September 2019 that was the month

  1. Welcome to America by Linda Bostorm Knaugard
  2. Years like Brief days by Fabian Dobles
  3. 10 minutes 38 seconds in this strange world by Elif Shafak
  4. Milena, Milena,Ecstatic by Bae Suah
  5. The Marquise of O by Heinrich Von Kleist
  6. Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann
  7. Quichotte by Salman Rushdie

Book of the month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the first time, I have picked a none translated book as my book of the month but this is one of those rare books that is undefinable it is a monster of a read but the rhythm in those lists where she jumps from here to there in them. My reading journey this month saw me head from a chaotic family in America through Costa Rican village, then a dead prostitute in Istanbul relives her life in the last ten mins of her life. Then a Korean filmmaker meets a strange woman. Then a german classic in a new translation as a marquise tries to find the father of her child. Then I finished it off with a Reworking of Don Quixote by Salman Rushdie. I am still behind on the books read this year on 68 books reviewed want to get to 100 this year I will need to pull my socks up a bit but with german lit month soon I feel I can get there hopefully.

Next month

I have a number of novellas to read from around Europe I can’t see me reading the other booker titles they are just too long especially as I have a 900 pages modern german masterpiece and an even longer Italian novel to read before the end of the year.

Non-book events

I had some time off work and visited the Holocaust museum in Nottinghamshire it is very small but touching it has two exhibits one is about the Holocaust and the other follows one ten-year-old boy’s journey through the Kindertransport in recreations of his home school the boat that brought him here. We also went to see Major Oak the 1200-year-old Oak tree that is in Sherwood forest held up it is huge tree. In my nostalgia tv corner, I have been watching the father Downing mysteries which featured Tom Bosley is best known for playing  The father on Happy days he was also a sheriff in Murder she wrote this series sees him as a vicar investigating crime a fan of Sherlock Holmes with his sidekick a streetwise Nun.

 

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Top 50 books in translation since 2000

Well everyone has seen or heard about the rather translation light Guardian 100 books since 2000 wel I m doing a list of books from 2000 most I have reviewed since the blog but others I read before the blog.This is a personal list in reply to the Guardian list and reflects my own tastes in translated fiction.

  1. Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
  2. Compass by Mathias Enard
  3. parallel stories by Peter Nadas
  4. Stones in a landslide by Maria Barbal
  5. The coming by Andrej Nikoladis
  6. Trieste by Dasa Drndric
  7. Rings of Saturn by W G Sebald
  8. Satantango by Laszlo Krasznarhorkai
  9. Traveller of the century by Andres Neumann
  10. By night the mountains burn by Juan Tomas Avila Laurel
  11. The anatomy of a moment by Javier Cercas
  12. The briefcase by Hiromi Kawakami
  13. A death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard
  14. Panorama by Dustan Sarotar
  15. The tower by Uwe Tellkamp
  16. Heaven and Hell by Jon kalman Stefansson
  17. Revulsion in San Salvador by Horacio Castellanos Moya
  18. Beside the sea by Veronique Olmi
  19. Colourless Tsukuru Tazakiand his years of pilgimage by Haruki Murkami
  20. Bilbao – New york – Bilbao by Kirmen Uribe
  21. River by Esther Kinsky
  22. The carpenter pencil by Manuel Rivas
  23. The book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agulusa
  24. The mirror of Beauty by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi
  25. Where tigers are at home by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès
  26. Dublinesque by Enrique Vila matas
  27. Martutene by Ramon Saizarbitoria
  28. Memoirs of a Porcupine by Alain Mabanckou
  29. The whispering Muse by Sjon
  30. White book by Han Kang
  31. Windows on the world by Frederic Beigbeder
  32. The sermon on the fall of Rome by jerome Ferrari
  33. Azazeel By Youssef Ziedan
  34. Bricks and Mortar by Clemens Meyer
  35. Resistance by Julian Fuks
  36. Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov
  37.  Harraga by Boualem Sansal
  38. Shtetl love song by Grigory kanovich
  39. Kamchatka by Marcelo Figureas
  40. The dirty dust by Máirtín Ó Cadhain
  41. Mrs Sartrois by Elke Schmitter
  42. Goodbye, bird by Aram Pachyan
  43. New Finnish Grammar by Diego marani
  44. Fireflies by Luis Sagasti
  45. The corpse washer by Sinan Antoon
  46. Love/war by  Ebba Witt-Brattström
  47. The Years by Anne Ernaux
  48. To the end of the land by David Grossman
  49. Blindly by Claudio Magris
  50. I will mention a few of huge books Zibaldone by Giacomo Leopardi,  Bottoms dream by Arno schmidt and Stalingrad by Vasily Grossmann

Two new Istros titles A wild woman and a lost place

I am a huge fan of Istros books as Susie the publisher has brought us so many great books from the Balkans and Mittel europa and here we have an example of both here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild woman is set against the tough 1970’s in Croatia as we follow a love affair between to literature students as they plunge into an early marriage only for them to discover her other half is a womanisering freeloader. Stuck in a marriage and trying to break free of him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we have an example of Mittel European literature and two novellas post after his death by the Jewish writer Ludovic Bruckstein he was born in Czechslovakia in what is now Ukraine and grew up in the northern region of Transylvania an area which at the time he grew up had a large Jewish community and the books show the effect of the Holocaust on these rural Carpathian villages and how they were havens of religious and racial acceptance before the dark times of the war and after. Have you read you read any books from Istros have you a favorite?

A gun for sale by Graham Greene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A gun for sale by Graham Greene

English fiction

Source – personal copy

I found a few days ago every book I was reading wasn’t grabbing me I start three or four never getting more than forty pages in so I decided it was time to try an old classic one of my Graham Greene for me he is one of those go to writers when you have been struggling to find something great. Graham Greene is one of those writers that didn’t write many bad books and this is one that isn’t as well known as some of his other books but it was made into a film in the forties an Italian and Turkish films and a tv film in the nineties and was written before Brighton rook and like Pinkie raven is a very amoral character.

Murder didn’t mean much to Raven. It was just a new job. You had to be careful. You had to use your brains. It was not a question of hatred. He had only seen the ministeronce: he had pointed out to Raven as he walked down the new housingestate between the little lit christmas tree, an old, rather grubby man without any friends, who was said to love humanity

The cold wind cut his face in the wide continental street. It was a good excuse for turning the collar of his coat well up above his mouth. A hare-lip was a serious handicap in his profession; it had been badly sewn in infancy, so that now the upper lip was twisted and scarred. When you carried about you si easy an identification you couldn’t help but becoming ruthless in your methods. It had always, from the first been necessary for Raven to eliminagte the evidence

The opening two paragraphs could jump from a classic american hard boilded noir i loved them!!

The book unfolds after a hired assassin Raven kills the minister of war in a distant European country. his father was hung for murder and his mother committed suicide so he grew up very amoral and with his own code.  He returns home to get paid by his paymaster a man called Cholmondeley. It is only after he is paid he gather he has been double-crossed when the notes he is using are stolen and being tracked by the police. He finds that Cholmondeley is heading on a train to Nottwich a fictional midland town. This is where the man that paid Cholmondeley is a steel magnate Sir Marcus paid him to kill the minister. On the train he meets a chorus girl who is the fiance of a detective on the tail of Raven, So he takes Anne with him but as she knows Cholmondeley real name which is Davies and helps him get to him as a way to keep her self alive. Will he get Davies and find out who paid him and will Anne escape.

Nor did the meter fail him. He had a schilling to spare. When Mr Cholmondeley led the way in by tthe Euston war memorial to the Greart smoky entrance and rashly he gace it to the driver: rashly because there was a long wait ahead of himwith nothing but his hunderd and nitey-five pounds to buy sandwich with. For Mr Cholmondeley led the way with two porters behind him to the left-luggage counter depositing there three suitcasesm a portable typewriter, a bag of golf clubs, a small attache case, and a hat-box.Raven heard him ask which platform the midnight train went.

Raven tracking after he found he had been double crossed and they head tio Nottwich on the train .

This is an early Graham Greene written before Brighton rock Raven is maybe an early take on the Pinkie character that sort of Amoral man of circumstance here raven is a cold-blooded killer and isn’t pleased when double crossed so he then goes on an act of revenge. It is wonderfully paced keeping you gripped to the last page and has an interesting set of character the chorus girl Davies the middle man Sir Marcus the man paying for the killing and Anne’s boyfriend the main detective on Raven’s tail to add a nice twist in the tail. This is Greene before he was Greene a writer early on his career it has pinches of Buchan, Conrad and a touch of American Hard-boiled thriller. But for me it still has that Catholic guilt that in a lot of his fiction. Have you read this or have you another favorite By Greene?

 

10 years of winstonsdad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I am still in shock I managed to get to ten years of blogging. The years have flown I do miss those early years and those early bloggers that lead me to Blog. The first year of trying to get 52 books from around the world read has to lead to a total of 120 countries and 917 reviews about 92 reviews a year the last couple of years I have lost a bit of momentum in my blogging but I’ve managed 41 books this year and I’ve had so much happen in the last two years in my real life that I am surprised I got so many reviews done in the last two years. Highlights have been the visits to the IFFP prize which meant I had a chance to meet so many writers and translators. My numerous visit to London to meet Susie from Istros books that have made me meet her writers for more than a few minutes spending the day with them and really talking books. Meeting other bloggers is always a fun thing to do from Rob one of the bloggers I most admired at the start and still, Lizzy, Gran, Mark and Simon who much missed inside books was one of my inspiration for the blog.I am not as active on twitter as I was once something I am trying to spend more time with and I am still amazed how #translationthurs runs by itself every week. Regrets One,  I still miss not seeing Lisa from Anzlitlovers but sure we will meet one day!   So looking forward I have a French book for review this week by one of my favourite French writers I have another Spanish and Portuguese lit month. I will again be involved in the Man Booker international as I have for the last nine years from the IFFP days.

April and May winstonsdad months that were

  1. The Pine Island by Marion Poschmann
  2. The faculty of Dreams by Sara Stridsberg
  3. The years by Annie Ernaux
  4. The storyteller by Pierre Jarawan
  5. Celestial bodies by Jokha Alharthi
  6. All Happy Families by Herve Le Tellier
  7. Lord of all the dead by Javier Cercas
  8. Garden , Ashes by Danilo Kis
  9. singer in the night by Olja Savicevic
  10. Redemption by Friedrich Gorenstein
  11. Termin by Henrik Nor-Hansen
  12. When death takes something from you give it back by Naja Marie -Aidt
  13. In the end they told them all to get lost by Laurence Leduc- Primeau

I missed Aprils round up as I had a break so in the last two months I have reviewed 13 books from 11 countries with one new publisher in Sandstone Press which went on to be the man booker international winner and my first book from Oman wich was the only new country in the last two months. I still have round of the man booker books but to say I had a two week break it isn’t a bad total and takes the number of books reviewed this year too 38 still just about on course to make the 100 review mark for the year.

Books of the months –

I’ll pick two

Termin front cover.png

 

 

Termin by Henrik Nor-Hansen

This little gem seems to capture what I look for in the books I am reading these days and that is challenging what literature is and this is one of those that is a borderline between fiction and nonfiction using ticks of narrative non-fiction and journal keeping. Tell how a brain injury leads to a man’s life and social web falling apart.

When Death Takes Something From You Give It Back

The second book is When death takes something from you give it back by Naja Marie Aidt

A touching book about grief cooping and how even a great writer even struggles to get the words on the paper. It alsio shows how words can heal and help share what has happened to you.

Non- book events

well, the last two months have flown by even with two weeks of I find I am reading less the last few months but have a backlog of books I have finished still so plenty to keep the blog ticking over. Amanda and I spend most of our days off visiting the peaks or place like Ikea just keep Amanda busy and I’m making the most of being able to drive. I have found a new tv passion the Canadian series Cardinal which I have watched all three series in the last two weeks this slow-burning series that has one case per a series set in the fiction town based on the Canadian town of the North bay. They have managed to produce a nordic style series with a grumpy detective a brilliant sidekick great settings but the storylines have many a twist and turn.

Looking forward blog wise

Well I was asked if Richard and I were doing Spanish lit month well. I will be Richard is taking a break so like the last few years July and August will be for Spanish and Portuguese lit. I want suggestions for an August book to read and chat about. I thinking of a Marquez maybe? or another Latin American greats LLhosa or Bolano .I am not so organized as Richard but will try and sort an Mr linky links page when it is time? any suggestions?

Services edition Graham Greene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was at the local Flea market today which over the years has turned up a few gems the Gunter grass  cat and mouse arc I found there the other year today I found something I had been looking for a while and that was an Old world war two service edition books both The Uk which is mine produced these books for the Forces Penguin then guild and other presses. The Us editions used have two novels or other books in one edition. The book I found today was The confidential agent by Graham Greene. I am a Greene fan and have his biography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A sort of life and 11 of his novels < I hadn’t a copy of confidential agent as a kid I read a lot of Greene and in recent year when I start getting together all of Anthony Burgess novels together which I have nearly done there is only a couple of Burgess books left to get thanks to the new Irwell editions. My mind turned to those other writers I liked as a kid and teen Greene, Steinbeck, Hemingway and Waugh. I have got a few more Greene to get but they are something I rarely see secondhand and the ones I have left to get are his lesser novels. So I have opened the door on another project after Burgess which I still have a lot of his books to review on the blog. I also love that Greene and Burgess had a history as they lived near each other near the end of there lives and had a few run-ins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you seen any service editions? are you a fan of Graham Greene

 

Winstons books some recent arrivals

I haven’t done an arrival post for ages anyway here are a few recent books I have been sent or I have brought my self.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I never got my copy of this just think it was lost in the post.  I have been waiting a while so I decide to buy this as I am a huge fan of her writing this is a novel that features two stories that mirror each other in a way I have already read the first half when it arrived this afternoon. I love this cover as well which suit the first story so well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An arrival from QC is always exciting this slim novel is about a woman’s life and a novel about her life blurs together her lover dream of prague as always I have high hopes for this as I haven’t read a bad novel from QC and so much of contemporary Quebacian fiction is cutting edge and appeal to me as a reader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, a new arrival from Maclehose press The office of Gardens and ponds follows a village when there Master carp catcher suddenly drowns putting the future of the lives in the village and the palace that takes there carp. Written by the Secretary General of the academie Gincourt and is also a member of the Academie de marine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Maclehose title here and the sequel to Roy Jacobsen The unseen, back on the island of Barroy we see Ingrid trying to save her lover from being caught by the Germans as Norway is no under there rule and she saved the man from a bomb ship and now has to try and get by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been seeing that the Scottish publisher Vagabond voices bringing a number of books in translation out so I had a look at some of them and this one appeals to me shortlisted for the Russian booker it follows a Russian Estonian man and an Indian man in a Danish refugee camp their daily lives in the 90’s  and life on the road as they  dream of other places. Based on Ivaanov own experience as a stateless man in Denmark in the 90’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I saw a recent post from Messy bookers blog about a Carlos Fuentes novel Old gringos   I remarked it had been a while since I read him well looking back I had one review from him and have a few books but decided to add a few this one I had my eye on a while is a retelling of the Dracula story transport to Mexico city as Fuentes says ten million blood sausages (people) and a police force that  won’t mind a few disappearances

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other is an epic his tenth novel is narrated by a baby in the womb just before the 500th anniversary of Columbus discovering the new world comic work this sounds different.

Have you had anything exciting to arrive at your house recently?

 

That was the month that was feb 2019

  1. The spirits of the earth by Catherin Colomb
  2. Agnomia by Robert Gal
  3. Resistance by Julian Fuks
  4. Any means necessary by Jenny Rogneby
  5. Now, Now, Louison by Jean Fremon
  6. The capital by Robert Menasse
  7. The pianoplayers by Anthony Burgess
  8. Trout, belly up by Rodrigo Fuentes

I managed eight reviews last month which just about keeps me on course for 100 plus reviews this year. I read books from seven countries no new publishers or countries my journey has taken me from France country mansions then to Prague and New York from a Slovakian twist to a family on the run in Brazil with two kids A Swedish policewoman playing both sides of the fence. I read a wonderful book about an artist a satire about the EU after that a memoir about a piano playing father and trying to set up a trout farm in the Guatemalan countryside.

Image result for trout belly up rodrigo

Book of the month-

Trout belly up it has been a tight month as any of four books I read could have been the book of the month but there was something in his descriptions of struggling against nature in this book that grabbed me as I have finally given up on shadowing the Man Booker I had hope this was going be on the list but as I look forward over next month I have a packed list of books to read and review hoping to unearth more gems like this.

My month-

I managed the first weekend away driving there earlier this month not far just over the peaks to Macclesfield to visit my mums grave was the first timeI’d been by myself which I know she’d have been proud of me for driving although I made Amanda rather nervous when we slightly overshot a hairpin bend in the middle of the peaks but it was a reminder not to get too overconfident about my driving .I capture a number of Wim Wender films on Mubi and a couple of Korean films as well. I have been listening to new albums by Sleaford mods the same underbelly of Britain in their lyrics that capture modern Britain. Then mark Kozlek new album another set of monologues around his life a style he has had in his last few albums. But my favorite album this month Inferno by Robert Forester on half of the great band the Go-betweens. A collection of songs which all seem tinge with how it feels growing old. I am just finishing a set of nights which always cut my reading but they do help pay for my books. how has your month been

Winstonsdads reads of 2019

Well, 2019 has been a slow reading year than recent I just managed 90 reviews so I’ve chosen my ten books of the year in no particular order here are my top ten books of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Die, my love by Ariana Harwicz I was sent three books by Charco press all could have been on the list but this fits the rest of the list as it is fragment glimpse of a wifes world falling apart in rural france a strong female voice.
  2. Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Doblin I had the first chance to double review a book in a new translation. Hofmann version brought to life the world of Franz Biberkopf as I said if John dos Passos Tom Waits and Charles Bukowski has a bastard child it would be Biberkopf and his world.
  3. One clear ice-cold January morning at the beginning of the twenty-first century by Roland Schimmelpfennig Germany leading playwright writes a debut novel that is a state of the nation glimpse of modern Germany from those who have come to the city from around the world.
  4. Fleeting snow by Pavel Vilikovsky, a novel about memory and how it works in interlinking stories that twist around each other as the five tales in this book can and may not be linked it is a wonderful fluid book that is a unique book.
  5. The blind spot by Javier Cercas a collection of essay around fiction but the title piece about the blind spot we never see in books mainly around Moby dick is an interesting essay.
  6. Zero by Gine Cornelia Pedersen I have a soft spot for books that chart the decline in peoples lives and this is a wonderful female voice we follow fragments of her life from her teens to his twenties in modern Norway.
  7. In every wave by Charles Quimper if I had a book of the year this is it and a theme in these books it is fragment narrative this is the story that follows a family break down following the loss of there daughter by drowning.
  8. Tell them of battles, kings, and elephants by Mathias Enard a wonderful meeting of east and west in old Constantinople we follow Michelangelo on an imagined journey there.
  9. River by Ester Kinsky One German woman’s time in London walking along a river leads her into the past and other rivers another book of fluid and fragment proses.
  10. The Last days by Jaroslavas Melinkas A collection of stories that echo a Soviet past. Where in the tales rooms disappearing, a woman aging the wrong way an interesting discovery

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