A list of everything I’ve read this year, with links to where I’ve written about it.

85. Karolina Ramqvist, The White City (Sweden, 2015/7). Short, sharp novel about a gangster’s widow searching for a way to survive, even if it means heading into the shadows. [****] 

84. Hiromi Kawakami, Record of a Night Too Brief (Japan, 1996/2017). Three strange long stories from the author of Manazuru. [***] 

83. Fiona Mozley, Elmet (England, 2017). A teenager and his family living close to the land find the outside world encroaching. [****] 

82. Carole Martinez, The Castle of Whispers (France, 2011/4). The tale of a woman who seals herself away as an anchoress rather than marry, and how she and the world continue to interact. [****] 
81. Fleur Jaeggy, I am the Brother of XX (Switzerland, 2015/7). A short story collection that I liked in places, but never fully grasped. [***] 

80. Lina Meruane, Seeing Red (Chile, 2012/6). An intense novel about a woman losing her sight, based partly on the author’s own experience. [****] 

79. Ian Gregson, The Crocodile Princess (England, 2015). A novel set in 1960s Cambodia, in a history where Peter Cook went into the diplomatic service rather than comedy. An intriguing idea, but one I simply couldn’t unlock. [**] 

78. Andrés Barba, Such Small Hands (Spain, 2008/17). A brilliant, harrowing tale of identity and childhood set among girls at an orphanage. [*****] 

77. Guillermo Orsi, No-one Loves a Policeman (Argentina, 2007/10). An ex-policeman finds a friend of his dead, beginning a grim journey into his past and that of his country. [***] 

76. Sally Emerson, Separation (England, 1992). A delightfully off-kilter and waspish novel about mothers and children. [****] 

75. Kim Hiorthøy, You Can’t Betray Your Best Friend and Learn to Sing at the Same Time (Norway, 2002/16). A series of strange vignettes, depicting characters who struggle to express or act on their deepest feelings. [**] 

74. Liliana Colanzi, Our Dead World (Bolivia, 2016/7). A story collection where the real and supernatural intermingle to powerful effect. [****] 

73. Bernardo Atxaga, Nevada Days (Spain, 2013/7). A novelistic memoir of the Basque author’s time in Nevada. Rather engrossing. [****] 

72. Miles Gibson, Einstein (England, 2004). With the end of the world nigh, one man must prove his worth to an alien visitor. A novel that manages to be funny and bizarre, and genuinely affecting. [****]

71. Michel Laub, A Poison Apple (Brazil, 2014/7). A novel asking what drives us and what we remember of others. [***] 

70. Anthony Cartwright, The Cut (England, 2017). A novel about Brexit, seen through the eyes of a boxer from Dudley and a film maker from Hampstead. [***]

69. Francis Spufford, Golden Hill (England, 2016). A mysterious stranger arrives in 18th century New York. Highly enjoyable as a romp, but sets itself up to be more than that and doesn’t deliver. [***] 

68. Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Harmless Like You (2016). The lives of a mother and son, in the art world and at the confluence of two cultures, fifty years apart. [****] 
 
67. Cristina Fernández Cubas, Nona’s Room (Spain, 2015/7). Six stories of shifting reality. [****]

66. George R.R. Martin, Tuf Voyaging (USA, 1986). The engaging tales of an environmental engineer, his supership, and his cats. [***]

65. Jon McGregor, Reservoir 13 (England, 2017). The lives of a rural English village in the aftermath of a disappearance. [****]

64. Malcolm Devlin, You Will Grow into Them (England, 2017). A collection of stories on strangeness and change. [****]

63. Tim Winton, Cloudstreet (Australia, 1991). An engaging post-war family saga. [***]

62. A. J. Allen, The Rising Storm (UK, 2016). Second novel in the Berezovo trilogy, set in early 20th century Russia. Still an entertaining yarn. [***]

61. José Ovejero, Inventing Love (Spain, 2013/7). A tale of mistaken – then adopted -identity.

60. Meike Ziervogel, The Photographer (Germany, 2017). The tale of a family separated by the Second World War, structured in snapshots like a photo album.

59. John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps (Scotland, 1915). A classic adventure story.

58. Daniel Magariel, One of the Boys (USA, 2017). Claustrophobic portrait of two brothers living with their abusive father. [****]

57. Rob Appleby and Ra Page (eds.), Thought X (Various, 2017). An anthology of stories inspired by thought experiments. [****]

48-56. Nightjar Press titles (Various, 2013-6). Nine chapbooks from Nightjar Press, reviewed in three blog posts: herehere and [to follow].

47. Min Kym, Gone (South Korea/England, 2017). A memoir of a violinist whose Stradivarius was stolen. [****]

46. Venetia Welby, Mother of Darkness (England, 2017). The intense tale of a young man’s slide into delusion. [***]

45. Naomi Alderman, The Power (England, 2016). Panoramic tale of the world transformed when women gain the ability to discharge electricity through their hands. [***]

44. Dorthe Nors, Mirror, Shoulder, Signal (Denmark, 2016/7). A woman tries to learn to drive, and to get her life in gear. [***]

43. Yan Lianke, The Explosion Chronicles (China, 2013/6). The growth of a super-city, and the lives of its key figures.  [***]

42. Sara Sheridan, Brighton Belle (Scotland, 2012). Pacy murder mystery set in the 1950s. [***]

41. David Grossman, A Horse Walks into a Bar (Israel, 2014/6). A dense rush of a novel, chronicling a comedian’s (deliberate) meltdown on stage. [***]

40. Elliot Ackerman, Dark at the Crossing (USA, 2017). Choices for an Iraq-born American citizen who wants to fight in Syria. [***]

39. Alain Mabanckou, Black Moses (Congo-Brazzaville, 2015/7). An orphan grows up to be an outlaw, his life shaped by political forces. [****]

38. Jón Kalman Stefánsson, Fish Have No Feet (Iceland, 2013/6). A novel chronicling three generations of life in a dark corner of Iceland. [****]

37. Ismail Kadare, The Traitor’s Niche (Albania, 1978/2017). A tale of the struggle to control human and cultural spaces in the Ottoman Empire. [****]

36. Stefan Hertmans, War and Turpentine (Belgium, 2013/6). A novel about the author’s grandfather, his time at war, and the art he created. [***]

35. Clemens Meyer, Bricks and Mortar (Germany, 2013/6). A polyphonic novel about the sex trade. I couldn’t help but be impressed by the clamour of voices, but ultimately I got lost. [***]

34. Samanta Schweblin, Fever Dream (Argentina, 2017). A short,  strange nightmare of a dying woman and a shadowy child. [*****]

33. Amos Oz, Judas (Israel, 2014/6). A novel of love and betrayal in 1950s Jerusalem. [***]

32. Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad (USA, 2016), A Gulliver-like alternate history of slavery and social engineering. [****]

31. Wioletta Greg, Swallowing Mercury (Poland, 2014/7). Tales of growing up which are painted in bright colours but still don’t let you in. [****]

30. Roy Jacobsen, The Unseen (Norway, 2013/6). Atmospheric tale of a family’s changing fortunes on a remote island. [****]

29. Mathias Énard, Compass (France, 2015/7). A scholar reviews cultural encounters between East and West during one restless night, dense with thought. [****]

28. Emma Geen, The Many Selves of Katherine North (England, 2016). A young woman works as a researcher inhabiting the consciousness of different animals, but finds that her employer may have sinister motives. [***]

27. Megan Abbott, You Will Know Me (USA, 2016). Interesting thriller set in the world of gymnastics – though, admittedly, most of the interest comes from that background. [***]

26. Malla Nunn, Let the Dead Lie (Australia, 2010). An engaging detective thriller set in 1950s South Africa. [***]

25. Christopher Priest, The Gradual (England, 2016). A composer becomes a sort-of time traveller, in a landscape where space and time interweave. [****]

24. Philippe Claudel, Parfums (France, 2012/4). From the author of Brodeck’s Report, an evocative catalogue of memories that revolve around the sense of smell. [****]

23. Rose Bretécher, Pure (England/France, 2015). A memoir of OCD and intrusive thoughts. [***]

22. Clifton Robbins, Death on the Highway (England, 1934). The third Clay Harrison detective novel, and my favourite yet: lovably ridiculous, but steely too. [***]

21. Martin Holmén, Clinch (Sweden, 2015/6). A proper page-turner of a crime novel.  [***]

20. Prof Stephen Westaby, Fragile Lives (England, 2017) The compelling casebook/memoir of a pioneering heart surgeon. [****]

19. Laura Sintija Černiauskaitė, Breathing into Marble (Lithuania, 2006/16). A family unravels after adopting a young orphan. [****]

18. T.M. Logan, Lies (England/Germany, 2017). Pacy thriller about a father whose marriage looks set to fall apart. [***]

17. Ricarda Huch, The Last Summer (Germany, 1910/2017). Classic epistolary novel about to assassinate the Governor of St Petersburg. [****]

16. Martin MacInnes, Infinite Ground (Scotland, 2016). A novel that begins as a missing-persons inquiry, then collapses reality into a series of mirages. I loved the beginning, but found that the rest could not maintain the same intensity. [***]

15. Marente de Moor, The Dutch Maiden (Netherlands, 2010/6). A young woman goes off to learn fencing in a world on the brink of change. [***]

14. Molly Keane, Good Behaviour (Ireland, 1981). A country house novel that I liked very much in parts, but ultimately didn’t warm to as much as I’d have wished. [***]

13. Hiroshi Sakurazaka, All You Need is Kill (Japan, 2004/9). Dull military SF, read for book club. [**]

12. Sarayu Srivatsa, If You Look For Me, I Am Not Here (India, 2016). A novel about identity, in which a boy finds his own identity blurring with that of his twin sister, who died in the womb. [***]

11. Agustín Fernández Mallo, Nocilla Experience (Spain, 2008/16). Follow-up to Nocilla Dream. I didn’t grasp everything, but the reader in me was necessarily shaken. [***]

10. Clifton Robbins, The Man Without a Face (England, 1932). Another enjoyable case for Clay Harrison. [***]

9. Andrea Levy, Six Stories and an Essay (Englanpd/Jamaica, 2014). The writer’s life in stories. Some sharp character portraits. [****]

8. A.J. Allen, A Small Town in Siberia (UK, 2016). First novel in the author’s Berezovo trilogy, concerning Trotsky’s exile in Sierra. It’s soapy, in a good way: lots of characters and plot.  [***]

7. Kate Atkinson, Life After Life (England, 2013). Fine as far as it goes, but pales in comparison to The End of Days. [***]

6. Russell Winnock, Confessions of a Barrister (England, 2015). Another entry in the Friday Project’s series of pseudonymous insights into various professions. [***]

5. Alison Moore, Death and the Seaside (England, 2016). A writer’s landlady suggests a trip to the seaside… and a mounting sense of dread fills the novel. [***]

4. Evie Wyld, All the Birds, Singing (England/Australia, 2013). Re-read for my book group: as good as the first time.  [****]

3. D’Arcy Niland, The Shiralee (Australia, 1955).Classic novel about a man on the road with his four-year-old daughter. There’s a great sense of how precarious this life can be, but also of the protagonist’s love for the girl. [****]

2. Arno Geiger, The Old King in His Exile (Austria, 2013/17). A poignant  memoir about the author’s relationship with his father, who had dementia. Asks what we can know of others and ourselves. [****]

1. Dave Hutchinson, Europe at Midnight (England, 2015). Sequel to Europe in Autumn. Expands the fictional canvas, but still very much a transitional volume. [***]