from small station press .My review
Constellation by Adrien Bosc
The stories of a plane that crashed told from the point of view of the flight but also the stories of those on board from the man from Disney to a group of poor Spanish shepherds .One of those french novels that remind how great french lit can be . My review
Trysting by Emmauelle Pagano
A book of voice another French gem this is clips of what love is bits of people lives this is love stripped to the bone no names places or times just the acts of love shown. My review
Land of my Father by Vamba Sherif
A freed slave returns to Africa from the Us to Liberia but not all is as he imagines it , he has to follow his calling and try to convert the natives .My review
Revulsion Thomas Bernhard in San Salvador by Horacio Castellanos Mayo
A man returns to sort his mother affairs and gives a speech during the evening denouncing the country of his birth and why he had to leave and become Thomas Bernhard on his passport. An homage to the great writer from a great latin American writer .My review
Panorama by Dusan Sarotar
My book of a year by a country mile this is simply why I read books in translation that once a decade discovery of a voice so exciting and fresh yes part Sebald but also a new tale of traveling from the very western tip of Europe back to the Balkan heart of it.My review
There are my books of the year been lots of other great books