Winstons books some more arrivals at winston towers

Been  while since I did a post of new books coming in so I grabbed a few that have arrived the last week or two .Some new some old friends in the post .

in the night of time

Now this is one I remember coming out in the US over a year ago  Antonio Munoz Molina is one of Spain’s best known writers and In the night of time is his epic . A dark novel that follow one man as he leaves his family and escapes a Spain on the brink of Civil war .It was called a Spanish war and peace in one US review .

My documents by Alejandro Zambra

I have reviewed his novel ways of going home a couple of years ago . Alejandro Zambra is one of the leading voice of Chilean fiction .This is a collection of his short stories from writers trying to stop smoking or call centre worker . All featuring his ironic style .

when the doves disappeared by Sofi oksanen

Another returing writer .Her first novel in English Purge was one of those books in translation that seemed to break out and be read by the more general reading public .Lets hope this tale of Estonia in the world war two and then year after as two relatives try to discover the truth .When the doves disappeared(keep wanting to call it when doves cry lol ) sound even more interesting than Purge to me .

A gothic Soul by Jiri Karasek Ze Lvovic

A gothic soul by Jiri Karasek Ze Lvovic , is the latest and another wonderful little hardback from Twisted spoon press . A gothic soul is the story of one man one city a man struggling with god and his soul as he sees the city through time considered one of the best Czech novels from the decadent movement .A great new read for East European lit month

Shadow DSC prize winner

 

Well we have managed to read between Lisa ,Tara and myself to read all the shortlist and in the end had read forurteen books between us at least two or us had read the shortlised books.Not bad as we decide only just before christmas to do a shadow jury .Next year we will be more on the ball .

 

Shortlisted Authors:

  • Bilal Tanweer: The Scatter Here is Too Great (Vintage Books/Random House, India)
  • Jhumpa Lahiri: The Lowland (Vintage Books/Random House, India)
  • Kamila Shamsie: A God in Every Stone (Bloomsbury, India)    
  • Romesh Gunesekera: Noontide Toll (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, India)       
  • Shamsur Rahman Faruqi: The Mirror of Beauty (Penguin Books, India)

So we weight up the list which for me was very strong a couple of writers quite well known , one truly epic novel , one new name to me at least and a short story collection from a writer I really like .So i just managed to finish the fifthn book last night and have two more to review , so thankfully the winner we choose was a book I have reviewed .

the mirror of beauty

We have chosen the Mirror of beauty for the first shadow DSC prize and it is the Epic The mirror of beauty by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi .I had this down as a favourite when the list came out as I had read the book before it came out here back in 2013 when the book had come out in Inida  here is my review .The book takes the life of the  mother of the poet Dagh , his mother Wazir Khanam life touches many in Mughal indian and we get a slice of the world at this time is this epic novel .We must also mention that it was run close in the shadow jury by Noontide toll  , we just felt this was maybe a book that lasts longer in the readers mind and soul .

have you read any books from the list ? would you like to take part next year?

Winston’s books hello again

Well this week has seen arrival of two book by writers I have written about before but also from different sides of the middle east .

Hilltop by Assaf Gavron

First to arrive this week was this Novel from Israeli , the fourth book to be translated to english from this writer whom I first reviewed here on the blog with his book Almost dead , this seems to a more mature work from a writer whom , I like first time round .this book has been called the Great Israeli novel and follows the goings , comings and politics of one hilltop in modern Israeli .

The broken mirror / sinalcol by Elias Khoury

Then today dropped through from Elias Khoury ,another writer I have reviewed before on the blog two books by him  Yalo  and As though she were sleeping .Considered by many to be one of the finest voice from Arabic literature this is his latest offering and follows one man’s journey back to Beirut from the safety of France to find the mythical ghost of a man the hero of the civil war Sinalcol .

So two writers from different sides of the middle east both at the height of the career be interesting to see which I enjoy most this time round .

Have you had anything interesting arrive this week ?

Driven to read but have I passed the detours to do that !

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I always enjoy one of Simon at Savidge reads thoughtful posts about what it is to be a reader , like yesterdays rainy day books post .Well as ever it set me thinking and well I have been thinking for a year or two about firstly this blog and me as a reader , of course the two are connected I do choose what goes on the blog .Do i thou because this last twelve to eighteen months I have felt a bit  like a runaway lorry in my reading  habits and my blog has become the M1 (main motorway in the uk ) for books in translation .To steal an idea from Julio Cortazar with his book about traveling the main road in france , well this blog maybe has been driving to long and maybe needs to start turning into one or two rest stops , by this I mean books in english , african fiction things I used cover more when this blog first started , my biggest problem is I can’t help myself with books in translation , I just love them but after nearly two hundred straight books in translation , I’m feeling the need to break with my routine .A perfect example would be the collection of Anthony Burgess novels I was sent a couple of years ago , I was so excited to get these as I loved him when I used read anything years ago , but they kept being pushed back and my pile of books sent to read kept growing and they never got read , even now writing this post I have a large tinge of regret about that lack of reading those books .I’ve written about this before and sure I will again ,I’m very driven in what I read and maybe need to just make myself lighten up a bit ! I could try a challenge to do this but no I will try for 10% books this year not in translation this year .

What are your bad reading habits

A 21st century Lolita

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A new arrival at Winston towers today struck a chord a may to December story ala Lolita for a new generation .Héloïse of the title is trying to seduce a doctor forty years older than herself .On press release it does say Lolita for a modern age , although I hate the term “the new ” with this book it seems hard to avoid the comparison or not to even mention it .My evening view is the wonderful debut film from Stuart Murd och of Belle and Sebastian a film inspired by his side band god help the girl which is also the title of the film .

My tribute je suis Charlie winstonsdad

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Still shocked by yesterday’s events for one day only I turn rather poor cartoonists with a tribute to the four cartoonists that lost their lives yesterday in Paris .I’ll be back tomorrow with books

Happy 2015 from me

Happy new year to all my bookish blogger friends just seen new year in and off to bed in a bit as back to work the morning just finished the last book ten mins before the year ran out it only arrived today

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looking back and looking forward the year that was and the year to come

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 Picture credit 

Firstly hope everyone had a good Christmas , I did although working Amanda and I had the afternoon and evening together and although we had a tight budget I got a new reading lamp from my darling wife .I was just happy to have a nice day with my wife and eat some lovely food .So I got my annual report from WordPress , I haven’t published these I just like to see them for myself but the good point was the growth in number of post from last year ,also more comments than last year .My longest tun of post was 13 in a row .But beyond the figures , I enjoyed doing the Shadow IFFP  again and will be doing that again next year .It was a sad year with the loss of my dear boy and faithful hound  the name sake of this  blog Winston Allen .I also managed to reach to milestones of 500 reviews and a 1000 posts this year .So out with the old and in with the new  a new year is just around the corner and where is the blog going , well as ever trying to keep up with reviews to reading is a big thing so the first few months of 2015 I’m going try to slow my reading blog a bit more catch up on remainder of 2014 and get 2015 reviews going as bok read book reviewed not book read a month later I get to it as it has been the last few months .I will be adding a new page next year along side my books read , I ‘ll be doing films watched as well , I just signed up for MUBI a curated film streaming service that has a lot of films from around the world on to try to widen my film watching experience , but you will also see my love of bad movies as much as I love art house cinema ,I also have a love of the kitsch bad movies from the likes of sy fi channel or asylum films .The more surreal the idea behind the film , the better I like them .Next year will also see another IFFP shadowing , I have been trying to find a number of books I missed recently so I have as many from longlist read as possible when it comes out .I think another spanish lit month may be on the cards as well given my poor participation and running this year (due to the loss of  my boy ) .I hope to bring more interviews next year as well it is something I have dabbled with before and I wish to carry more with both writers and translators .I’m also looking to have a few more guest posts in the next year from around the world of Translated fiction .So happy new year to you all I will be back 1st January .

How was your year ?

What you looking forward too next year ?

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

zone_cover

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

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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

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Hot chops in space and burnt moby dick the world of book stunts

Well in the space of 24 hours the net has been alive with two books stunts of course book stunts have been about for years , from Georges Simenon once wrote a book whilst sealed in a glass box .The stunts in last two days have seen the wonderful Nikesh Shukla doing a stunt by sending a tandoori lamb chop into space to promote his book Meat space which I reviewed and I still think is one best comic looks at the internet and how people interact with it in the modern age .A fun way to highlight a great book .

The second stunt is worrying as it sees James Patterson burning books to highlight the drop in reading in the US , now the cause is right like the UK people read fewer books than they once did , from my own knowledge the main problem in the US is diverse literature for kids , it is hard to identify with books if the people you read about aren’t the same as you , well I could say maybe more books from the Spanish-speaking world for kids translated may help and more African fiction .What got me is him burning good books , his own well I know people love him, but for me he has become the Andy Warhol of fiction , he has ideas gets others to write the book on the whole and then puts his name on the cover .I wish someone would do a stunt like this that gets the papers attention to translated fiction !! Maybe I need to think up some mad idea ?

How would you get people reading books , it is an eternal question how often do you see a book on tv shows ? Now libraries are closing here I worry how the next generation will get on .

 

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