That was the month that was February 2014

Well after a bright start in January to my blogging year my blog went of the rails slightly last month ,but I had Amanda in hospital thankfully she is ok now and near the end of the month I have used the last of my holidays for 2013/4 so have actually just done not a lot and recharged my batteries but now start to wind back up with the Iffp longlist out in a little under a week I need to review and catch up on books I may have to read for that .but last month I managed to read 11 books and reviewed 8 books also had Pushkin press fortnight which I loved the fact so many people joined in celebrating a publisher I love .I also had a great interview with Hélène Gestern q& a .Also added the Blogging meet up in June in Sheffield 


Polychrome by Joanna Jodełka poland
Oliver VII by Antal Szarb
Every promise by Andrea Bajani Italy
Journey into the past by Stefan Zweig austria
the break by Pietro Grossi Italy
Amok and other stories by Stefan Zweig Austria
Death in Pont-Aven by Jean-Luc Bannalec france
The late Monsieur Gallet by Georges Simenon Belgium
A french novel by Frederic Beigbeder france
Pigs foot by Carlos Acosta Cuba
Dead star by Alavro Bisama Chile

I ve already read two great books in march and am looking forward to reading the new Andres Neuman novel and doing Shadow Iffp post .What are your plans for March ?

That was the month that was Jan 2014


Well I got 2014 off with a bang I managed to review 19 books on the blog which is the most I have acheived for a couple of years  and I  have read 16 books also my best ever start for a year .So I decide it is about time I brought back the month end round up posts  .A great start here is what I read in January –

  1. the art and craft of approaching your head of department to submit a request for a raise by Georges Perec france
  2. The confusion of young Törless by Robert Musil Austria
  3. Naomi by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki Japan
  4. Pietr the Latvian by Georges Simenon Belgian
  5. Miruna ,a tale by  Bogdan Suceavă Romanian
  6. The restaurant of love regained by Ito Ogawa Japan
  7. Zenith Hotel by Oscar Coop – Phane france (review in march )
  8. The people in the photo by Helene Gestern france (review in feb)
  9. The lonely hearts club by Raul Nunez argentina
  10. The last day of a condemned man by Victor Hugo France
  11. Botchan by Natsume Soseki Japan
  12. The space between us by Zoya Pipzad Iran
  13. The infatuations  by Javier Marias spain
  14. The castle of whispers by Carole Martinez France
  15. The front seat passenger by Pascal Garnier france
  16. Crumbs by Miha Mazzini  Slovenia

As you see a real mix but with French novels and Japanese to the fore .I think the real gem of the month is Zenith Hotel a book that comes out in march but one that I read and instantly called the best book I had read for a long time .I enjoyed taking part in Tony’s January in Japan event again .

Books read 2014 to date – 16

Countries read from – 9

Next month – Well Pushkin press fortnight is at the end of the month I have a couple I read last year to review for that and also halfway through a couple on my kindle .I’ve a new French crime series to start .

What were your highlights for January ?

New blog translating Turkish literature

I happened to have seen this link to a newish blog that is translating Turkish Prose and poems to English .As I feel there is never enough in English from Turkish it’s great to see a translator putting her work Online lets hope she gets some interest and some more fiction and poetry comes to use in English .
go and visit word prism


That was the month that was January 2013 – a quarter million milestone

snowy treeWell the nights are starting to lighten its been a busy month here at Winston’s tower ,some how shocked how I managed to get 14 books read this month but a number where rather short .I had a number of night shifts and was off for the last five days of the month .I managed to have a little more time than normal to read .Any way favourite book of the month Train to Budapest by Dacia Marani ,which I shall review early next month ,other honorable mentions go to The eleven by Pierre Michon and the two Donald Antrim reissues I read .A good book finding month as many of you may know I tend to have tight book finances ,when it comes to what is available to spend sad to say I had to return to Amazon after nearly a year just because of cost and availability of the books I want for three books ,I hope in summer trips out to cities with Amanda will mean I can buy books in shops I want .But the other side of this is I am a huge second-hand buyer and this month saw me hit gold with a number of penguins a Roman Gary ,Andre Gide ,Henrich Boll and a Samuel Beckett novel .Which eased my conscious re using amazon as some of  these books  are out of print and will be reviewed on here which I hope will get people to find them all out as they are   all writers I feel the need to read and think other people should these are the ones that explain modern literature in France and Germany as they tend to inspire or have been read by most modern writers in these countries .So the month ahead well here at Winston towers two dates spring to mind ,the first is valentines day as a romantic at heart I’ve my book ready for the day and will be spending time myself with the darling Amanda .The other date in my diary is Amanda’s birthday which may not be so bookish as she isn’t a huge reader but sure we will have a lovely time and I ll get her some great gifts .For the blog I sit on the verge of a quarter million views in my stats sometime today or tomorrow I will pass that total so thanks to every one who visits on a regular or just once all welcome  great that you all come and visit the blog .The picture at the top was taken in the middle of the month out with Winston in the middle of the snow .

What was your favourite book last month ?

Plans for next ?


July /august round up

Well I missed July’s wrap up of reads so you’ve a bumper edition this time .I ve read a few more english and american books in last two months than normal, but will be back on translations for next couple of months .So here is the list of what I ve read in last couple of months in no particular order –


  1. Phantoms of Breslau by Marek Krajewski (Poland)
  2. The violins of Saint Jacques by Patrick Leigh Fermor (England)
  3. Vox by Nicholson Baker (America)
  4. Three men in a boat by Jerome K. Jerome (England)
  5. Half blood blues by Esi Edugyan(Canada)
  6. Vile bodies by Evelyn Waugh (England)
  7. The tears of autumn by Charles Mccarry(America)
  8. Dart by Alice Oswald(England)
  9. Down the rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos(Argentina)
  10. Until thy wrath be past by Asa Larson (Sweden)
  11. The stranger’s child by Alan Hollinghurst(England)
  12. U&I by Nicholson Baker (America)
  13. Ashes by Sergios Gakas (Greece)
  14. All the lights by Clemens Meyers(Germany)
  15. Good offices by Evelio Rosero (Columbia)
  16. The manual of darkness by Enrique de Heriz(Spain)
  17. The milkman in the night by Andrey Kurkov (Ukraine)
  18. I the supreme ny Augusto Roa Bastos (Paraguay)
  19. Corrections by Thomas Bernard(Austria)
  20. Exiled from almost everywhere by Juan Goytisolo(Spain)
  21. the sense of an ending by Julian Barnes(England)

So that is it 21 in two months taking the total for the year to 85 books which is exactly same as August last year .I ve read lot english books but going be posting them in between translations reviews for a while .Off the books read the Phantoms of Breslau and down the rabbit hole were my huge favourites .I read three longlisted booker of them the stranger’s child was just my favourite .What you’ve read recently ?

plans for next month well I m reading very short novellas next couple of weeks to give me things to review whilst I make my way through the 1100 plus pages of Parallel stories from the end of the month and I think it will take a month to read with some other books thrown in .What are your plans for September ?

June round up – half year round up and July plans

Well I m a bit late doing this ,but this is due to my darling wife needing a minor op over the weekend so time for blogging has been none unfortunately ,but did read some books as I was waiting with her .so June I managed to get through ten books last month with a few on go as well  so the books are –

  1. beauty and the inferno by Roberto Saviano (italy)
  2. The skating rink by Roberto Bolano (chile)
  3. The new Moscow philosophy by Vyacheslaw Pyetdukh (Russia)
  4. As though she were sleeping by Elias Khoury (Lebanon)
  5. Antipodes by Ignacio Padilla (Mexico)
  6. Lizkla and her men by Alexander Ikonnikov (Russia)
  7. Please look after mother by Kyung-Sook Shin(South Korea)
  8. Hear the wind sing by Haruki Murakami(Japan)
  9. Waiting for the wild beasts to vote by Ahmadou Kourouma(Ivory Coast)
  10. Hidden camera by Zoran Zivkovic(Serbia ) -started in may finished today but due at library so put in june’s total

So that is it nine countries read and to be truthful hard to pick a favourite this month as they were all good in their own ways but I ll say the beauty and the inferno is a book we should all read .As for the state of the blog I m trying to get regular post’s and finding it harder this year need to find my mojo again .

Total so far for the year is 64 the same as June last year so still on course to match last years total as I read more in summer any way like reading in natural light easier on my eyes .

Half year –

Well I ve read books from 26 countries so far this year which keeps up the Idea behind Winston’s dad bring the world through the everyman ,I ve had a number of great interviews so far this year this is something I m going to carry on doing mainly round translation .I m worried I ve lost some consistency with posting this is due to my poor time management I need to work on this as I ve a huge pile of unreview books backing up ,I feel my posts are getting slightly better I ll never be a star but I m trying to make them more than earlier reviews .so if you’ve any thought tell me .thanks for following my blog .

July’s plans –

Well I m going to read a number of english , american  and ANZ fiction books in July and August .I ve books I brought piling up and a few I ve been sent ,some I think will be in Booker long list due in three weeks ,plus want to read USA by John Dos Passos to give me time to catch up on reviews at well over a 1000 pages it will take me two weeks time to catch up I think .

What are your plans ?


May round up

Well I ve had a great month reading if not blogging ,I ve got through a lot of books or at least it seems that was –

  1. The painter of signs by R K Narayan (india)
  2. various authors – fiction desk collection
  3. Tarantula by Thierry Jonquet (france)
  4. Red April by Santiago Roncagliolo (Peru)
  5. Caesarian by Tommy Wiernga (Netherlands)
  6. Tomorrow Pamplona by Jan Van Merbergen (Netherland)
  7. The foxes come at night and other stories by Cees Nooteboom(Netherland)
  8. The most Beautiful walk in the world by John Baxter(Australia)
  9. The upright piano player by David Abbott(UK)
  10. Solibo Maginficent by Patrick Chamoiseau (Martinique)
  11. Sunlight on cold water by Francoise Sagan (France)
  12. The marquise of O by Heinrich Von Kleist (Germany)
  13. Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck (germany)

I ve not review dutch books saving them for Iris Dutch reading Month .Managed to get all the IFFP books read this month ,look forward to next years long and short list books ,if there as good as this years we re in for a real treat .

Total so far this year 54 books this year which is same as this time last year .so still on course for 130ish book

Book  of  the Month is Tomorrow Pamplona a book I can’t wait to tell you about next month .As part of Iris Dutch book month plus hope to have a couple of great interviews with people involved in Dutch literature .

April round up

Another month flown by here ,been very busy on other things had ball for work also a funeral which was a upsetting event .On a happier note had family visit ,well what did I read ?

  1. Kamachatka by Marcelo Figureas .
  2. I curse the river by Per Peterson
  3. The sickness by Alberto Barrera Tyszka.
  4. The museum of innocecne by Orhan Pamuk.
  5. The secret history of Costaguana by Juan Gabriel Vasquez
  6. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad.
  7. The anatomy of a moment by Javier Cercas .
  8. Tiger wife by Tea Obreht .
  9. the rest is silence by Carla Golfenbein .
  10. Kye by Lukas Tomin.

I spent lot time in latin america last month with 5 books of the ten connected to latin america ,My favourite was Kamatchatka .

as for year totals

books read in 2011 -41 books – little behind last year but not that worried had lot on this month .

Plans for may –

I ve a number of library books that are near renewal end so need to read them ,also a couple more from iffp shortlist to read .

What plans have you got for may reading wise ?

winston’s round up was it a mad march here !

Well we’re three months in to 2011 and like last month I ve been very stop start with blog and reading but managed to get these read –

  1. A rift in time by Raja shehadeh (Palenstine)
  2. Cheating at canasta by William Trevor (Ireland)
  3. The tree and other stories by Abdallah al-Nasseur (Saudi Arabia)
  4. Monsieur pain bu Roberto Bolano (chile)
  5. Blood sister by Alessandro Perissnotto(Italy)
  6. Pinball 1973 by Haruki Murkami (Japan)
  7. While the women are sleeping by Javier Marias (Spain)
  8. Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred doblin (Germany)
  9. Monsieur Linh and his child by Philipe Claudel (France)
  10. The particular sadness of lemon cakes by Amiee Bender(U.S)
  11. The possessed by Elif Batumann (turkish/US)

In middle of

  1. tigers wife by tea Obert
  2. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
  3. Ten stories about smoking by Stuart Evers
  4. Kamchatka by Marcelo Figueras

hope finish these this week then got most of Independent foreignfiction prize longlist to read ,also one from the 12 to watch list a chilean novel and a novel set in cyprus .so with longer nights be reading more hopefully

Year to date –

31 books bit behind my plan for 140 this year but 2 more than this time last year so doing well .

Favourite –

A book I waited to get my hands on and was happy I did !


Febuary round up and march plans

I ve let foot of the pedal so to speak this month not blogged a lot or read a lot ,also a family bereavement  this last weekend knocked me for six .I hope to get back to full steam this month .so last month –

  1. the gospel of anarchy by Justin Taylor (us)
  2. Death and the penguin by Andrey Kurkov (Ukraine)
  3. The falafel king is dead by Sara Shilo (Israeli)
  4. The children of rain by Amelie Nothomb (Belgian)
  5. Saplings by Noel Streatfield (UK)
  6. Next world novella by Mathias Politycki (German )
  7. Flypaper by Robert Musil (German)
  8. The queens necklace by Italio Calvino (Italy)

Well that’s 8 books not a lot but I’ve not had time last month with work and family time .

That brings total to 20 this year .

March plans

I ve two projects to get off the ground the village reading challenge and men’s book reading list ,so be working on them .I m doing a week near end of month for the penguin mini classics as I ve now seven to read from round the world .

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