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.


That was the month that was June 2017


  1. Maigret and the man on the bench by Georges Simenon
  2. Butterfly wings by Mohamed Salmawy
  3. Eve out of her ruins by Ananda Devi
  4. Our Dead World by Liliana Colanzi
  5. The portrait by Antoine Laurain
  6. Nevada days by Bernardi Atxaga

Now I always Knew it would be a thin month book-wise in June, I left my current job on the 2nd of this month and had a wedding in Croydon for the first weekend and Seven days in Scotland with Amanda, I had hoped to read more but time and sunny weather cut into my reading time. Then on Monday I started my new job for the NHS and had my first of two weeks training .so the total of books read has risen to 55 still on course for the 100 for the year mark.

Book of June

A selection of the Basque writers experience in the US gives us a glimpse at the country from an outsider’s eye, but also a writer looking back on his life and what is to come. This is what we need publishers to do publish the books from writers that aren’t straight fiction.

None book discovery

MY new job has opened my eyes to what I can maybe do in the future it seems an NHS service keen on promoting staff to learn and move forward.I hope to do when I am settled in my new job.

Next month

More training at the new job and starting the new job may slow my reading down, I am reading a French novel from the US press New vessel at the moment and have a couple from Maclehose waiting on my tbr pile . What are you reading this month

Winston’s covers If Orson Welles was a fan I’m sold


I subscribe to Mubi, A movie streaming service with a new film every day to watch so when Last Monday a film from Orson welles The immortal story , a french production for tv he made in the late 1960’s. I had to watch it firstly I hadn’t seen it before but also in looking up about the production for the film Welles was a fan of the writer of the story Karen Blixen (AKA Isak Dinesen). He had planned to do a number of short stories by her but end up making just this one. So when this weekend my great luck at seee or finding a book I have just discovered  struck again when I found the collection containing the Immortal story .I had to laugh another lucky find.

Have you read Blixen/Dinesen ?

Spanish Language Lit Month July 2012

Spanish Language Lit Month

Well last year Iris hosted Dutch lit month and Caroline and Lizzie hosted German lit month .Well I decide it time we had a month celebrating Spanish language lit .I contacted one of my favourite Bloggers Richard from the blog Caravana De Recuredos .He is perfectly suited as he blogs bi lingually in English and Spanish and features a lot of Spanish fiction yet to reach us in English .So after much e mailing  and discussion for last couple of months, we are pleased to announce spanish language lit month ,I’ve  made a badge of sorts at the top it features all the spanish languages countries so you can see where to you could choose books to read from we have chosen two books to readalong during the month and a spanish film to watch as well .I love spanish fiction and really looking forward to sharing my passion with every one .

So the schedule we have put together is –

Week 1 – on the weekend which falls on 6 – 8 th July to post on the film Cria Cuervos a classic from  seventies follows an eight year girl in the dying years of the Franco regime.I’ve not seen it myself so sure richard will have more info .there is a DVD available and looks like it can be streamed as well .

Week 2 July 13 -15 on this weekend we’ll be talking about our first readalong choice .A brief live by Juan Carlos Onetti .This was his first novel to feature the fictional town of Santa Maria .The Uruguayan was one of the most respected writers from Latin America .The book is available in uk  and Us from Serpents Tail  .

Week 3 July 20 -22 , our second readalong book .My choice is from one my favourite Spanish writer Enrique Vila-Matas .His debut in English but actually he wrote a lot more in Spanish before this became available in English .Its Bartleby and Co .We meet Marcelo and Vila-Matas gives us echos of other books and writers in this modern classic one my favourite books from Spanish .This book is Published by Vintage in the UK and New directions in the US .This also ties nicely with his new book due out next month as well .

Week 4 – roundup weekend we ‘ll round up everyone’s reviews and  posts .

Please feel free to join in for one ,two or all three of our scheduled events .Also feel free to publish on any other book from the spanish speaking world .I ve already read a number of books to include in this month .I ll be posting nearer the time links to list of spanish and latin american books that you could choose from . I ve a number on my blog from Spain and Latin america already for you to  look at .

What is your favourite Spanish language book ?


Winstons books

I didn’t get many books for christmas ,well that is a lie really I ‘d in a way I got an I Pad from the lovely Amanda ,which via i books ,kobo and kindle has a infinite number of books and will replace my broken E-reader .Any way to make up for the lack of paper books I had five arrive in the last week they were –

The silver bridge by Paul Michael Francis ,a love story Karmia a pop star and Claire ,he has secrets and we follow his journey from Hollywood to Greece ,I m an old romantic at heart so look forward to this .

The Detour BY  Gerbrand Bakker – many thanks to Elie how sent this just because I said  I love the twin by him ,this story is also set in a rural area ,this time it is wales not Holland .A women on the run after a scandal her husband in pursuit and geese our disappearing add up to an odd story I would imagine .

Where Tigers are at home by Jean Marie Blas de Robles – a triple prize winning french novel that took ten-years for Jean-Marie to write and nearly as long to publish as he didn’t want it chop as it is 700 pages long .set in Brazil this novel ahs multiple layers set in modern brazil and 16th century europe .I was kindly sent this by Daedalus books .

Adventures in the rocky mountains by Isabella Bird &  Black Hawk -life of black hawk or ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak -two classic bits of american lit one native american and the other a brave women .These were sent kindly by one of my favourite blogger Richard from Caravana de recuerdos 

All photos via my instagram accout .What books did you get for Christmas ?

Booker longlist reaction

Well susan Hill had promised a fresh list of books for the longlist .But in my opinon what we got was ground shaking .Books new to most people ,the shock wave on twitter was noticable as people tried to find out more about the listed books ,also why the list was so different than peoples ideas of what shoulkd have been there .The fact smaller publishers have been picked is good thing in this modern age .

• Julian Barnes  The Sense of an Ending
• Sebastian Barry On Canaan’s Side
• Carol Birch Jamrach’s Menagerie
• Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers
• Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues
• Yvvette Edwards A Cupboard Full of Coats
• Alan Hollinghurst The Stranger’s Child
• Stephen Kelman  Pigeon English
• Patrick McGuinness The Last Hundred Days
• AD Miller Snowdrops
• Alison Pick Far to Go
• Jane Rogers The Testament of Jessie Lamb
• DJ Taylor Derby Day

so there it is, of the titles I ve read none I have two on my tbr pile ,a quick trip to library yesterday came back blank .Some of them aren’t out yet thou  .From the list the ones that grab my eye are Patrick Mcguiness the last hundred days set in the dying days of the Ceauceaus regime in Romania from the small publisher seren ,snowdrops Andrew miller set in Russia a thriller about a young Englishman struggling with the temptations of new Russia .I ve sister brother and strangers child on tbr ,I m not sure what others I will read maybe wait to see what makes shortlist .Is this shake up of longlist a good thing ,in some ways as there are a number of smaller publishers on the list ,but you have to question why so many people got so few books that are on the list right .Are we seeing the depth of English writing or a small choice by five judges set on shaking the booker order  for the sake of it ? I don’t know the answer as many of you know I am more interested in translations and world lit ,but always look at the booker as the barometer of what is good or interesting in English at the moment .so in that respect I think they have got it wrong and a good few books have missed out on the longlist .

What are your thoughts ?

Did the booker need shaking up ?


my booker predictions 2011

well tomorrow we find out who has made the longlist of the man booker prize 2011 .I was going do this earlier this evening but 2 hour power cut meant unable to blog so I ll fly through the book I ve heard about and reviews I ve seen over last few months ,so  i ll give you a baker’s dozen –

At last – by Edward St Aubyn –

the latest in the partrick Melrose series to pay respects to his mother and another look other his past .

Strangers child by Alan Hollinghurst –

two poets lives and works tracked from 1912 to present day a look at what being a poet means and how history decides what there poems mean .

Wish you were here by Graham swift –

jack deals with his brother’s death in Iraq a look at modern english lives .

The girl in the polka dots dress by Beryl Bainbridge –

A girl from Kentish Town heads in 1968 to the cauldron of the US with Martin Luther King dying ,maybe one last chance for Beryl hey .

Pure by Andrew Miller –

Set in 1785 a young man must clear an old cemetery whilst watching his own back .slightly different hope it makes list one that appeals to me .

Last man in the tower by Aravinda Adiga –

a building needs to be cleared in Bombay but there is one man stopping this as old and new india clash .

Waterline By Ross Rasin

well I ve heard Joe from Penguin go on about this book ,as a friend of my father owned a shipyard this one appeals to me ,it is about Mick his journey out of the shipyards ,about love and loss .

The forgotten waltz by Anne Enright  –

Gina has a love affair with Sean ,passion desire and memories all crop up in this book it seems .set in Dublin ,has to be a Irish writer on booker list .


Other people’s money by Justin Cartwright  –

the fall of a family owned private bank told from two generations point of view ,Justin sold this to me when I heard a radio interview ,seems to catch the spirit of the time a bit .

We had it so good by Linda Grant –

I think every blog review of this book has been positive ,set in 1968 it follows middle class people over the next forty years ,through main character Stephen an American living in Britain .

Cedilla by Adam Mars Jones –

The continuing story of John Cromer from his earlier book ,I ve this on my tbr pile like fact main character has a disability something you don’t often see in books .

London Triptych by Jonathan Kemp –

three mens lives and affairs in 50’s london against a backdrop of a gay underground and art world .This sounds different to me when I read a few reviews .

Embassytown by China Mieville –

Well I ve put this on as I m feed up of the whining from sci-fi readers that he misses the list year after year and the fact it does sounds like a great read ,an alien world humans modify to communicate with the life form on the planet .It seems to be about our lives using the alien world as a tool for our world and its problems .






cracking some series novels

well I ve spent last few days away from blogging looking at my books and planning next year and I really wat to crack on with some series I ve had sat on winston’s shelves to long !


I ve read the first in this cycle of twelve novels ,and am currently reading the second part .It covers england from post world war one to the sixties the main character is Nick Jenkins we follow him from his school days to the roaring twenties through tha war and into the sixties .



A remembrance of things past by Marcel Proust

I ve read the first volume of this but want to restart it I ve manage to buy a 80’s penguin vol in three parts ,the six books in this series were Proust life told in fiction and is considered on of the great must read books ,

Alexandria quartet by Lawrence Durrell

Now this is one of the rob  from fiction desks books and I ve two versions ,the complete modern edition and the original sixties Faber paperbacks that I picked up in a charity shop ,now the books are an event retold four times by different narrators considered a modern classic .

Palliser novels by Anthony Trollope

Now I won these my Gran is a fan of his books this is a collection of six novels .the books are semi political look at Victorian england .


Well I think you’ll see these intersped over the next few months or years as I want to try to read these four series before I move onto any others I may want too .




Well at home today it is coffee and chocolate brioche today ,well another busy week here at wonstons towers ,I read my first graphic novel for a very long time last night .well there are a couple of bits of news .


Earlier this year Amazon announced that it was starting it’s on translation press ,called amazon crossing to publish their own books  .well this week there was a press release announcing the first titles in the range .These include titles from Germany ,Argentina ,China and Ukraine here is there press release

also PEN in America announced their prizes winners for 2010 ,the book in translation prize winner was Wonder by Hugo Claus trans Michael Henry Heim ,I read this Belgian classic earlier this year ,here is my review also some more info on the translator from earlier this year including A video of him talking about wonder .


Well I had two books arrive this week ,after getting a e -mail from Malcolm at Oxygen books I received their city lit books for Berlin and Amsterdam ,I have spent time in both cities ,so am hugely looking forward to these anthologies of writing by various well-known writers and a few celebs about the cities and their history .


Who has infulenced me

Now not meaning to sound arrogant I tend not to be swayed in to what to read but there are a number of blogs I like for their ability to show me what is out there they are –

Arablit – A Cairo based blog gives me the latest news on books in arabic and books in arabic in translation a wonderful resource M.lynx that runs the blog really has her finger on the pulse of Arabic literature .

ANZ LIT LOVERS blog – Lisa has inspired me to look beyond the known names of Australian Literature ,either contemporary or classic ,I think in the next twelve months I will be trying some past Miles Franklin winners  that aren’t so well-known at moment .

COMPLETE REVIEW – this is my main inspiration for books the man behind this blog ,saloon ,magazine site is the most inspiring person for any one who loves books in translation with over 1000 books reviewed and regular info on the world of translation he puts my meager efforts in their place .


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