This page is where I keep a list of everything I’ve read during the year, with links to where I’ve written about it.

72. Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo (Mexico, 1955 tr. 1993). A ghostly, elusive tale of a man searching for his father. [***]

71. Robert Perišić, No-Signal Area (Croatia, 2015 tr. 2020). The future arrives in a remote industrial town, but it turns out to be the past. [****]

70. Marion Brunet, Summer of Reckoning (France, 2018 tr. 2020). Violence comes to the south of France as two sisters confront the future. [****]

69. Angela Makholwa, The Blessed Girl (South Africa, 2017). A young woman negotiates a luxury lifestyle, multiple sugar daddies, and a past she’d rather not think about. [****]

68. Kei Miller, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (Jamaica, 2014). A collection of poems about different ways of knowing the world. [****]

67. Alex Pheby, Lucia (England, 2018). A novel about James Joyce’s daughter Lucia, told in a variety of voices. [****]

66. Jin Yong, Legends of the Condor Heroes: A Hero Born (China, 1959 tr. 2018). First volume of a classic martial arts fantasy tale. [****]

65. Sam Selvon, The Housing Lark (Trinidad, 1965). Vivid and amusing tale of a group of Trinidadians and Jamaicans trying to buy a house in London. [****]

64. Margarita García Robayo, Holiday Heart (Colombia, 2017 tr. 2020). The slow breakdown of a marriage. [***]

63. David Foenkinos, The Mystery of Henri Pick (France, 2016 tr. 2020). Whimsical tale of an unlikely literary sensation. The first book from Walter Presents. [***]

62. Lesley Glaister, Blasted Things (England, 2020). Atmospheric tale of a woman finding her way in life after the First World War. [****]

61. Lisa Taddeo, Three Women (USA, 2019). A chronicle of the sexual lives of three real-life characters. [***]

60. Elinor Lipman, On Turpentine Lane (USA, 2017). This was fun to begin with, but I lost patience with the wisecracking tone by the end. [***]

59. Duanwad Pimwana, Arid Dreams (Thailand, tr. 2019). A collection of stories about people who don’t always understand themselves. [****]

58. Monique Roffey, The Mermaid of Black Conch (Trinidad/UK, 2020). Enjoyable tale of a fisherman and a mermaid, and how their lives are changed by each other. [****]

57. Yaniv Iczkovits, The Slaughterman’s Daughter (Israel, 2015 tr. 2020). Enjoyable historical novel following a Jewish woman’s journey through the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire at the end of the 19th century. [****]

56. David Wong, Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits (USA, 2015). Good grief. [**]

55. David Seabrook, All the Devils Are Here (England, 2002). A look at the seedier side of Kentish history. [***]

54. Sara Mesa, Four by Four (Spain, 2012 tr. 2020). Mysterious goings-on in an exclusive college. [****]

53. Claudio Morandini, Snow, Dog, Foot (Italy, 2015 tr. 2020). Re-read for an online book club. I’m listing it again because my reaction was different: I liked it even more the second time. [****]

52. Patrick Modiano, Villa Triste (France, 1975 tr. 2016). Melancholy and nostalgic tale of a Man looking back on his time rubbing shoulders with high society, and how swiftly it ended. [****]

51. Sarah Moss, Ghost Wall (Scotland/England, 2018). Short and sharp tale of a family re-enacting Iron Age life, and the dark values that emerge. [****]

50. Fernando Sdrigotti, Jolts (Argentina/UK, 2020). Tales of living between places, finding home away from home. [***]

49. Annie Ernaux, A Girl’s Story (France, 2016 tr. 2020). The author confronts her memories of the first night she spent with a man, at age 18. [***]

48. Tarjei Vesaas, The Birds (Norway, 1957 tr.1968). Powerful and subtle tale of a man trying to understand the world and make himself understood. [*****]

47, Olja Savičević, Singer in the Night (Croatia, 2016 tr. 2019). A famous soap opera writer goes on a journey through the past in search of her ex-husband. [***]

46, Dorthe Nors, Wild Swims (Denmark, 2018 tr. 2020). A collection of stories that hide darkness within the everyday. [***]

45. Rania Mahmoun, Thirteen Months of Sunrise (Sudan, 2009 tr. 2019). A collection of stories about people seeking connection in the city. [****]

44. Serge Joncour, Wild Dog (France, 2018 tr. 2020). Intriguing thriller about the relationship between humans and wild animals in rural France during two different time periods. [****]

43. Basma Abdel Aziz, The Queue (Egypt, 2013 tr. 2016). Re-read: striking to read in the present moment. [****]

42. Amy Sackville, Painter to the King (England, 2018). A novel about the life of Diego Velásquez at the court of King Felipe IV of Spain. [****]

41. Benjamin Myers, ‘A Stone Statue in the Future’ (England, 2020). Eerie tale of a fishing trip, that reaches deep into the past and far into the future. [****]

40. Şebnem İşigüzel, The Girl in the Tree (Turkey, 2016 tr. 2020). A young woman escapes her life by climbing a tall tree, and tells us her engaging story. [****]

39. Kenneth Moe, Restless (Norway, 2015 tr. 2020). A young man empties his heart to the woman who rejected him – or maybe to himself. [***]

38. Gabriel Josipovici, The Cemetery in Barnes (UK, 2018). The building blocks of a life, with multiple pasts and futures. [****]

37. Sayaka Murata, Convenience Store Woman (Japan, 2016 tr. 2018). Re-read: still excellent. [*****]

36. Gabriel Josipovici, Infinity: the Story of a Moment (UK, 2012). An account of a composer’s life reveals the primal nature of his approach to music. [****]

35. Jorge Consiglio, Fate (Argentina, 2018 tr. 2020). Are the lives of four individuals driven by fate or chance? [***]

34. Toby Litt, Patience (England, 2019). The rich inner life of a boy who can’t move or speak. [****]

33. Paolo Giordano, How Contagion Works (Italy, 2020). Written in lockdown, this is a timely examination of the current pandemic.

32. Lars Iyer, Spurious (England, 2011). A pair of philosophers ponder the futility of it all while one puts up with the other’s insults. [***]

31. Matsuda Aoko, Where the Wild Ladies Are (Japan, 2016 tr. 2020). Feminist reimaginings of traditional Japanese ghost stories. Joyous. [****]

30. Gabriela Cabezón Cábara, The Adventures of China Iron (Argentina, 2017 tr. 2019). A reimagining of Argentina’s founding epic, told from the viewpoint of the main character’s abandoned wife. [***]

29. Stephen Sexton, If All the World and Love Were Young (Northern Ireland, 2019). A cycle of poems about illness, grief, and Super Mario World. [***]

28. Birgit Vanderbeke, The Mussel Feast (Germany, 1990 tr. 2013). Re-read: striking tale of a family breaking free of the father’s oppression over the course of an evening. [****]

27. Nino Haratischvili, The Eighth Life (for Brilka) (Georgia, 2014 tr. 2019). An epic saga of family and Georgian history, spanning the 20th century. [****]

26. Jon Fosse, The Other Name: Septology I-II (Norway, 2019). Two versions of the same individual live out different lives. [***]

25. Mary Jean Chan, Flèche (China/UK, 2019). Poems about love, identity, and fencing. [***]

24. Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, The Discomfort of Evening (Netherlands, 2018 tr. 2020). Harrowing tale of a farming family trying to deal with sudden loss. [****]

23. Enrique Vila-Matas, Mac and His Problem (Spain, 2017 tr. 2019). A diarist tries to rewrite his neighbour’s stories, and finds reality blurring. Not as good as I’ve come to expect from this author. [***]

22. Michel Faber, Under the Skin (Netherlands, 2000). Re-read for book group: still gruesome and strange. [***]

21. Shokoofeh Azar, The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree (Iran, 2017). A tale of an Iranian family in the years after the 1979 Revolution. Stories nest within stories and the supernatural is never far away. [****]

20. Francesco Dmitri, The Book of Hidden Things (Italy, 2018). A group of childhood friends reunite as adults to find that one of them may have discovered the secret of magic… or maybe he’s lost his grip on reality. [***]

19. Daniel Kehlmann, Tyll (Germany/Austria, 2017 tr. 2020). A trickster figure from medieval German folklore shakes up the world of the Thirty Years’ War. [***]

18. Fernanda Melchor, Hurricane Season (Mexico, 2017 tr. 2020). The murder of a woman known as a witch exposes the dark realities of village life. Told in long, winding sentences. [****]

17. Elisa Shua Dusapin, Winter in Sokcho (France/South Korea, 2016 tr. 2020). A young woman in a Korean border town hopes a French visitor can give her a new way to see herself. [****]

16. Ben Lerner, The Hatred of Poetry (USA, 2016). Must admit this essay went over my head somewhat. [***]

15. Christina Hesselholdt, Vivian (Denmark, 2016 tr. 2019). A novel about the American street photographer Vivian Maier, told as a series of snapshots. [****]

14. Clemens Meyer, Dark Satellites (Germany, 2017 tr. 2020). A collection of stories about marginal places and people, where reality becomes ambiguous. [****]

13. Yoko Ogawa, The Memory Police (Japan, 1994 tr. 2019). A woman tries to hold on to the past in a place where things keep disappearing from the collective memory, and there are enforcers around to keep it that way. A beautiful and poignant novel of loss. [*****]

12. Claudio Morandini, Snow, Dog, Foot (Italy, 2015 tr. 2020). Compelling portrait of a reclusive old man secure in his perception but insecure in his hold on reality. [****]

11. Chigozie Obioma, The Fishermen (Nigeria, 2015). Re-read for book group: OK, but not as enjoyable this time. [***]

10. Daisy Hildyard, The Second Body (England, 2017). Thought-provoking essay about the difficulty for humans of imagining ourselves as part of a global ecosystem. [****]

9. Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Before the Coffee Gets Cold (Japan, tr. 2019). A tale of time travel set in a Japanese café. It has its moments, but could do with more of them. [***]

8. Timur Vermes, The Hungry and the Fat (Germany, 2018 tr. 2020). More broad satire of media-saturated society from the author of Look Who’s Back. A reality TV show leads to a mass march of refugees on Europe, and everyone wants the right image. [****]

7. Patrick Langley, Arkady (UK, 2018). Absorbing novel about two brothers finding their way on the margins of an austerity-ravaged society, a setting that’s as abstract to the reader as it is to them. [****]

6. Nathalie Léger, Exposition (France, 2008 tr. 2019). An exploration of identity, representation, and the Countess di Castiglione’s portraits. [***]

5. Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama (England, 1973). A vast alien spacecraft enters the solar system, and humans attempt to unravel its mysteries. Suitably awe-inspiring. [***]

4. Kornel Filipowicz, The Memoir of an Anti-Hero (Poland, 1961 tr. 2019). The quietly chilling tale of a Man determined to keep his head down in occupied Poland, no matter what. [****]

3. Roger Pulvers, Tokyo Performance (Australia, 2018). The self-destruction of a TV chef, live on air. [***]

2. Emmanuelle Pagano, Faces on the Tip of My Tongue (France, 2012 tr. 2019). A collection of linked stories revealing how little we might know the most familiar faces. [****]

1. Madeline Miller, Circe (USA, 2018). Greek myths, reimagined. [***]