My annual page listing everything I’ve read during the year, with links to my reviews.

48. Max Frisch, Homo Faber (Switzerland, 1957 tr. 1959). The account of a rational man facing irrational events. I think this was another book I didn’t catch at the right time. [***]

47. Darina Al Joundi, Marseillaise My Way (Lebanon/France, 2012 tr. 2022). Sequel to The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing, which sees the protagonist Noun trying to obtain French citizenship. [****]

46. Jeanette Winterson, The Stone Gods (England, 2007). This was my first Winterson, and maybe not the best place to start. A futuristic tale of recurring lives, which I think I didn’t catch at the right time. [***]

45. Frederik Pohl, Gateway (USA, 1977). It was since I’d read this, and I discovered on the re-reading that I remembered very little about it. A science fiction tale of an abandoned space station with pre-programmed craft that may lead you to a fortune… or not. [***]

44. Max Porter, Lanny (England, 2019). Vivid tale of a nature spirit seeking attention and the imaginative boy who gets in the way. [****]

43. Janice Hallett, The Appeal (England, 2021). Enjoyable epistolary mystery. [***]

42. GauZ’, Standing Heavy (Côte d’ivoire, 2014 tr. 2022). A panoramic view of the world of Black security guards in Paris. [****]

41. Hanne Ørstavik, Love (Norway, 1997 tr. 2018). The lives of a mother and son diverge on a fateful evening. [****]

40. Roy Heath, The Murderer (Guyana, 1978). A lonely man finds love, but jealousy and paranoia cause him to unravel. [***]

39. Russell Hoban, Turtle Diary (USA, 1975). Intriguingly ambivalent exploration of finding meaning in life, framed around two characters who dream of rescuing sea turtles from London Zoo. [****]

38. J.O. Morgan, Appliance (Scotland, 2022). Excellent novel-in-stories that explores our relationship with technology through the development of a matter transporter. [*****]

37. Jon McGregor, Reservoir 13 (England, 2017). Re-read: still a dazzling symphony of lives. [*****]

36. Stine Pilgaard, The Land of Short Sentences (Denmark, 2020 tr. 2022). Wryly amusing tale of a woman adjusting to life in a small rural community. [***]

35. Sara Baume, Seven Steeples (Ireland, 2022). A couple fade into the landscape. [****]

34. Chitra Ramaswamy, Homelands (England/India, 2022). Affecting account of the author’s friendship with a Holocaust survivor. [****]

33. Laura McVeigh, Lenny (Ireland, 2022). A tale of loss, family and belonging set in Louisiana and Libya. [***]

32. J.O. Morgan, Pupa (Scotland, 2021). A novel that alters the human lifecycle to explore what it means to cross a social divide. [****]

31. Fernanda Melchor, Paradais (Mexico, 2021 tr. 2022). A teenager’s terrible scheme unfolds. [***]

30. Violaine Huisman, The Book of Mother (France, 2018 tr. 2021). Autobiographical novel exploring the traumatic life of the author’s mother. [***]

29. Geetanjai Shree, Tomb of Sand (India, 2018 tr. 2021). A dazzling cascade of language in which an old woman finds a new lease of life. [****]

28. Stephen King, The Green Mile (USA, 1996). I’ve never really got into Stephen King, and this didn’t change my mind. [***]

27. David Grossman, More Than I Love My Life (Israel, 2019 tr. 2021). Secrets of an Israeli family with roots in the former Yugoslavia. [***]

26. Mieko Kawakami, Heaven (Japan, 2009 tr. 2021). Novel about two teenagers brought together in friendship because they’re both bullied. [***]

25. Bora Chung, Cursed Bunny (South Korea, tr. 2021). Sometimes strange, sometimes creepy,  always compelling stories… I loved this. [*****]

24. Badr Ahmad, Five Days Untold (Yemen, tr. 2021). Harrowing tale of war. [***]

23. Sang Young Park, Love in the Big City (South Korea, 2019 tr. 2021). Tales of a young queer man’s personal life. [***]

22. Paulo Scott, Phenotypes (Brazil, 2019 tr. 2022). Densely written novel about the complexities of racial identity in Brazil. [***]

21. Adrian Barnes, Nod (Canada, 2012). Re-read: not quite as powerful as the first time. [***]

20. Darina Al Joundi, The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing (Lebanon/France, 2012 tr. 2022). Dramatic monologue spoken by a rebellious young woman in wat-torn Beirut. [****]

19. Graham Swift, Here We Are (England, 2020). The story of a 1950s love triangle involving a stage magician and his colleagues. It has its moments, but this book and I will be no more than passing acquaintances. [***]

18. Tété-Michel Kpomassie, Michel the Giant: An African in Greenland (Togo, 1977 tr. 1981). Fascinating travelogue. [****]

17. Ryan Dennis, The Beasts They Turned Away (USA, 2021). This tale of a farmer is well-written but so, so bleak. [***]

16. Jonas Eika, After the Sun (Denmark, 2018 tr. 2021). These stories were not for me at all. [**]

15. Katja Oskamp, Marzahn, Mon Amour (Germany, 2019 tr. 2022). Tales of a chiropodist’s patients: a composite portrait of a community that might otherwise be overlooked. [****]

14. Gerald Murnane, Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs (Australia, 2005). An essay collection that shed light on its author’s world, and changed me subtly but surely. [****]

13. Nadifa Mohamed, Black Mamba Boy (Somalia/England, 2010). Re-read: a gripping parade of a novel, inspired by the life of the author’s father. [****]

12. Dani Shapiro, Inheritance (USA, 2019). Fascinating memoir whose author discovers she cannot be biologically related to her father, and has to come to terms with a new sense of identity and family. {****]

11. Jaimie Batchan, Siphonophore (England, 2021). A whirlwind of a novel in which a fictional character hopes his terminally-ill writer will stay alive long enough to get him home. [****]

10. Damon Galgut, In a Strange Room (South Africa, 2010). Finally, I got around to reading Galgut, and… I didn’t enjoy the experience quite as much as I’d hoped. There are some vivid moments in this account of a writer on his travels, but something didn’t quite click. [***]

9. Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth (France, 1867). A classic that had its longueurs, but also some wonderful moments. I’m glad to have read it. [***]

8. Nathacha Appanah, The Sky Above the Roof (Mauritius/France, 2019 tr. 2022). A short, sharp novel (my favourite kind!) about a family falling apart and piecing itself together. [****]

7. Yuko Tsushima, Territory of Light (Japan, 1979 tr. 2018). Story cycle about a young woman living with her daughter and separating from her husband. Some stark imagery. [***]

6. William Golding, Pincher Martin (England, 1956). The first Golding I’ve read, and I want to read more – but I really wish I hadn’t known the ending in advance. [****]

5. Malorie Blackman, Noughts & Crosses (England, 2001). I wish I’d been able to read this as a teenager, but it was still interesting – and I did not expect that ending. [****]

4. Jacqueline Roy, The Fat Lady Sings (England/Jamaica, 2000). This tale of two women living in a psychiatric unit is powerful and serious, but with moments of humour and light. [****]

3. Paul Griffiths, The Tomb Guardians (Wales, 2021). Re-read: still as powerful. [*****]

2. Bel Olid, Wilder Winds (Spain, 2016 tr. 2022). A Catalan story collection from the Republic of Consciousness book club. Not really my cup of tea. [***]

1. Toshiki Okada, The End of the Moment We Had (Japan, 2007 tr. 2018). A pair of stories exploring human connection. [***]