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.

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. [***]