What can we read into the food served in the Dinner blog tour


I was asked to join the blog tour,very happy as it was one of my favourite reads last year and a book I feel people should get to know bettr ,anyway I thought a few words on some of the food served during the meal would be fun .I did review The dinner last year and Alan from words of mercury kicked of the tour yesterday any way lets look at the food .


the dinner

The dinner menu


Crayfish with baby onions dressed in a tarragon vinaigrette

Main course

Fillet of Guinea fowl

wrapped in ultra thin german bacon

on a bed of lettuce


A parfait of home made chocolate and shaved almonds

and grated walnuts

Topped with our own Blackberries fresh from the garden


crayfish in vinaigrette from cusine NZ site


Well I look at the crayfish and thought two things about why it might be chosen .One that they are fish that live of clean the water around them and maybe that is a fore warning of what is about to happen in the meal .The other point is there not Lobster smaller and is the maybe a point is this about a small fish in a big world ,one of the brother is a politician and is he maybe a small fish not the big one he thinks he is .


Main course

The main course again has Guinea fowl, which like the crayfish is a smaller version of fowl that one would usually eat and why is the bacon German ? at this point the action round the table is starting to get heat up as the two brothers discuss what their they are there for I do wonder what Dave lamb would say as he saw the four people round the table discussing there sons actions .

choc parfait from taste the wild blog


Parfait is a hard dish to make as it takes time and care to master .Strange rather like the decisions the two brothers and the wives are making round the table if one step goes wrong the outcome will be completely wrong .Blackberries from the garden maybe shows that the politician brother needs to get back to the people and maybe have something everyone would eat like Blackberries we’ve picked up ourselves .

Well sure I’m wrong but thought a quick look at the foods the brothers and wives ate during the dinner .

Do you ever wonder about the food mentioned in books you read ?

Fellow blog tour folk


Share your thoughts online: @atlanticbooks #thedinner.

26th April Stu Allen:

winston's dad's blog

29th April Tina Hartas:

30th April – Marion McGilvary:

Pedantic Press

1st May David Hebblethwaite:

2nd May Megan Wood:

3rd May Marcia Jarnell:


25th April Alan Bowden:


tops on the blog tour .


Shadow man Asian


It is our great pleasure to announce the winner of the Shadow Jury’s Man Asian Literary Prize for 2012.

The four-member Shadow Jury has chosen Narcopolis, by Jeet Thayil.


Described variously by the members of the jury as a “strangely compelling” and “utterly, compellingly addictive” novel that “marries a beautiful prose style with some deeply unbeautiful subject matter”, this novel could not be further apart from our winner last year, Please Look After Mother, by Kyung-sook Shin. The fact that such different novels can win the same prize is a testament to the breadth and depth of Asian writing uncovered by the Man Asian Literary Prize. Full reviews of the novel are available at each participating blog.

If Narcopolis wins the Man Asian Literary Prize, it will be the first debut novel to do so under the new rules introduced in 2010.

The Shadow Man Asian Literary Prize Jury was formed in 2010 to promote the Man Asian Literary Prize throughout the world. It comprises four bloggers: Matthew Todd (http://matttodd.wordpress.com), Lisa Hill (http://anzlitlovers.com), Mark Staniforth (http://eleutherophobia.wordpress.com) and Stu Allen (https://winstonsdad.wordpress.com). In its first year, it correctly picked the winner of the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize, Please Look After Mother, by Kyung-sook Shin.

The Man Asian Literary Prize began in 2007 as a prize for unpublished manuscripts, though was revamped in 2010 to recognise the best Asian novel each year. The official Man Asian Literary Prize winner for 2012 will be announced in Hong Kong on Thursday 14 March 2013.

The shadow Iffp 2013



Well I nearly got it right with my guessing post ,last week but the offical Independent foreign fiction prize is out .Like last year I will be doing a shadow jury for this prize I am again joined by Lisa ,Tony ,Gary and Mark.We will be trying to read as many of the longlist as we all can in the time between longlist and shortlist .I have a great start as I have read eleven of the book and have reviews for nine of them on the blog .We will again choose our own shortlist and winner ,my feeling is ours and the actual shortlist may be quite near as there to me are a number of great books on this list that be on a shortlist any year .I ll be doing a page with links to reviews by everyone when we have a few as at moment it feels like I am showing off reading so many .If you want get involved with reading this year and want read less the Booktrust have organised a reading group from the shortlist stage here ,be lovely to see some other blogs join in that maybe don’t read many translations to expand the discussion on this wonderful year .Paul at Maclehose on twitter called it the best ever longlist I agree it is the strongest in recent years .

Death in the Family, A

A Death In the Family by
Karl Ove Knausgaard
Translated from the Norweigian by Don Bartlett

The Detourby
Gerbrand Bakker
Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer

hhhh laurent binet
HHhH by
Laurence Binet
Translated from the French by Sam Taylor

The Sound of Things Falling by
Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean
The Last of the Vostyachsby
Diego Marani
Translated from the Italian by Judith Landry

Shadow reviews
Cold Sea Stories by
Pawel Huelle
Translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
The Fall of the Stone City by
Ismail Kadare
Translated from the Albanian by John Hodgson
Black Bazaar by
Alain Mabanckou
Translated from the French by Sarah Ardizzone
Bundu by
Chris Barnard
Translated from the Afrikaans by Michiel Heyns

Dublinesque by
Enrique Vila-Matas
Translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey and Anne McLean
In Praise of Hatredby
Khalid Khalifa
Translated from the Arabic by Leri Price


The Murder of Halland by
Pia Juul
Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitke

Satantango by
Laszlo Krasznahorkai
Translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes
Silent House by
Orhan Pamuk
Translated from the original Turkish by Robert Finn
Traveller of the Century by
Andrés Neuman
Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia
Trieste by
Daša Drndić
Translated from the Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursac


Holocaust Memorial day some suggested reading

Here in the UK it is Holocaust Memorial day .The 27th January was picked as it was the day that Auschwitz was liberated by the soviets .The day is a chance for us all to remember those who have suffered at the hands of Tyranny ,ethnic cleansing or unfair regimes .Here at winstonsdad I have read a number of books set before during and after the Holocaust both fiction and non-fiction .So thought be a good idea to suggest a few books you could try that are all about the Holocaust.

Blooms of darkness 2

Blooms of Darkness by Aharon Appelfeld – Last years IFFP winner follows a young boy coming to manhood ,as he tries to escape the Nazis .Hidden in a house of ill repute .Aharon Appelfeld novels have mostly been set and about the Holocaust .

treblinka 1

Treblinka A survivor’s memory by Chil Rajchman When I reviewed this I just start with the words”just read this book .I stand by that Chil takes you through his time in The Treblinka camp and the horrors he saw whilst there .

the emperor of lies

The Emperor of Lies by Steve Sem-Sandberg The story of King Chaim that was the Jewish head of the Ghetto in Lodz and how by being himself and make sure he kept in line with the germans saved many lives of people in the Ghetto .

Lanzmann  the patagonian hare

The Patagonian Hare – Claude Lanzmann The memoir of the French editor and film maker .He made Shoah the most definitive view of the holocaust with numerous interviews people involved .We found out how he made it .

trieste dasa drndic

Trieste by Dasa Drndic A story of a women meeting here son that was part of the Nazis Lebensborn programme ,but also mention and has a list of all the Italian Jews that died during world war two .

the last brother

The last brother by Nathacha Appanah A young boy after the Holocaust trying for a new life in the promised land and he  end up in Mauritius after  he was expelled from Palenstine .

sarajevo marlboro

Sarajevo Malboro by Miljenko Jergovic  A collection stories set in and around the Balkan conflict ,which show the horror of this recent war on the people of Bosnia .

That’s just a few of course there is  many other books out there  by the likes of Primo Levi ,Anne Frank ,Etty Hilesum and many others .The next book to be covered here on Holocaust will be Train to Budapest by Dacia Maaini an Italian novel about a friend trying to find out what happened to her friend after she went to a concentration camp set during fifties as she travels to Budapest .

This years theme for Holocaust memorial day is to build a bridge 

Also visit the main site for Holocaust memorial day 

Have you a favourite read about the holocaust ?

The garden of Evening mist by Tan Twan Eng

The Garden of evening mist by Tan Twan Eng

Malaysian fiction

Now this is the second book by Tan Twan Eng to make the booker lists ,his first was longlisted in 2007 .Tan Twan Eng grew up in various places in Malaysia ,eventually becoming a lawyer in the area of intellectual property .He then decide to become a full-time writer ,he published his first book in 2007 the gift of rain ,this book like the garden of evening mist was set in Malaysia and was about the Japanese control of the area in the second world war .This his latest also looks back on that time .

Every child longs for a larger-than-life uncle and, because I had none ,Magnus Pretorious became a figure of fascination to me ,although he hardly anything more than a vague presence in my life when i was growing up .What I knew of him I heard from my parents and from things they left unsaid broken-off twigs of conversations I picked up whenever I walked in on them ,and from what Magnus told me after I got to know him better

Early on remember her past .

So garden of evening mist is a complex book that brings together many themes ,secrets ,love and hate  ,gardening and people .The garden in the title is being made by a famous Japanese gardener in  Malaysia this is after the second world war and this garden is well crafted in the Japanese style of gardening called Sakkei borrowed scenery a Japanese style from the past  that Nakamura Aritomo worked for the emperor in Japan caring for his gardens  .

According to the lay of the land, and depending upon the aspect of the water landscape, you should design each part of the garden tastefully, recalling your memories of how nature presented itself for each feature. (tr. Inaji 1998:13)

A quote found on wiki about Shakkei

The other main character in the book is a Malaysian women Teoh Yun Ling  she survived one of the hideous Japanese war camps during world war two  and hates all things Japanese since then til she meets Nakamura .She is Nakamura apprentice ,this sets up a wonderful parallel of love and hate between these two characters and there initial frostiness   .Throw in the fact that Malaysia itself is undergoing a civil conflicted  and is descending into chaos,Tan has set up to a wonderful book  that encompasses love ,loss and death and the remembrance of the dead .Also add his wonderful eye for the world around him the garden and surrounding area jumps of the page at times and you are transported to the garden of evening mist . You’ve got one of those books I have been crying out for on the booker lists  a discovery.for me this alongside the Will Self I reviewed last week are equal favourites for me .


It was hard for me reading this book and its setting and time not to think back to Anthony Burgess Malaya trilogy set at the same time as this book is also set ,but that book was from the view of a British officer in Malaya ,this was the view of a native and the book is mostly told from Yun Ling view both at the time and looking back as an older women at the time .There was something about Eng style of writing that drew me in at times it reminded me of Romesh Gunesekera a writer I also discovered years ago when he was short-listed for the booker with his book reef  .I think it was the style of prose , that harks back to the greats of English literature  writer like Conrad and dickens (even burgess as I ve mentioned ) .I feel this is a sign of what makes a lot of  Asian writers very readable to me as a reader , because in a way they are removed  from the here and now of what is modern fiction in the uk and tend to have read the classics growing up so on the whole their style harks back to an old age of writing  .It’s fair to say I loved this book probably the best book I ve read published in English this year or even recent years .

Have you read this book ?

Who is your favourite Asian writer ?

Nobel winner for 2012 in literature Mo yan

Nobel Literature prize winner for 2012 is Mo yan

He was given the for his motivation, realism , folk-tales and history .I ve yet to read Mo Yan my self but have red sorghum on my tbr pile that I ll be starting shortly and have a review of by the weekend .he is from a pheasant family left school at twelve to work in the fields ,gained his education from the Chinese army .Made his début in 1981 ,his best known book is Red sorghum that was made into a film that won an award in Berlin film festival .Franz Kafkaesque is how I ve seen him mentioned he is a  writer about rural china and the mixture of myths and supernatural world he grew up hearing from stories as a child  .He is a true rags to riches writer .

Here is his wiki page 

Here is from a recent china daily piece 

World book night top 100 lets make it a fresh list !!!

Beside the sea world book night

This years world book night giveaways are to be decided by us the public by choosing our  top ten books .I looked at the current top 100 and have to agree with Meike from Peirene it is a bit bland and from the perspective of winstonsdad the translation choices which there are at this moment ten book are what I would call the ones people think they should read or put in a list even if they’ve not read to look good (sorry needs to be said) .I love Murakami and Marquez but some diffeernt book here would be great open peoples eyes.Well Meike has suggest if we could all choose Beside the sea by Veronique Olmi  it is a lovely french gem and is one of my all time favourite reads any way ,at moment 35 votes will get it in the top 100 I ve vote so 34 would do it come on lets help the nymph and the lovely ladies of Peirene make the list ,all of us bloggers and tweeters know how much effort this publisher puts into social media and interaction with its readers more than any major publisher does .So put your hand up and say yes I want the small guy to win for once because we all love the underdogs in this country lets for once get them there  ,Meike has written a blog post about this too here ,thanks stu .I will be put up for giving away this time as I was too shy to volunteer last year .

My top ten –

Beside the sea by Veronique Olmi – reason a french gem touching and it will make you gasp if you’ve not read it !

Rings of saturn  by W G Sebald reason started my love of translation and it is a book that can be reread and still make you think .

Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes – reason the first novel it has all in it that has followed since a true master piece .

Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges reason he was a genius flash fiction avant grade fiction all look at this as a starting point

If on a winters night a traveller by Italo Calvino reason I love it and I know many people hate it but who can’t love a book that talks to you ?

My century by Gunter grass  – reason  short interlocking pieces covering the 20thcentury from the German master not his best but it is a good insight into Germany .

Cities of red night by William S Burroughs  – reason he was a one off writer this book has all a young guy could want from a book and men shou,ld read more !

The last brother by Nathacha Appananah – reason a unheard corner of post ww2 history jewish refugees stuck on a tropical island told touchingly through two young boys tale .

Goodbye to all that by Robert Graves – reason  my favourite memoir war is bad and read this you know it is ,a poets eye goes to war .

Walden by Henry David Thoreau – reason if more people had read this would the world be the way it is the simple life as he spent time in nature thinking whilst living in a wooden hut .

What are your choices ?

#translationthurs round up

Today on twitter it was suggested by two good twitter friend I am Amro and rob around books I start listing books mention on translation thus on the blog   .I start this small meme last year and it is slowly growing and seems a great way to find new books to read if like me .you like world literature .

Blue fox by Sjon – suggest by I will tweet the guy behind Just William ,you should go over and have a look he does better reviews than me and loads of world lit .

Woodcutters by Thomas Bernard – suggested by Amelia atlas ,Bernhard was Austria favourite writer even if he dislike his homelands art scene I ve one of his near to of tbr pile .

Gold by Blaise Cendrars – The renown swiss writer ,a peter Owen edition they publish a few of his books .This was John s. of asylum suggestion ,he reviews a great mix of fiction ,with highly insightful analysis of books  ,a number in translation.

The death of Napoleon by Simon Leys -suggest by great twitter friend Simon from inside books ,from the Belgian writer pierre ryckmans ,Simon Leys is his non de plume  was made into a film called emperors new clothes .

blood sisters by Alessandro Perissinotto – a book I like when I review an italian crime novel suggested by Cazbah88 from Carol’s book corner blog

Memoirs of the duc de saint Simon by Louis de Reuvroy -a french classic ,new to me here is the wiki info   suggest by dave trembley

Lost honour of Katherine Blume by Heinrich boll -from  Meike at Peirene as their writer Friedrich Christian Delius had won the Georg Buchner prize ,germany’s biggest Literary prize ,as had Boll .

THE topless tower by Silivna Ocampo – New Zealand based Tim Jones from tim Joness blog ,The surreal Argentina novel considered a classic

The sleeping Dragon  by Miyuki Miybe -a Japanese mystery by In spring it i s the dawn from the blog of the same Name

The final going of snow by Kristina Ehins -suggest by mpt magazine the poetry translation magazine ,Estonian Poetry in translation .

A void by Georges Perec -the novel that’s a detective novel with a vowel missing all way through the book ,suggest by Gary and Gina here are the blogs Parrish Lantern and Gina Choe  both great world lit bloggers .

Spring in Fialta by Vladimir  Nabokov -suggest by Nia Polly from her blog and literature across frontiers comms manager a great site link lit in europe ,not read this Nabokov but he was one of the best writers in the 20th century wrote in russian and english .


The post office girl by Stefan Zweig -by new york based writer Katie Kitamura  writer of longshot ,post office girl is a study of class I loved it when I reviewed it here on winstonsdad .

The Lusiads by Luis vaz de Camoes – by themselves  Oxford world classics ,a Portuguese classic about them discovering the world .

Cibernectica e fantasmi in une pietra sopra by Italo Calvino -suggest by sam tweets books ,loved every Calvino I ve read so sure this will be good .

Tomorrow Pamplona by Jan Van Mersbergen -Peirene press no 4 ,I finish it last week out 7th June well worth reading one hell of a ride like grabbing the bull by the horns .suggest by tony from tony reading list 

Memoirs of a porcupine by Alain Mabanckou- a book narrate by said porcupine of the title loved broken glass reviewed here on winstonsdad ,suggest by the publisher serpents tail

Traveller and Innkeeper by Fadhill al-Azzawi- by Arablit great blog for all arabic lit ,set in Iraq follows a secret policeman published in 70’s in Arabic

Redbreast by Jo Nesbo -by little reader who has recently returned to blogging ,the third in the Harry hole series I read snowman from this series a well written taut crime novel ,of nordic noir style .

Kamchatka by Marcelo Figureas suggest by Rob from Rob around books my favourite IFFP read ,reviewed here on winstonsdad .

well that’s them for this week ,we had books from every where and every age and genre just shows what you can find in translation if you look .


Whats your favouite translation ?

I m wanting to do a 100 best translation list ,I ve seen various hundred best  list but not seen one solely of translations  I ve a lot ideas for  books to be on the list  ,but thought I d throw the floor open and take suggestions .I often get ask for suggestions where to start with world lit so thought a list of hundred books would be a great starting place for readers .So what have been your favourite books from round the world ?


around the world in a year -the first year of winstonsdad .

Well the first full year of blogging is drawing to the end and now I look back on the year I ve had highs and lows but am coming out of it looking forward to new challenges and new books to read .But for this year I ve decide to go round world pick best I ve read from various areas of the world .


the purple violet

books read – 14

countries -11

WELL my favourite african book this year is Purple violets of oshaantu ,thisNambian story was a wonderful insight into village life and really deserves a wider audience .other highlights have been the Ben Okri non fiction I read .

Next year I want read more francophile african lit and some african classics .




Highlights wonder Hugo Claus has won many awards and you can see why ,a gripping look at post war Beligum ,other highlights have been the three Peirene titles all have been quality novellas ,stones in landslide touch me the most with yet again its tales of village life .also Dion Quixote which is the greatest classic I ve read and the start of novel writing in europe .

next year – the next three Peirene are eagerly awaited here ,I ve a couple of Portuguese novels I want to read as well .





Highlights Mati Unt Brecht at night was a revelation a unusal book from Estonia , circus Bulgaria as well is probably my book of the year by Deyan Enev .

Next year -plan to read a Serbian novel and some polish novels also the long haul of war and peace starting in the new year .also my Hungarian week is planned have 4 novels ready .



Highlight Coconut unlimited loved ,loved this coming of age novel ,also vivanne  and I was a great Biography .

next year book three of Powell and got Ballards autobiography to read .





to the end of the land is the best book from the israeli point of view and Yalo a powerful book about Lebanon .

next year -More same really maybe some Saudi lit next year .




Highlight the end Salvatore Sciobona ,a huge new talent from america maybe the heir to Bellow .

Next year – got a mexican week planned have 5 novels awaiting to be read .Also the new David Vann novel Caribou island to read in January .




Bolano saves my reading block

Highlight ,Library at night ,just read and yet to review it enliven my mind and made me want to blog on ,Nazi Literatures in Americas was a quirky book and show Bolanos love of Borges and my last highlight is Borges Labyrinths which I ve just finished .

Next year have a book from Paraguay I want to get and read also Cesar Aira is some one I want to read next year .




highlights the Korean novel the guest was a wonderful look a the divide in that country ,also the patience stone from Afghanistan was a harrowing tale of a women’s life in that country .

next year -aim to read more asian lit next year it is my real weak area of world lit and I need to get some more depth ,have a chinese novel and a books from New Zealand and Malaysia to be read .




I ve enjoyed the Nordic crime fiction I ve read this year Jo Nesbo is some one I ll read More of ,but Tove Jansson has been my favourite female writer of the year and someone I treasure .

Next year – got danish and Icelandic novels on TBR PILE ,want read more Jo Nesbo and start on the Martin Beck books later in the year .

well that is the year shall round up December in new year .


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