Winstonsdad books of the year

Well, I only managed to review 84 books last year a miss of the 100 I try for every year. But with Covoid and maybe just a loss of focus I  was down well it’s a new year so let’s look back and I’ll mention some of the favourite books in the last 12 months here at Winston towers.

Billards at the Hotel Dobray by Dusan Sarotar

I always seem to feature a book or two from Istros books as they publish books I just seem to connect with here is such a case the second book from Dusan to reach us in English took a look at his home town and the events in world war two around the town of Sobota and the returning Jews and the Hotel at the centre of town life.

The roar of morning by Tip Marugg

This book is so atmospheric a man wrestling with his soul, and looking back over his life in the space of one evening as he drinks and the events that have lead to this dramatic night unfold before the roar of morning of the title those dark demons of night weight heavy in this book.

The bell in the lake by Lars Mytting

As they take apart the distinctive church in a distant Norwegian village Butangen the special sister bells of the church lead to the story of the twin that wove with four hands that lead to the bells being brought and the spirit of the village and its folklore.

Restless by Keneth Moe

Anopther publisher I have featured a lot in recent years is Nordisk books and here was a book that became the 1000th to be reviewed on the blog a man and sits and writes a letter to an ex but as he tries his personal story is told in bits another gem.

Grove by Esther Kinsky

Grove is a writer dealing with loss and what better writer than the poetic Kinsky I loved river her we see her coping with the death of her husband the English Translator Martin Chalmers we see the journey of her grief as she moves on and around the world remember her life with Martin but also her own earlier life.

A glass eye by Miren Agur Meabe

Another book that mixes both personal and history together. A story of a writer that has lived since her teens with a glass eye is mixed with a history of how the glass eye came about over the years an unusal book and one that should be better known.

Hunter school by Sakinu Ahronglong

Now if there was a single book of the year from me this would be this collection of stories we see how the Pawian tribe world is shrinking and how his father taught him to hunt but now even that isn’t being past on stories of a dying world evocative and heartwrenching these gems are why we read books in translation!!

Ankomst by Gøhril Gabrielsen

A woman is sent to a remote island to observe the migrating seabirds to see the effect of global warming but as she does the remote and lonely island and the space left from a lover that isn’t turning up see her descend into a sort of madness another gem from Peirene another one of those publishers I have loved over the years of blogging.

An Inventory of Losses by Judith Schalansky

A collection of short stories of things that are not there now from lost painting from the war to an island that only a few people saw an unusal collection of tales.

Venice The lion, the City and the Water by Cees Nooteboom

Well, I haven’t been to Venice but feel I have umpteen times now as this book brings every corner to light through the eyes of the wonderful dutch writer Cees Nooteboom a writer with an enquiring mind who recalls his first visit and the changes over the years as he rediscovers and uncovers the city on every visit.


Journey through a Tragicomedy Century (The Absurd life of Hasso Grabner) by Franci Nenik

if there is a thread through this year’s books it is personal history and here is another I reviewed two books by this writer here is the second from the new publisher V and Q the story of Hasso Grabner that lays bare the old saying the truth is stranger than fiction as here is a life of a german that saw the world change and had so many dealings in the events of Germany over that time.

When we cease to understand the world by Benjamin Labatut

Here another selection of personal histories and stories. That sees us learn the history of Prussian blue and the struggle snd descent into personal isolation of a mathematician that sees his rivals as enemies and tries to escape into maybe a world of maths beyond maths


Tatouine by Jean-Christophe Rehel

A suffers from cystic fibrous that works in a  Super C use his love of all things star wars and modern culture to make his mundane life seem better and his dreams of being on Tatooine in the Star Warsverse!!

Here is my books of the year. A  baker’s dozen of books it is hard to pick this year so many great books but for today that was my favorites last year. What were yours last year?

Winston’s year the books

Well it’s that time of year when people start putting across the best of list .I have decided to do my best of year ,given the focus of the blog it is going be just translations ,I will not I have read The luminaries and lowland both on a lot of best of list I liked both but haven’t got round to reviewing them yet ,so I’m not mentioning them .As for other books in English not translated my favourite by far is The boy from Aleppo who painted the war by Sumia Sukkar the first I ve read around the current Syrian conflict .So to the top ten of 2013 .

the mirror of beauty

The mirror of beauty by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi 

I reviewed this yesterday as I want it fresh in people’s memorey the rest of the list is books I have loved but by far this is my book of the year .An epic following the mother of a well-known Urdu poet in 19th century India and actually in an update to my previous review due out in the UK may 2014 .

My review 

the son Andrej Nikolaidis

The son by Andrej Nikolaidis 

A son wander around the port town of Ulcinj and thinks about his father and the history of this town .Andrej shared his love of my next book in the list  and its influence on this book .

My review Thoams Bernhard the loser Faber Finds


The loser by Thomas Bernhard 

Glenn Gould in Vienna blows away two music students and we see the aftermath of a touch with a Genius on two people’s lives .

My review 

ten Andrej Longo

Ten by Andrej Lingo 

A short story collection based round the ten Commandments ,around the dark underbelly of the city of Naples .This also reignited a real love of short stories in me ,more about that at a future date .

My review


Mother departs by Tadeusz Różewicz

A son looking back on his mother ,growing up ,world war two and his brother from the foremost living Polish poet .A wonderful mix of prose and poems .

My review 

my fathers' ghost is climbing in the rain

My fathers ghost is climbing in the rain by Patricio Pron 

Certainly if i had a side prize for the best title of the year this book would easily walk off with it .A son returns to Argentina and discovers more about his father than he thought .

My review 

A man in Love

A man in love by Karl Ove Knausgaard 

I love the first part of this collection and had hopes it would carry on and was surprised part two was  even better Karl now with kids and a struggling writer in the fictionalized version of his life ,can’t wait for part three next year .

My review 

Brief loves that live forever

Brief loves that live forever by Andrei Makine

I have loved his other books a glimpse at soviet summers of the past and fleeting romance and lives .Makine back on form here .

My review 

parrots Flippo Bologna

The parrots by FlippoBologna

A gem of a book about writers and a book prize we meet three unnamed writers at three stages in the career as they wait to see if they have won the big book prize .

My review


Sidewalks by Valeria Luiselli

A collection of non fiction writing from the wonderful Mexican writer mainly on the journey of discovery like looking for a grave in Venice .

My Review  


May 2021


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