the 1500th post here are some books !













Today’s post sees the blog reach the landmark of 1500 posts after 8 and half years of blogging. SO I added some recent arrivals from publishers and libraries. The first book is from Comma press is the latest addition to there collection of short stories from a particular country or city.  This time it is the Georgian capital Tbilisi where we are reading from. A new country for this blog. So I’m looking forward to reading ten voices from this former Soviet republic.









The next book is from one of my favourite publishers Fitzcarraldo. This book is a perfect example of why I like Fitzcarraldo there book choice are so in my own taste of Lit. This book follows a German woman who has arrived in London and is finding it hard to fit in.So she spends time wandering along the river Lea. Observing the characters places and photos of the place linking to her own earlier life near the river Oder in Germany. esther Kinsky is also a translator into German from English. She has worked on books by Thoreau and Iain Sinclair! I feel this may already be one of the books of 2018 for me if I can wait till then.









Now four books from the Library. This is always the time of year,  when I start trying to fill in a few gaps from the previous year’s translation from those publishers I don’t get sent books from or ones I’ve missed. So from the top right clockwise. In every moment we are still alive by Tom Malmquist follows Tom’s girlfriend Karin is rushed into hospital whilst being pregnant the worst happens she dies and Tom is left to raise his daughter Livia and cope with his Grief. Anna by Niccolo Ammaniti is a novel set in a world where most of the people have died after a virus has killed most of the people and even basic services are starting to fail. Anna is trying to look after herself and her brother. Then the second book from Michel Laub to be translated into English. Poison Apple follows a man’s journey after he misses the only Nirvana gig in Brazil due to military services his friend take his then girlfriend and the become an item is this one moment to blame! Ghachar Ghochar is a novel from Vivek Shanbhag that deals with families sudden climb up the class tree in India and struggling to get by. Many thanks for sticking with me through 1500 posts here is to the next 1500!!

An ode to Brim library

Brimington Library

well guardian has love letter to libraries on the website today. for me a a reader and a blogger wth out my local library I would be a poorer reader.

To Brim Library

Not cute or big  but

a 100 paces from my door

You too this reader

A 100 miles and more in the mind

Dear brim library

you have filled my mind to the brim

Taken me as  a reader to the rim



I love my library I use it every week near enough without it I wouldn’t been able to have done the last three shadow IFFP juries as they have always had some if not most of the books I wanted. In a time when we are talking about kids not read we need keep open our libreaires our shining beacons in the dark world of tech.I love the fact a click away is nearly every book I could ever want and the journeys I take in the world of translated fiction .

Stu library user .

26 years on the shelf my latest library book


I was busy checking the library system and found a Peter Handke , which I think may have been lost before the new library system came online in Derbyshire last month , as I ‘m sure Peter Handke is a writer I would have search for before for a german lit month of just because he is a writer I have enjoyed in the past especially his work with Wim Wenders on the films they have made together The goalies anxiety at the penalty kick , The wrong move and of course one my all time favourites wings of desire .I picked this up yesterday from my library (very handy only two mins walk and great staff ) .I noticed this evenong that it had been 26 years since this book was last stamp so this poor Peter handke has been sat around waiting to be read again .Have you ever check a book out that has sat around for years ?


Winston’s library books


Well I fetch earlier this week four books from library I had ordered in this wad the first it was mentioned in an end of year choice by someone I can’t quite remember who .But idea of following a modern retake of Steinbecks travel with Charles , well the Dutch travel writer Geert Mak did just that .I am reading this and finding it more a discourse on a lost America than a real retracing of the journey so much .But still enjoying it and giving me a chance to read travels with Charley at the same time .The other three books fall into the possibility of been in the IFFP longlist so have got to read if I get chance over next couple of months .


Neuland by Eskhol Nevo a pair of tales in one novel the gather story coming to the promised land after the second world war and the next generation escaping and travelling the world to find themselves
Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda may be the next great Dutch novel a family tale of a family that seem perfect to cracks and Internet porn start showing all isn’t as it seems
F by Daniel Kehlman the story of three brothers a priest artist and financier all about to step into problems of their own

Well I choose these as they all appeared on Boud Tonkin’s end of year list at the independent and over last few years I have found a this a partial guide to what may appear when the IFFP comes out .

What books have you got from the library this year ?

Winston’s library books and a couple of second hand books

IMG_1933Now I have decide to keep my weekend book posts for the new books I get sent or  have brouight myself  and in between times do posts on second-hand finds and library books ,I have borrowed ,I love he library but often return books unread as ,I get caught up in the new book rat race ,so i decided this visit to borrow four books by writers I have read before .

Blind willow ,sleeping woman by Haruki Murakami – I read this about six years ago ,just before I started the blog and saw it today and decide to include it as the books by him I have so far on the blog are all novels and this is a short story collection .

3 Arched bridge by Ismail kadare -I review his latest book , the twilight of eastern gods and whilst writing that I looked at the ones I hadn’t read by him and this was one of the ones that was top of that list as it follows the building of a bridge between the Balkans and europe ,I was reminded of the pyramid by him .

By night in Chile by Roberto Bolano  –  I hope to get all his books on the blog over some point so a political satire ,and with the Opus Dei in it so another to the list of his on the blog I hope .

Fear and trembling by Amelie Nothomb – I read character of rain a few year ago , and said then I did like to read more books by Nothomb so this short novel is the next one I have found .It follows a fictional version of her self spending a year in Japan .Also makes a change from Simenon who has been my main Belgian writer this year .


I also called in my local Oxfam shop and found these two –

Eucalyptus by Murray Bail – well choose this for two reasons the title and cover caught my eye and the second reason was Michael Ondaatje on the cover as he is a writer whose book I have enjoyed so I thought i give this a whirl and handy for australian reading month 2015 .

In filtration by Yehoshua Kenaz – I have enjoyed a number of hebrew novels based in the time around the foundation of Israel so this is another and one that I hadn’t heard of before .

What books have you got from the library recently ?


Winstons dad’s been to library

Its been while since I ve done a library loot post ,I ve been getting book from library but lot time I’ve left them unread and returned I manage to read all IFFP title but return a number of other books unread .So I choose some new books to get out and hopefully get to all these this time .

top row

Omon Ra by Victor Pelevin – A classic of post modern fiction satire the russian space programme ,sounds like a great mix to me .

Guilty by Anna Kavan – I think after reading Max’s  post on Ice by Kavan I fancied trying here books so there was ice and this one on the library shelves so I choose this one a Kafkaesque style as mark struggles with life after his father returns from the war

Let the wind speak by Juan Carlos Onetti The Uruguayan writer is someone I ve read once before so a return is due and this was his first novel written in Exile a looking back at his coming of age in Santa Maria

A few quick ones by P G Wodehouse – I m always mention Wodehouse as a writer I love as he makes me smile a bygone world of high jinx and care free lives ,then other day noticed I not reviewed a book by him on the blog so this collection of ten short stories which I ve not read shall be a great place to start .

Difficult loves by Italo Calvino Another short story collection must be robs influence on me .I want to try to read all Calvino’s  books so this is another one ticked of the list a collection from early on in his writing life stem from mid forties to early fifties .

Another part of the wood by Beryl Bainbridge Gaseklla is hosting a Bainbridge reading week after the success of the Spark week so I choose this one from 60’s a couple of families at war on holiday in Wales .Appealed as my first read by her .

Oroonoko by Aphra Behn A classic from 1600’s she was one of the first female writers this is about her visit to Surinam told from the point of view of a slave at the time he was a noble in his homeland and this helps him win respect of his english captors .

The Child by Jules Valles a french classic rather like great expectations but also with a dark realism ,be truthful I like the cover so picked it for that it made me smile .

A hunger artist by Franz Kafka I read all his novels and a collection of short stories in my twenties so saw this and not heard of the title before it is a collection of short stories bring together two of Kafka’s collection and some other stories ,yet more short stories .

The piano cemetery by Jose Luis Peixoto I read blank Gaze by Peixoto this is his latest book that came out last year Lazaro family make piano’s but one member of the family is also a marathon runner this is his story ,suitably quirky like blank gaze was .

Have you read any of these books ?

Libraries where does the future lay

Earlier this week we found out that the large department store in london Selfridge is due to open a library for seven weeks to run along side it’s book festival word ,word words .Here is the piece from the guardian .I remarked on twitter that it remind me of a scene from brief encounters where Celia Johnson talks about going to boots (a large chemist chain in the UK for those not from the UK ) ,Boots ran libraries ran from 1898 til 1960 ,people paid a few pennies for each book lent here is an article for info .Also there has been a library in the protest camps for the occupy movement has opened libraries ,here in london they’ve had a few well-known writers including Alan Bennett and donate their books to the cause .So are these signs of a movement with the current cut backs in local government spending here in the uk ,which has hit the UK library system hard with 500 libraries either closed or under threat 10% of UK total library system .As there is no bright light on the horizon with regards governmental  investment in fact there maybe more cuts ,so if we want people to access books that may not have the means or funds to buy them or a kid to read books we maybe need some new ideas like shops having libraries or communities banding together ,with uk literacy at 99% but the truth is one in five people have trouble reading .We need free access to books for the most of the population so even if they don’t want to read I m not a dreamer but if  they are there people have the chance to access them and borrow a book !!

How do you see the library system going ?

How is the economic situation affect libraries in your country ?

Bookish deeds a film and lend

well last night I had a great night at home with the Amanda but had two great bookish moments away from reading books the first was a film that was new to me that was on the sky premier film channel so a newish film it was called Eleanors secret ,a French Animation with english language soundtrack .We follow Natanael a seven year old boy that is afraid to read aloud and this is effecting his school work ,so on the way to his late aunts house where he spent many happy summers with her reading to him from her library of first editions fairy tales and classics .She left him this library and the secret that goes with it .I don’t have kids but I fell this is a film to inspire kids to read and to a book junkie like me was a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours with my darling wife .I m sorry I picked german trailer first as it much better than the english one I found gives better idea of the book .But have include the english one as well .

My second bookish event last night was minor but to me a thrill I borrowed my first e-book from our library system I didn’t know Derbyshire even  had a e library well we do it’s not terribly big but there is a number of books there I wanted to read but most were out on loan so I choose Arctic chill by Arnaldur Indridason as I have it on my shelves if I don’t finish it on my I pad in time .

Have you borrowed a e-book ?

What bookish things your discovered recently ?

Winston’s books and a visit for #savelibraries

Been a while since I posted books I ve got so done last few I ve got in last week or two .I manage to clear some library books as I always have my quota maxed out but had chance to get 8 books this time for a change .

Monseiur Pain By Roberto Bolano –

This is part of the ongoing translations of Roberto’s early novels a short novella ,A mystery book about a Peruvian poet ,this is the time Bolano changed from a poet to a prose writer .another for the Bolano challenge

While the women are asleep by Javier Marias –

Last year i got the first part of his your face tomorrow trilogy and never got to it so took it back to library ,this seems a better intro his first collection of short stories in a number of year ,characters on the edge of society.

Antipodes – Igacio Padila

Mexican writer ,the cover appealed and knew he was part of the crack movement that want to move latin american literature from the boom style .

The tree and other stories by Abdallah Al Nasser

Don’t know a lot about this writer but like short stories from Arabic ,,so thought I d give it a whirl ,he is from Saudi Arabia he currently live in london .

The character of rain by Amelie Nothomb

This short novella is told from the point of view of a two and half-year old and I thought be great to compare to the room that I want to read at some point this year .

Hidden camer by Zoran Zivkovic

This Serbian novel sounds wonderful a man is invited to a film show gets there and find he is the only one and the film is him on his lunch hour ,dark sounding this will do for my eastern European challenge .

Jia by Hyeiln Kim

A novel about North Korea ,It says it all based on true life accounts of growing up under an oppressive  regime ,I have another book I want about north Korea this caught my eyes as I scanned the shelves .

Lizka and her men by Alexander Ikonnikov

A new russian writer this follows a young women growing up under russia’s new freedoms ,spend time with a number of different men ,I like the cover of this and another for the Eastern European challenge.

The particular sadness of lemon cake by Amiee Bender

This is Bender’s new novel follows a young girl that finds she can sense people’s emotions via the food she eats this follows her to adulthood as she finds out how to cope with this unusual gift ,this was sent after a request from Harvey at windmill books .

Corrections by Thomas Benrhard

I ve been looking for a Bernhard for a while and happened on this at the local Oxfam ,the book is about a character similar to Wittgenstein driven mad by pure thought .

The Murder in the vicarage by Agatha Christie

This is a bargain from the shop the works ,a copy of the original crime club books ,this is the first Miss Marple book ,my Gran loved Christie so snapped this up .

Peter Camenzind By Herman Hesse

This is one of Hesse’s earlier novels I loved the Glass bead game and Steppenwolf ,so this Oxfam buy is great want to see what his earlier works were like and this book is semi autobiographical .

These come from the lovely Lila that has just started at Penguin these are four of the Mini classics for the 50th year of modern classics .The books consists of number of short stories by each writer .

Billiards at half past nine by Heinrich Boll

source – Library

Heinrich Boil was probably the best post war german writer ,he won the Nobel prize in 1972 .When I lived in germany in early nineties he was vert well known and on my return to the uk I read a couple of his books ,But late last year when I ordered from library found there wasn’t much in stock so choose this probably his best known book in germany .

Billiards at half nine is About a businessman Robert Fahmel  in Koln he is architect ,his secretary tells us about him and his habits ,but we are also told about his families history back to the 19th century a rich history ,We learn that Robert was opposed to the Nazis during the war and also about a conflict the host of buffalos and host of the lambs this is to all do with the church but in a greater sense harks back to the war and the battle of Nazism and pacifism during the war ,we also visit the battle of Kiev during the war .

Robert was not yet two and Otto not yet born ; I was on leave and for a long while had clearly known what I had once vaguely sensed ;that irony was inadequate and always would be inadequate ,that it was inly narcotic for the privileged, and I ought to have done what Johanna did ; I ought to have spoken to the boy ,in my captains’ uniform ,but I merely listened to him as he went on reciting .

Robert father in a flashback  in 1917 on return to home from fighting on-line in world war one .

I found this a tough little book to work through I felt as thou a secom=nd reading would help if I see a cheap copy I will pick it up it has a real depth and complex plot that has a lot of allusions to world war to but in some ways the struggle of religion in germany over history .Boll is a wonderful writer I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in german feelings post war its easy to see the main character as a   Heinrich boll he lives in Koln like Boll and is a similar age to Boll .Boll fought in the Wehrmacht in the second world war ,in Russia so the battle of Kiev scenes I would feel are Boll’s own experiences .The copy I had from library was a Jupiter edition from 1973 and was translated by Patrick Bowles .


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