The Monthly Booking: June 2020

After last month’s desert theme, I’m moving into June with no reading plans grander than trying to clear a few titles from my to-be-read pile. The fact that I often buy books and take for ever to get round to reading them has nothing to do with having changed my mind, but more with thereContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: June 2020”

Independent Press Profile: Sandstone Press

In light of the current lack of bookshops, I’m starting a new series in which I profile my favourite independent publishers. These are some of the most exciting addresses when it comes to finding original ideas, literature in translation and voices that are underrepresented in the mainstream. Each one is more than deserving of supportContinue reading “Independent Press Profile: Sandstone Press”

‘It is not easy to think about translation’. [book review]

A review of This Little Art by Kate Briggs As well as being the home of such literary-fiction luminaries as Olga Tokarczuk and Adam Mars-Jones, independent London-based press Fitzcarraldo Editions has made a name for itself as the publisher of brilliant essayists. One of these white-bound titles (blue covers denote fiction) that I have hadContinue reading “‘It is not easy to think about translation’. [book review]”

The Monthly Booking: April 2020

I’m not sure that I even want to mention the dreaded c-word here, but suffice to say that recent events have been playing havoc with my monthly reading plans – not to mention everything else. My reading list for April is less thought-through than it would have been, but I suppose it’s nice to haveContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: April 2020”

‘A room empty but for faint dancing light.’ A review of Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima, translated from the Japanese by Geraldine Harcourt

There have been many times in my life when I have been grateful for Japanese fiction. Although I have recently discovered the eccentric joys of Haruki Murakami, what I’m thinking of right now is a particular form of Japanese writing: the slender novellas translated into English that often fly under the radar but can haveContinue reading “‘A room empty but for faint dancing light.’ A review of Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima, translated from the Japanese by Geraldine Harcourt”

‘Reality has a habit of ruining convictions’. A review of It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo, translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer

It’s funny how things work out. If I’d known what was going to happen this month, I might not have chosen to read Karina Sainz Borgo’s It Would Be Night in Caracas – a blistering portrayal of life in a society that has gone beyond the brink. Reading about hoarding, looting, indiscriminate violence and theContinue reading “‘Reality has a habit of ruining convictions’. A review of It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo, translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer”

The Monthly Booking: March 2020

After having had a Dutch moment in February, this month my reading list is expanding somewhat. Apart from the fact that all of them have been sitting around on my ‘to be read’ list for a while, there is absolutely nothing to link these four books (although two of them did appear on the shortlistsContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: March 2020”

‘Ein Niemandsland, in dem man verloren gehen kann.’ A review of Engel des Vergessens by Maja Haderlap

Maja Haderlap’s debut novel, Engel des Vergessens, was published in 2011, but it has taken me this long to discover it. In fact, I only did so by way of my new local bookshop. I recently moved to the state of Kärnten (Carinthia in English, but please bear with me while I continue to referContinue reading “‘Ein Niemandsland, in dem man verloren gehen kann.’ A review of Engel des Vergessens by Maja Haderlap”

‘The Path of Metaphor is rife with perils.’ A review of Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen

I have come to Haruki Murakami comparatively late in life, a fact that is in itself a cause for great joy. Not only do I think I wouldn’t have appreciated him as completely as I do now had I been younger – I did in fact read Norwegian Wood aged about sixteen and found itContinue reading “‘The Path of Metaphor is rife with perils.’ A review of Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen”

‘Strange things are afoot.’ A review of The Evenings by Gerard Reve, translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett

They told me it was strange, and they weren’t wrong. In fact, so unsettling and beyond my usual style of reading did I find The Evenings that I almost gave up on it after fifty pages. In part because of my Dutch reading challenge and in part because I hate not finishing a book onceContinue reading “‘Strange things are afoot.’ A review of The Evenings by Gerard Reve, translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett”

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